Until Oct. 15, the Artists Enclave of Denton County and Lumedia Musicworks are collaborating to put on “Well Blended,” a coffee-inspired art exhibition at UNT on the Square.
The exhibition, which opened on Oct. 4, consists of paintings, sculptures, photography, jewelry, music, films, poetry and other forms of art, all inspired by coffee.
The Artists Enclave of Denton County is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit founded in 2014 that networks and advocates the arts in Denton and volunteers to support other local nonprofits.
In the exhibition, the two organizations will be presenting a wide range of art.
“We’re all different kinds of artists and art supporters, visual artists, performing artists, poets, media artists, filmmakers, and our art supporters come from a variety of interests as well,” said Susan Carol Davis, co-founder of the Artists Enclave of Denton County and Denton resident.
Coffee is the theme of this art exhibition, something that people normally do not associate with art.
“Lumedia had this program that they were getting ready for this time of year and it was Bach’s ‘Coffee Cantata,’” said Randall Good, Artists Enclave of Denton County co-founder and Denton resident. “We love blending and mixing different disciplines and media, so it came out as ‘We’re doing coffee.’”
Lumedia Musicworks has been working closely with the Artists Enclave of Denton County to create a cohesive exhibition.
“We’re collaborating with the Artists Enclave, and it morphed into this ‘Let’s do all coffee stuff,’” instrumental director of Lumedia Musicworks and Denton resident Stephanie Raby said. “We liked the pieces, and they are quite accessible, especially if you are not familiar with baroque music. Coffee seems to be something everyone can relate to.”
To plan for this event, every component of the two art companies came together to create the overall product.
“We’ve been getting everything ready: music, marketing, contracting, all that kind of stuff,” Raby said. “[Last] week [was] our week of contracts and rehearsals, so we [met] with all of our musicians and [put] all of our music together.”
The collaboration for the project began a year ago between the two companies.
Artwork by Levi Hughes is displayed at UNT on the Square. Image by Quincy Palmer
In order to get people to submit their artwork to enter in the show, the Artists Enclave of Denton County sent out a call for artists.“There’s so much that goes on [to plan this event],” Good said. “We met with Lumedia Musicworks a year ago to begin planning.”
“You always wonder if you’re going to get submissions when you send out the call,” Good said. “Then there’s a little lull, then you get submissions and it comes together. Then there’s the timing, logistics and it has to be started several months in advance.”
The coffee theme was a new concept for the artists, but they used their skills to form a showcase that is relevant to the theme.
“I am an abstract artist, and I went with the theme of ‘Well Blended’ because several of the paintings that I have used a technique called acrylic pouring, and it [consists of] a bunch of different pigments mixed with pouring mediums,” acrylic pouring artist and Denton resident Cat Colonna said. “The very art I do has to be well blended for it to work, so that is where I took the coffee theme.”
The coffee theme speaks to each artist differently. Artist and Denton resident Martha Samaniego Calderón has a mixed household, so the Well Blended theme was relevant to the blending of cultures in her household, she said.
“For me, the coffee theme couldn’t be more perfect,” Calderón said. “With the blending, I always work with an immigration theme with my paintings and sculptures. I am a Mexican American married to an American person and have kids that are a mix of two cultures.”
Each artist has their own unique reasoning for participating in “Well Blended.”
“[I participated in ‘Well Blended’] because I wanted to support the organization and the theme was really good for me and it is an opportunity to exhibit my work,” watercolorist and Denton resident Jo Williams said.
The artists of the Artists Enclave of Denton County have come from a variety of backgrounds to get them where they are today.
“I’ve been in the construction business for over 40 years,” juror for “Well Blended” and Denton Resident Mark Holderbaum said. “I took that and started implementing it into restaurants and bars and created some really beautiful places. That’s where my creativity took me.”
This year’s exhibition is different from past ones because this year, student artists are being incorporated.
“[Being a student artist in the showcase] is different to say the least,” drawing and painting senior Cody Norton said. “It’s neat to see older artists and what their ideas are because they are wiser and have been around a lot longer.”
The artists are passionate about their creations and the process that goes into it.
“What motivates me is the creative process, the space you get in,” Colonna said. “I have a piece in the show called ‘The Space Between Breaths,’ and that’s what art is for me. All of my art is about getting into that space where you’re so in line with creativity.”
Artists find art to come naturally to them, and it is not something that they learned or were trained to do.
“I think that artists have to do art,” Colonna said. “At a certain point, art happens because we are all creative beings. I think that everybody is an artist, in some level and as a human, you have built intrinsically inside of you a need to create. I personally don’t know that I ever came to art, I just have always had this desire to create.”
“Well Blended” will be taking place at UNT on the Square until Oct. 15, consisting of music and visual art showcases throughout the week and coffee and refreshments will be served to those in attendance.
Featured Image: Coffee inspired pieces of artwork are displayed at UNT on the Square during their exhibition by Artist Enclave titled “Well Blended.” Image by Quincy Palmer