Where?House combines art exhibitions with house shows to build community

Article Originally Published by North Texas Daily on North Texas Daily

By Sara McNiel

Denton’s art and music scene is something that keeps this college town alive and is no stranger to local bands playing at house show venues. But the Where?House introduces a new element that Denton has not seen before by creating a space for visual artists as well.

Kyle Patrick, a UNT student studying art management, has been hosting art exhibitions at his own home in Denton. His most recent show, ‘Pheburary Photo Phest’ on Feb. 29, displayed works from local photographers.

“Seeing people expressing themselves by displaying their creative outlets for everyone to see was really inspirational,” attendee Cassandra Harmon said.

After Patrick moved to Denton he quickly developed a love for its DIY community. He was inspired to create his own show venue that would shed more light onto local visual artists as well as musicians.

“I shortly noticed that Denton was much more creatively talented than the spotlighted musicians,” Patrick said. “So I sought to fill that niche and give the local Denton visual artists the platform to exhibit their work.”

Photography, paintings and fashion have all been exhibited at the Where?House. Patrick also created a Where?House zine to create a platform for creative writers to share their work. These collections of art are hung up in his spacious outdoor garage’s walls, drawing in crowds of people. While his backyard space is reserved for the visual artists, several bands will play their music in his living room.

Patrick has created a welcoming environment for local artists to share their work, as well as exposing people to artwork they may not get to experience otherwise.

“I’ve found that the low-pressure environment of the Where?House is open and welcoming, contrasted with today’s pompous, white-washed, high falutin gallery spaces and museums,” Patrick said.

Patrick finds most of the artists by posting open calls for local artists on the Where?House Facebook and Instagram pages. Artists will submit examples of their work as well as a short artist statement about it. He then hand-picks which artists he would like to exhibit at his next show.

Nate Bishara, one of the photographers featured at Where?House’s last show, said he sold more prints at that show than at any previous event. His photographs of people, settings and dreamy color schemes reached out to many people at the show.

“It feels reassuring,” Bishara said. “I’m pretty confident overall in my work but the validation I get from events like this or comments on social media really help me want to push forward and continue to create the stuff I like to create.”

While Patrick plans to continue hosting these popular shows that exhibit about eight to 10 artists and three to five bands, he is also working toward adding new ideas to help build a “close knit” feel within Denton’s artistic community. These ideas include hosting figure drawing nights, group critiques and smaller shows focusing on one to three artists and one band or musician.

Where?House’s previous figure drawing nights consisted of smaller groups of people sketching a model inside the house. The cozy atmosphere and welcoming energy helped people of all artistic abilities break out of their shell and connect with one another.

“Events such as figure drawing sessions and group critiques will help build a close knit community of creatives working to help each other and grow together,” Patrick said.

The Where?House has become a popular spot for those who are passionate about expressing themselves creatively, and it continues to support the art scene in Denton everyone knows and loves.

“I was always told that if you ever wanted to be successful at something to surround yourself with people who are already good at that thing,” Patrick said. “So, the variety of works and talent displayed here at the Where?House constantly inspires me in my own creativity and pushes me to continue refining my own artistic passions.”

To keep up with Where?House’s upcoming shows and events, or even reach out to Patrick about showing your own work, you can follow it on Facebook and Instagram @wherehousedenton.

Featured Image: Courtesy John Skees

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Source: North Texas Daily