vast logo

Visual Arts Society of Texas News

News and Events
September, 2014
First Meeting of VAST This Fall:
Speaker is Sculptor, James Thurman

The meeting is September 4th - 7:00 to 9:00pm at the Patterson-Appleton Center for the Visual Arts (P-A CVA) in Denton.

James Thurman: Collaboration and my Studio Practice

James Thurman is an Associate Professor at the University of North Texas' College of Visual Arts & Design, where he coordinates the 3D Core program as well as teaches in the Metalsmithing & Jewelry area.  He received his MFA in Metalsmithing from the Cranbrook Academy of Art and his BFA in Sculpture from Carnegie Mellon University.  In 2010, he completed a four-year term on the Board of Directors of the Society of North American Goldsmiths and is now currently serving as Editor of Technical Articles for the organization.  

In 2012, he was a Fulbright Specialist Scholar, working with Kadir Has University in Istanbul, Turkey, on curricular development.


A prolific and highly active studio artist for more than fifteen years, his work has been included in hundreds of national and international curated and juried exhibitions as well as ten solo exhibitions in the past ten years.  In addition to the exhibition of his work, James regularly lectures and gives workshops about his work and the unique technical aspects of his studio production, including a laminated composite material he developed, "Thurmanite."  Recent engagements have included The Glass Furnace (Istanbul, Turkey), Penland School of Crafts, Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts, the Museum of Fine Arts Houston Glassell School, Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, and the Yuma Symposium.


James Thurman is the juror for the VAST 125-Mile Exhibition; see article below.

RAFFLE at September Meeting!
Chance to win this standard America Studio Easel
(Retail Value $495)
Best Easels are an Industry Gold Standard for Excellence, 
Made in America of American Red Oak
Tickets Only $5
Drawing to be held at September 4th meeting, 
8:45 pm. You must be present to win.

Many thanks to J.T. Weber for this 
generous contribution to VAST. 

Each BEST Easel is made from American Red Oak, sanded to a smooth surface, then hand-rubbed with oil to reveal the inherent beauty of the wood grain. The craftsmen at BEST nail, glue, and wood screw every joint, ensuring strength and precision. Only the highest quality hardware is used as these easels are built to last a lifetime.

Classic Dulce

This is a standard American studio easel designed to provide the artist with the most stable unit at a low price.  Its sturdy H-frame construction and laminated quad base offer superior strength and stability.  It adjusts easily to a variety of custom settings for working seated or standing. 

  • Maximum canvas height: 82"
  • Base width/depth: 22" x 24"
  • Compact easel height: 54"
  • Extended easel height: 90"
  • Folds flat for easy storage
  • Adjustable sliding mast moves independent of canvas tray
  • Wide bottom canvas holder with utility tray
VAST Sponsored Critique Group

VAST currently sponsors a critique group which meets the fourth Saturday of each month, eight times a year, September through May. Fee is $120 payable to VAST.  Contact Jackie Haugen at or 972.672.0188 if you are interested in participating as a member or a substitute in the critique group. Members may bring two pieces of art to each meeting for critique.  


Millie Giles, Critique Group Critic 

BS, Education, Indiana University of Pennsylvania

MA, Painting, Bowling Green University

MFA, University of North Texas (UNT)



 UNT, 1976 - 2013

Coordinator of Watercolor Concentration, UNT, seven years

Texas Woman's University, twelve years

Professional Membership: Watercolor Honor Society, USA

Upcoming VAST Sponsored Workshop
Nel Dorn Byrd


Workshop October 14-16  

Nel Dorn Byrd


Where: Patterson-Appleton Center for Visual Arts, Denton (corner of Hickory and Bell) 
Time: 9:30 - 4:00pm, with a one-hour lunch break

Cost: VAST Members $165; Non-Members $200


Nel Dorn Byrd began drawing as a child, first painted with oils, and since 1970 has painted with the medium of watercolor.  She  studied art at Midland Institue of Fine Arts, Richland College, and the University of Texas at Dallas.  She has studied at home and abroad with many watercolor instructors, traveling and painting in twelve different countries.  Nel co-operated a successful art gallery and frame shop for twenty-one years.  Her paintings have been accepted in over two hundred juried regional and national exhibitions and she has received numerous awards and honors.  Nel is a signature member of several watercolor societies and her work has been included in many publications and books.  Her paintings are in corporate and private collections throughout the United States.  She paints in a loose, impressionistic style and her works often depict strong light and dark patterns with the play of light giving excitement and interest to any subject.  Nel feels that working in a series is oftentimes conducive to the creative process. 

