Briefly in the arts

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Blair Johnson, who dances under the stage name “Jasira,” is a University of North Texas student studying radio, television and film. She will appear at the Yaa Halla, Y’all, a four-day event promoting belly dance and Middle Eastern drumming in Grapevine.

Denton resident wins watercolor award

A Denton artist won a cash award at the 51st national Watercolor U.S.A. 2012 exhibition in Missouri.

Denton artist Lindsey Dunnagan earned a $350 cash award for a painting submitted to the competition exhibit. Miranda Lash, curator of modern and contemporary art at the New Orleans Museum of Art, judged and selected the show. The exhibit included 113 works by 102 artists from 31 states.

The exhibit just closed at the Springfield Art Museum.

Watercolor U.S.A. began in 1962 to present a watercolor show that would reflect the sensibilities and perspectives of artists across the country. 


UNT student to perform at belly-dancing convention

A University of North Texas student will perform during the 12th annual Yaa Halla, Y’all, a Middle Eastern dance convention, next weekend in Grapevine.

Blair Johnson, who’s studying radio, television and film at UNT, has danced with Isis and the Star Dancers for more than three years. Johnson studied salsa, tango, swing, step, ballet tap, jazz and praise dance before taking up Middle Eastern dance.

The convention, which runs Thursday through Aug. 19 at the Grapevine Convention Center, will focus on belly dance and Middle Eastern drumming. Each night includes belly dance performances by expert dancers, who will also lead workshops.

The shows each night are open to the public. Advance tickets are available online for $15 for the Thursday, Friday and Sunday shows or $23 for the Saturday show. To buy tickets, visit Tickets at the door are $18 for Thursday, Friday and Sunday, or $28 for Saturday.

Participants can register for the conference online or at the door. For more information, visit

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