Recap: Denton Art Forum

The excitement is palpable at the first Denton Art Forum. For 50 years, the Greater Denton Arts Council has provided a variety of services. But at the Patterson-Appleton Arts Center this is the first time that all the different arts organizations throughout Denton have assembled to create a public forum for Dentonites to voice their opinions and needs.

Artists arrive in droves with their work in tow, quickly assembling exhibits in the main gallery room. There is a wide variety of art on display. There are acrylic paintings but also three-dimensional interactive installations and mixed media pieces. All the art on display is from local artists affiliated with Artists Enclave, the Greater Denton Arts Council, the Denton Gallery or Voertman's art gallery. On tables assembled between exhibits are broad sheets labeled with questions like 'What are our assets as a community?'. A diverse crowd of many different backgrounds streams in by the dozens, surveying the art as a presentation is prepared.

"Since 1980 the Greater Denton Arts council has given over $1.5 million to arts organizations and individuals across Denton," said Sara Greenberg education coordinator for the Greater Denton Arts Council. "Designed to encourage artists of all backgrounds the Microgrant program provides funding for diverse artistic practices and related expenses."

GDAC has provided facilities, services and programs to local arts organizations, arts education programs and maintains a regular schedule of art exhibitions. They're the public face of the Denton Arts scene and host regular events, such as their open studio program (which allows Denton residents of all skill levels a space to create art). Over the course of the meeting, Greenberg promoted other upcoming events at GDAC

"Coming up next month is our four-part panel series 'Business of the Arts' where we will discuss a variety of topics that will help aspiring and emerging artists learn how to make a living off their artistic endeavors,” Greenberg said. "Professionals from the Music and Art Fields will offer their expertise on subjects including social media and P.R., management and representation, insurance and contracts and venues."

Susan Carol Davis and Randall Good of Artist Enclave were also in attendance. They non-profit organization exists to provide a networking framework for artists and art supporters in the Denton area. They provide space and services for all art forms including but not limited to Film, Theatre, and Design.

"Artist enclave began two and a half years ago as an organization simply wanting to promote a cross section of the arts whether that was dance, visual arts, theater, music, poetry,” Susan Carol Davis said. "We wanted to be supportive of all of those art forms and find ways that artists doing different things could work together."

Among other things, Good and Davis announced an upcoming private membership option for Artist's Enclave as well as their upcoming pop show Enclave Eclectic.

Artists Enclave is not alone in their mixed media/genre goals as the Denton Gallery also promoted their new gallery and upcoming shows. Last but not least was a presentation from Given McClure of Voertman's art gallery. Their current exhibition is entitled 'Euphoria' and features work from award winning painter Sara Barnett.

As the Spring season begins and summer approaches a brand new swath of shows/events will be coming up. So keep an eye on the local collectives’ social outlets and the local galleries to stay informed and consider submitting your own work.

Header image by Holden Foster