See Nel's work at


Water Nymph



REGISTRATION FEE: The registration fee is $50.00, and is due at the time of signing up for the workshop.  This fee is non-refundable. Please make the check out to VAST, and send to: 


Kristin Spalding 

2507 High Pointe Blvd.   

McKinney, TX 75071



BALANCE: The balance for the workshop is due one month prior to the beginning of the workshop. 
CANCELLATION BY PARTICIPANT: If a participant must cancel, the VAST workshop coordinator will first attempt to fill the open spot from the official VAST waiting list.  If there is no waiting list, the canceling participant is free to attempt to fill the spot on his/her own.  No refunds will be made one month or less prior to the class.

CANCELLATION BY VAST: If there are not enough participants to cover workshop costs, or if VAST must cancel for any other reason, participants will be notified by workshop coordinator and will promptly receive a full refund, including deposit.

125-Mile Exhibition deadline
November 17


Joshua 1:9
Madelyn Sneed, Best of Show 

9th Annual 125-Mile Visual Arts Exhibition

 January 16-February 27, 2015

Gough Gallery

Patterson-Appleton Center for

the Visual Arts

400 East Hickory,

Denton, Texas 76202

Opening Reception: January 16


Gallery Hours: Tues - Sun 1-5 pm

For Full Prospectus, click here.

Best of Show $500

Total Awards:$5500

November 17  All Entry Fees and Applications are due by US Mail.  All digital images are emailed to

December 1  Notifications emailed to artists

January 6  Juried Work delivered to the Patterson-Appleton Center.  Hours: 10am-12 noon, 4pm-7pm.

January 16  Reception: 5:30-7:30pm; Awards Presentation 6:30pm.

February 27  Exhibition closes at 5pm.

March 2  Return of Work to Artists: 10am-12 noon, 4pm-7pm

Juror:  James Thurman (See article above reference VAST Meeting.)


The 125-Mile Exhibition was initiated in 2006 to establish a regional high quality juried art exhibition for artists living within 125-mile radius of Denton, Texas, to compete and show their work.  This exhibit will be held at the Gough Gallery in the Patterson-Appleton Center for the Visual Arts.



VAST will publish a catalog featuring the award winning work.  Each exhibiting artist will receive a copy of the catalog at the opening reception.


Paula Stankovich, Coordinator


Artist of the Year, 2013/2014
Maurice Leatherbury

Maurice is a native of Louisiana who grew up north of New Orleans with his twin sister and three other siblings. He holds degrees from the University of Southwestern Louisiana (now ULL) in English, Florida State University in Library Science, and a Ph.D. from the University of Texas in Library and Information Science. He is a self-trained photographer whose art training consists of studying ceramics for three years at the San Antonio Arts Institute in a community arts program. Leatherbury's work can be seen at

Artist's Statement

I am an art photographer whose interest in photography started seriously while I was in the Air Force in the 1970's, where I bought a Minolta SLR and took Kodachrome slides as well as black and white photographs, developing and printing the B&W pictures on expired paper that the Air Force provided. I took a long hiatus from photography, though, to raise a family, get graduate degrees, and earn a living. Prior to retirement in 2013, I had been a librarian, computer system entrepreneur, college professor, and chief information officer. 

I work exclusively in digital now with a Nikon camera and print almost of all my photos on my large Epson printer. Wanting as much control over the finished printed artifact, I also mat and frame most of my photographs and experiment with new finishing techniques such as coating the photograph's surface with clear acrylic, a process that I discovered in Kauai and Jackson Hole.


