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VAST to hold first exhibition at UNT on the Square

Artists and enthusiasts will come together to celebrate creativity at the 26th annual Visual Arts Society of Texas (VAST) Members Exhibition Aug. 12-22 at the UNT on the Square gallery, 109 N. Elm Street in Denton.

This is the first year the exhibition will be held at the UNT on the Square gallery. The exhibition is juried, and prizes totaling $2,550 in cash and merchandise will be awarded to winners of the exhibition.

The opening reception and award ceremony will take place from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Aug. 13 at the gallery.

Jo Williams, the current president of VAST, describes the organization as a place where “artists and the community connect to celebrate visual arts.”

“We create opportunities for artists and non-artists to participate in exhibitions and benefit from educational programs as well,” she said.

Around 60 artists from VAST will have their work displayed. Mark Smith, currently a senior professor of painting and design at Austin College, will judge the works and determine who will win “Best of Show,” which comes with a grand prize of $750.

Smith, who has judged and spoken at the VAST Member Exhibition previously, said he always looks forward to the exhibition because the participants don’t necessarily have careers in the visual art field, yet find time to creatively express themselves nonetheless.

“Most of the participants have jobs and other obligations, but they find time to make art and that is a remarkable and encouraging thing,” Smith said. “The Member Exhibition offers a beautiful portrait of creativity and individuality in a time when people don’t always devote time to that.”

According to Smith, VAST is an organization that is integral to the vitality of the Denton arts community.

“I don’t know if there is an analogous organization in the Dallas-Fort Worth area,” Smith said. “It is exceptional for its kind.”

—Caleb Downs, student assistant, news promotions

Posted on: Mon 27 July 2015

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