VAST opens ‘125-Mile’ exhibit, names winners

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Visual Arts Society of Texas/Courtesy photo
“Joshua 1:9,” 25 inches by 30 inches, oil on canvas by Madelyn Sneed. The painting is one of the pieces in the Visual Arts Society of Texas’ 8th annual 125-Mile Visual Arts Exhibition in the Gough Gallery at the Center for the Visual Arts. The exhibit runs through Feb. 21.
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The Denton-based Visual Arts Society of Texas recently opened its eighth annual 125-Mile Visual Arts Exhibition in the Gough Gallery at the Center for the Visual Arts, 400 E. Hickory St.

The regional exhibition features 35 works from artists within a 125-mile radius of Denton. They were selected by juror Jackie MacLelland from 194 entries.

Of the 35 exhibition artists, 15 are members of the arts society. They are: Darla Bostick, Susan Brents-Sheldon, Robin Butt, Lindsey Dunnagan, Mindy Faubion, Angelia Ford, Maurice Leatherbury, Tonya Littmann, Lori MacLean, Paula McClurg, Brad Sharp, Kristin Spalding, Dawn Swepston, Ken Weaver and Deanna Wood.

The following awards were announced:

Best of Show: Madelyn Sneed of Denton

Category 1 (oil, water media on canvas/board and pastel): first place, Lori MacLean of Duncanville; and honorable mentions, Dawn Swepston of Denton and Doris Vasek of Rockwell

Category 2 (water media on paper): first place, Mindy Faubion of Denton; honorable mention, Darla Bostick of Denton

Category 3 (mixed media, collage and drawing): first place, Brett Dyer of Addison; honorable mention, Angelia Ford of Garland

Category 4 (hand-pulled graphics, photography and prints): first place, Maurice Leatherbury of Flower Mound; honorable mention, Lily Mirsky of Savannah

Category 5 (ceramic, textiles and fiber): first place, Tonya Littmann of Denton; honorable mention, Deborah Boschert of Lewisville

Category 6 (sculpture): first place, Rebecca Pocai of Lewisville; honorable mentions, Lindsey Dunnagan of Denton, Craig Vandeman of Lake Kiowa and Paula McClurg of Argyle

Jack Richeson & Co. Inc. Awards: Kristie Hunger and Deanna Wood, both of Denton, and Susan Brents-Sheldon of Arlington

Weber Group Awards: Diane Walker-Gladney of Flower Mound and Erin Schalk of Irving

Voertman’s Award: Angelia Ford of Garland

Gamblin Artists Colors Co. Award: Ty Bishop of Denton

ArtBin Award: Jordan Grimes of Denton

Prismacolor Award: Kathleen Mekailek of Sanger

Creative Art Materials Award: Marga Rootleib of Mesquite

Winsor & Newton Award: Julia Pease of Hickory Creek

FM Brush Co. Inc. Award: Cate Robbins of Celina

Pacific Arc Award: Elizabeth Holden of Euless

Masterpiece Artist Canvas Inc. Award: Teri Muse of Argyle

Holbein Awards: Deborah Boschert of Lewisville and Jessica Pullings of Denton

Ampersand Award: Robin Butt of Denton

The exhibit runs through Feb. 21. Gallery hours are 1 to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday.


Book chronicles history of AC in automobiles

Winter might not be the most obvious time to think about the air conditioning in your car, but for an Argyle man, the topic is a perennial fascination.

Rod Barclay wrote and published Boy! That Air Feels Good! The book is one part history, one part tribute to Texas ingenuity and one part market profile.

Barclay uncovers the history of how three Texas automotive air-conditioning pioneers defied Detroit in the 1940s and 1950s and became leaders in the after-market auto air-conditioning industry.

Barclay’s book is a thorough survey of the after-market auto air conditioning industry as a whole. It’s based on extensive research and interviews with surviving members and descendants of the original company founders.

It took a Fort Worth department store owner, a Dallas Cadillac dealer and a Dallas manufacturer of cotton gin machinery to start a thriving local industry that became world-class, peaked in the 1990s and is still alive today.

It took seven years after the close of World War II for Detroit to air-condition its cars. It took just two for the three Texas companies — A.R.A., Frigikar and Mark IV — to do it themselves. By 1953, when Detroit finally introduced “Factory Air,” these companies had already shipped 10,000 units.

Dallas-Fort Worth became the world center for after-market car air conditioning, with more than 30 companies active in the manufacturing. These companies became the leading source for add-on kits that were installed by car dealers, service stations and giant retailers all over the country.

European and Asian car makers were about 10 years behind the U.S. Their business owners flocked to North Texas to equip their cars with air conditioning.

Boy! That Air Feels Good! is 160 pages, and includes 129 photos and illustrations. It is available at and

— Staff reports

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