My photographs have been exhibited in my places of work in Denton and Arlington and more recently in VAST exhibitions, Visual Arts League of Lewisville exhibits, and the Oxide Gallery in Denton. 

My ultimate goal as an art photographer is simply to make beautiful photos that you'll want to hang on your walls.



Runner up for Artist of the Year
Andrea Albright
New Benefit with VAST Membership
VAST Members have the opportunity to advertise art related information in the newsletter 2 times per VAST year - June 1st through May 31st.  This business card-sized ad must be sent to the editor by the 15th of the month and is subject to the approval of VAST.  VAST reserves the right to edit.
2015 Calendars

The 2015 VAST desktop calendar will be available for sale at the October meeting.  It will be tax free at the October and November meetings for $10. At times other than the two tax free days, the price will be $11.  
VAST Artist Day Out (VADO)

VAST members are welcome to come twice a month to the Patterson-Appleton Center for the Visual Arts to paint, sketch, and create art in fellowship with other artists.  It is not a class, and there is no instructor. 

Meeting days: Generally the first and third Thursdays of the month. The dates are posted in the VAST newsletter, and an email reminder will be sent out to all those signing up.

Sign up:  Pay fee of $10. Make checks payable to VAST, and mail to Mary Emerson, 1001 Emerald Sound Blvd,Oak Point, TX 75068 
You may also pay $1 per session.

Please contact our Sunshine Committee Chair if you know of anyone who needs well wishes sent or thoughts of sympathy.

Millie Johnson is the chairperson for the Visual Arts Society of Texas' Sunshine Committee.  Please contact Millie at: or 940.387.7688 

Do you turn to Facebook for current news?

You can connect to our online community with the "Visual Arts Society of Texas" on Facebook, check this link.

Visual Arts Society of Texas' 

Revolving Exhibitions

Please contact the coordinator for the exhibit(s) that you would like to be considered for.


"Art About Town" exhibition at The Chestnut Tree
Coordinator for exhibit: Lin Hampton at
"Noble Visions" exhibition at Barnes & Noble Booksellers Cafe - Golden Triangle Mall 

Artwork of Gail W. Cope

Gail Cope's statement: "My work has evolved to a series of mixed media paintings exploring the reduction of mark making to the simplest forms-dots, dashes and circles. Although the use of these most basic forms would imply a simple surface, in fact the marks are layered in complex ways, and the background or under-painting takes on even more importance as it interacts with the layers. I enjoy using iconic images and symbols and putting my own twist to them.

The predominant element of my work is the dot or circle, referring to the eternal, and used as decoration in many religions and cultures around the world. I find that when working with the dots and other patterns I fall into a relaxed state, almost like Zen meditation.  There is a fascination with how many ways I can make the dots, and what different affects I can create."

Coordinator for exhibit: Gail Cope at


"Off the Shelves" exhibition at Emily Fowler Central Library

No current exhibit.
Coordinator for exhibit: Jenna Murray at

The Emily Fowler Central Library is located at 502 Oakland Street; hours are:

Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday 9 am to 6 pm

Tuesday and Thursday 9 am to 9 pm                         

Sunday 1 to 5 pm

502 Oakland St., Denton TX, 76201

"Outside the Box" exhibition at Point Bank Blackbox Theater

"Scratching the Surface Retrospective" 

Laurie Weller's work can be seen through October 17, 2014.


The work is a collection of paintings and monoprints, which Weller specifically chose for the intimate Black Box setting. She states, "Both the Caran-dAche monoprints and the carved paintings began as translations of sketches into new forms that took new directions as they progressed."


The surfaces of the paintings have been sensitively "scratched" in preparation for painting.  Weller says this work was begun during a residency at the Atlantic Center for the Arts (ACA) many years ago. While at ACA, Weller was invited to sit in on a jazz session and while listening to music, she began to draw the sounds of the music. This experience has profoundly affected her work.


