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Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Art collective creates new opportunities for Denton art scene

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Article Originally Published by Hannah Johnson on North Texas Daily

Article Originally Published by Hannah Johnson on North Texas Daily

The Denton art scene has a new player in the game when it comes to creating art shows and events. 

Artners n Crime is a new art collective that plans to bring artists together through its events, created by local artists Stefani Cofer and Sarah Jo Blanchard.

Cofer and Blanchard met during the beginning of the pandemic, and Cofer said they started doing “visual jams,” where they got together and painted or created pieces of art. 

“We both have different backgrounds that complement each other really well,” said Cofer, co-founder of Artners n Crime and creator of Fire Doodles Denton. 

Before the pandemic, Cofer was trying to start an event planning company, but once COVID-19 hit, she embraced her creativity by using her grandmother’s wood burner. After selling her first artwork, Cofer said she began to get more requests to continue. 

Since COVID-19 halted her initial plans, Cofer created Fire Doodles Denton, a small business which sells functional wood-burned, painted and upcycled art. 

Blanchard grew up in Lake Charles, La. then moved to Denton in 2006 to pursue an art degree. She worked for 14 years at a data center before moving into marketing, later starting her own marketing agency named Tête Rouge. 

Cofer said her background in event planning and Blanchard’s experience in the business world worked hand in hand to create Artners n Crime. 

“I have done things [Blanchard] hasn’t done and she has done things I haven’t done that totally meet in the middle,” Cofer said. “We feed off each other really well.” 

Cofer said friends began calling her and Blanchard “artners” in crime, a play on the phrase partners in crime. Since then, Blanchard and Cofer have worked to create events for the Denton art scene. 

Artners n Crime’s first event Trading Threads was held at Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studio earlier this month. At the event, attendees could bring a bag of clothes or pay a $10 fee in turn for picking thrifted clothes and shoes while listening to music from local artists. Several art vendors were also in attendance. 

Helen Sanderson, owner of Glitter Goddess Pots based in Denton, was invited to Trading Threads by Artners n Crime. Sanderson said she loved the concept of getting new clothes without having to buy new clothes, and events like Trading Threads allow artists to connect with each other. 

“It’s an amazing opportunity for up and coming artists or artists in general to get our work out there without having to spend an arm and a leg on a vending fee,” Sanderson said. 

Lore Frances Designs was another vendor at Trading Threads. Started by Jillian Marek from Denton, Lore Frances Designs incorporates nature, plants and green themes. Marek said she is always wanting to participate in events that showcase Denton’s talent. 

“I think it’s really important to bring a bunch of talents together,” Marek said. “Whether it’s music [or] art, [it’s] giving a place where people can come together and showcase their stuff. Yes, make money, but more so make connections. We all want our small businesses to be successful, but it’s more about building those connections.”

Cofer said exposure for artists is a goal for Artners n Crime to bring more opportunities to Denton’s art community. 

“[Attendees can] find an artist they fall in love with,” Cofer said. “That would be a neat feeling to expose [people] to an artist they might not have been exposed to before.” 

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Source: North Texas Daily

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