The monoprints included in the exhibition were done while involved in abstracting drawings of seashells and human anatomy.  The works Corona I and Corona 4 have elements of a conch shell and elements that reference brain cells. She states, "They started with both, but are neither. They are much more about exploring the formal elements of line, form, color, and space in a playful way, putting down a mark and seeing where it leads me."


Coordinator for exhibit: Jo Williams at

The Point Bank Black Box Theatre Exhibition is co-sponsored by Denton Community Theatre and VAST, and is located at 318 E. Hickory.

Hours: Monday & Wednesday, 1:00 - 4:00 pm

Friday 10:30 am - 1:30 pm.  Art may also be viewed during any of the performances at the Black Box.

Laurie Weller's work at the Point Bank Black Box Theatre

Members in the News

Please submit news of exhibitions that you are involved in to by the 15th of the month.

Congratulations to Dawn Swepston for achieving gallery representation at Ghost Pony Gallery in New Mexico.  The painting shown is one that will grace the gallery wall as of September 15th. 

The following VAST Members are included in the TWU Combinations 2014: TWU Visual Arts Faculty with Guests Exhibit:  Dr. John Calabrese, Gary Washmon, Laurie Weller, and Deanna Wood. The exhibit will be open through September 18.  See exhibition write-up below.  

Texas Woman's University Presents

Combinations 2014: TWU Visual Arts Faculty with Guests

Exhibition Dates: August 26 through September 18
Reception: September 2, 5 - 8pm
East/West Galleries, Fine Arts Building
Gallery Contact: Vance Wingate 940-898-2533 

The exhibition Combinations 2014: TWU Visual Arts Faculty with Guests features artwork by faculty members of TWU Department of Visual Arts and guest artists invited by the faculty.
The variety of work spans the gamut from traditional painting to experimental video and sculpture by the artists on display, and the show gives all visitors a broad view of the scope and variety of art being done by the faculty and guests at TWU, in the community and classrooms of the Department of Visual Arts.

Artists participating in the exhibit are:
TWU Faculty: Dr. John Calabrese, Professor of Art History; Susan kae Grant, Professor of Photography; Michelle Hays, Chair/Dept. of Visual Arts; Colby Parsons, Assoc. Prof. Ceramics; Jana Perez, Assoc. Prof. Graphic Design; Tanya Synar, Assoc. Prof. Sculpture; Gary Washmon, Professor of Painting. Adjunct Faculty: Allison Gillies, Drawing & Painting; Danielle Khoury, Photography; Jessica Pullings, Drawing & Painting; Vance Wingate, Gallery Coordinator; Deanna Wood, Painting.

Invited Guest Artists are: Tommy Fitzpatrick; Asst. Professor of Painting at Texas State University; Heyd Fontenot, Director-CentralTrak/UTD Residency; Ira Greenberg, Director-Center of Creative Computation and Professor at Southern Methodist University; Misty Keasler, Photography; Tina Mescko, Painting; Julia Ousley, Sculpture; Angelita Rodriguez, Photography; Laurie Weller, Painting; Angilee Wilkerson, Photography; Leigh Ann Williams, Painting.

The East l West Galleries are on the first floor of the Fine Arts Building, at the corner of Texas & Oakland streets (300 Texas Street), TWU campus in Denton, Texas, 76201.
Gallery hours are Monday - Friday, 9am to 4pm, when the university is in session. Weekends by appointment only.
For directions, please go to the TWU website:

Chalk Art Contest 

During Arts, Antiques & Autos Extravaganza!

Register early if you wish to have a guaranteed space; spaces are limited and are available until sold out.

WHEN:  September 13, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

WHERE:  Chalk kits and check-in will be at A Creative Art Studio, 227 W. Oak St., Ste. 101 that morning. Chalk work will be done in historic Denton.

Pre-register by 9/12/14. 

Entry fee is $10 for the 18 Years & Up 

$5 for 12-17 Year-Olds 

$5 for 7 - 11 Year-Olds
FREE for 6 & Under 

CASH PRIZES WILL BE GIVEN in 3 age categories! 

For link to full information and form, click here.

Art Around Town 

A Creative Art Studio

227 W. Oak Street, Suite 101
Denton, TX 76201 (940) 442-1251

First Friday Denton, September 5, 7 - 10 pm.  Our music is kicked off this month by local singer songwriter Rachel Yeatts. This month Daren Fagin, metal artist, and Tina Alvarez, photographer and painter will be on hand to demonstrate art techniques.  



Patterson-Appleton Center for the Visual Arts

400 E. Hickory Street, Denton, TX 76201 

Meadows Gallery & Gough Gallery: 

American Brides: Inspiration and Ingenuity

June 27 - October 24, 2014

For more information:


Oxide Gallery

115 Eagle Drive
Denton, TX 76201

"Deities, Demigods, and Disegno" art by Randall M. Good  

Opening Reception: Saturday, September 6th 
Free Admission
Mon.-Fri. 9-5pm, Sat. 10-3pm

more information: 


tAd Gallery

901 Avenue C, suite 101, Denton, Texas 76201 (enter through The Bowllery.)


For more information:


Texas Woman's University Art Galleries

East Gallery and West Gallery 

Combinations 2014: TWU Visual Arts Faculty with Guests

August 26 - September 18

Artwork by faculty members of TWU Department of Visual Arts and guest artists invited by the faculty.

more information:


University of North Texas Art Gallery

No current main exhibit.

more information:


UNT on the Square

Four Paintings, 2014 work by Robert Jessup

Exhibit through September 25

Public reception: September 5, 5:30-7:30pm

more information:

Opportunities/Calls for Entries

14th Annual Joyce Elaine Grant Juried Photography Exhibition applications are now being accepted online at

Juror is April Watson, Curator of Photography at the Nelson-Atkins Museum in Kansas City, Missouri.



Ms. Watson encourages submissions that either explore and push the boundaries of everyday perception, or provide a fresh, unusual perspective on a subject.

Slideroom entries must be received by: Monday, October 27, 2014.

Artists Notification sent: December 8, 2014.

Work received at gallery by: January 30, 2015.

Exhibition Dates: February 11 - March 13, 2015.

There are two applications to choose from:

Basic Application allows an artist to submit 1-5 images for $35.00.
Expanded Application allows an artist to submit 1-10 images for $60.00.
Questions or comments can be directed to: Allison Jarek, Exhibition Coordinator /

See or click this link.


500X Gallery Announces

500X EXPO 2014-Call for Entry

Dallas Texas Submission Deadline: 9/15/2014 

This year's juror is Alison Hearst, the Assistant Curator of the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth. 

The 500X EXPO is a juried exhibition open to any artist within Texas.

All work must be ready to hang. Work must be dropped off on Saturday, September 27th or Sunday, September 28th between 2 PM and 5 PM. 

The show will run from October 4 - October 26. 

The opening reception will be on October 4, 7 - 10 PM. 

To submit to 500X EXPO 2014 please visit

For more info on 500X, click here.


28th Annual Materials: Hard & Soft

National Contemporary Craft Competition and Exhibition

Final Call for Entries!  

Deadline Friday, September 5

For Prospectus, see

Greater Denton Arts Council


Bruce Peil Workshop

September 18-20

Athens, TX


Landscape painter Bruce Peil is offering a three-day workshop at his studio in Athens, Texas - September 18 thru 20. The fee for all three days is $350. This will be a studio/plein air workshop with the emphasis on learning to capture a moment in time and the feeling of light in the painting. You will learn to mix the subtle colors that occur in nature and understand how you did it. All aspects of painting will be discussed: Values, Color, Contrast, Edges, Perspective, Composition, Equipment, etc.


Bruce and his wife Stacey operate a Bed and Breakfast/Artist Retreat that is a short walk from the studio. Reduced rates of $90/night apply for those who want to stay here on the property (includes breakfast, lunch, and complimentary evening wine.)


Call Bruce at 903-677-1117 or 903-681-1542, or email at with questions. 


DEADLINE: Sun, November 30, 2014  LOCATION: TX
The Hunting Art Prize announces the call for entries for its 2015 competition, giving artists in Texas an opportunity to vie for a $50,000 prize. 

The competition is open to artists who are legal residents of Texas and at least 18 years of age or older by Aug. 1, 2014. Artists can participate by completing the electronic sign up form available at and uploading one digital image of their artwork. A single two-dimensional piece that complies with the terms and conditions may be submitted for the prize. 
Contact: Shari King,




DEADLINE: Wed, November 05, 2014  LOCATION: GA

$5000.00 cash, prizes, & Purchase Prizes. Color Catalog. Juror: Justin Rabideau, Director, Bernard A. Zuckerman Museum of Art. All U.S. residents eligible. Fine and Applied Arts. Original works from last two years. Deadline: Nov. 5, 2014. Fee $35.00 for 3 works. Commission:30% Location: Mable House Arts Center, Greater Atlanta, GA 

Apply by mail now or online after Sept. 15, 2014. 
Prospectus and Juror's Bio online at link below.
Contact: AnnFay Rushforth  (770) 819 3285



Veterans and Their Art - Call for Artists who are veterans!

Keller Arts Program; free event
Nov. 3-26, 2014 * 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Submit entries by Oct. 15, 2014

Art Exhibit November 3-26, 2014 
Reception Thursday, Nov. 13, 2014

The City of Keller and the Keller Public Arts Board have designated November as the month to honor veterans from all branches of service as well as all eras, along with current military personnel. "Veterans and Their Art" is an art show for the veterans, by the veterans and encompasses all genres of art and themes. Any "artist" veteran residing in Texas is welcome to enter this 3rd annual tribute to these great men and women who have given of themselves for this country.

Entry forms can be obtained at Keller Town Hall and must be returned by Oct. 15, 2014. The number of pieces to submit will be determined by the number of artists participating. This is a free event.

For more information regarding the Keller Arts Program, please contact 817-743-4000 or

See lots more here: 

Please feel free to forward this on to anyone who might be interested.

Visual Arts Society of Texas

2014-2015 Monthly Programs

Sept. 4  James Thurman, sculpture
Oct. 2  Kaylee Appleton, photography
Nov. 13  Gail Delger, acrylic
Dec. 4  Jeff Good, watercolor
Jan. 8, 2015  Tamara Narvana, jewelry
Feb. 5  Allison Proulx, mixed media
March 5  Carmen Underwood, Painter Sorolla
April 2  Julie Mortillano, collage
May 7  Dotty Zamora, encaustic
Meetings are held at the Center for the Visual Arts, 400 East Hickory St, Denton, TX.

7:00 - 9:00 pm

Members: Free
Guests: $3 
2014-2015 VAST Membership Levels

$15 - Student 

$25 - Educator*
$35 - Individual
$45 - Family
$50 - Mary Cassatt
$125 - Rembrandt
$250 - Georgia O'Keefe
$500 - Picasso
$750 - Leonardo
$1000 - Michelangelo
$3000 - Renoir
$5000 - Van Gogh

Make checks payable to
VAST; mail to VAST, PO
Box 1281, Denton, TX


*Educator level of
membership entitles
teachers to bring
students with them to
any monthly meeting with
guest fees waived. 
Teachers planning to
bring more than 5 students
to any meeting are requested
to contact Jo Williams through
so the Hospitality
Committee can plan to
have enough refreshments
on-hand at the meeting.
2014/2015 VAST 
Artist Day Out

VADO is a day where members may come paint at the CVA from 9:15am - 3pm, approximately two mornings a month.  There is no instructor, it is not a workshop...just an art gathering. 

You may paint, sketch, quilt or what ever creative endeavor you desire in the fellowship with your artist friends.  Lunch and fellowship are the best parts!

The cost is $10 a year, or $1 a session if you just want to drop in every now and then.  Pay with your dues, or you can send $10 to: 
Mary Emerson
1001 Emerald Sound Blvd. 
Oak Point, TX  75068