Briefly in the arts

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Large and small oil paintings by Denton artist Dawn Swepston are in the artist’s solo show at the PointBank Black Box Theatre.

Local artist has solo show at Black Box

The Visual Arts Society of Texas continues its tradition of showing the work of its membership on the walls of local businesses. Denton artist Dawn Swepston has a solo show of her paintings in the lobby of the PointBank Black Box Theatre, 318 E. Hickory St.

Swepston paints contemporary Western art, mostly in oil on canvas. Her work has appeared in gallery and museum shows across the country. She’s had her work published in magazines and in a large-format book, Passion, Art and Community.

Swepston is a member of the Oil Painters of America and Women Artists of the West. She earned two degrees at Texas Woman’s University, and the school recently unveiled four of her paintings at the new Pioneer Center for Student Excellence.

“I create images with strong color and contrast to engage contemporary generations in thought about the challenges and conflicts of modern society and traditional Western values,” Swepston said.

Her recent work examines the physical, political, social and psychological borders between people and their environments.

The Black Box is open from 1 to 4 p.m. Wednesday, 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Friday and during performances. Swepston’s work will be up through July 18.

Local teachers lead programs to awards

Two local theater teachers, Denise Tooch and Vicki Kirkley, led their high school programs to the Dallas Summer Musicals High School Musical Theatre Awards on Wednesday night.

Tooch leads the McKinney High School theater arts department, which was nominated for numerous awards for its staging of Monty Python’s Spamalot.

The school picked up awards for Best Musical and Best Direction.

Kirkley leads the theater arts department at McKinney Boyd High School, which won the award for Best Supporting Actress.

The Guyer High School theater arts program earned multiple nominations for its production of In the Heights.

Fort Worth Music Festival coming up

Spune, a North Texas record label, production company and booking agency, is stacking the Fort Worth Music Festival with big regional and local acts. The fest is May 16-17 at Panther Island Pavilion.

Two bands with strong Denton followings — Dallas’ Air Review, and the Fox and the Bird, which includes busy Denton fiddler Petra Kelly (also of Hares on the Mountain) — are on the festival roster, which is headlined by Lucinda Williams, Jimmy Eat World, Ray Wylie Hubbard and ZZ Top’s Billy F. Gibbons.

Also performing are Ice Eater, Justin Townes Earle, Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr., Foxtrot Uniform, Team, Quaker City Night Hawks, Jackopierce, Uncle Lucius and others.

A two-day pass costs $40, while a day pass costs $25. VIP passes are also available. For tickets and more information, visit

Spune books talent for Dan’s Silverleaf and staged the Untapped Festival last year in Denton.

Alyse to teach summer ballet camps in Denton

Alice Alyse, the artistic director of Joffrey Southwest and Joffrey West, will lead her summer season of ballet training in Denton from July 28 to Aug. 15 at Margo Jones Performance Hall on the Texas Woman’s University campus.

Alyse and her faculty and choreographers lead students in an intensive program, immersing them in an eclectic variety of dance genres including classical and contemporary ballet, modern dance, jazz dance, hip-hop, Bollywood, traditional Chinese dance and contemporary dance.

Alyse conducted auditions in cities around the world and personally evaluated the candidates’ facility in the body, technical ability, artistic ability, personality and work ethic. Scholarships will be awarded to select, uniquely gifted students.

For more information, visit

N.M. institute calls for art glass entries

The Taos Institute for Glass Arts announces its call for artists for the 2014 Taos Art Glass Invitational — an international biennial juried exhibition that will run Oct. 11 through Nov. 9 in Taos, N.M. A private collector preview will be on Oct. 10. The deadline for entries is June 1.

Artists working in glass or glass combined with other media are eligible. All juried invitations for the invitational are chosen through the call for artists and jury process.

“The Taos Art Glass Invitational has successfully fueled the fire of art glass in our region, bringing major artistic talent and collectors from around the globe to New Mexico for an art glass experience unlike any other,” founder and CEO Delinda VanneBrightyn said in a news release.

The invitational includes both featured master artists who exhibit excellence in their medium internationally and are invited directly by the institute’s board, as well as artists invited through a jury process.

For the first time, the institute is offering four categories in which an artist may jury and compete. Artists will be selected to exhibit from each of these categories: wall works, sculpture, wearable works and functional works.

Entries must be received via online submission by June 1.

For complete entry rules including image format, liability and insurance, sales, return of work and rights reserved, visit, call 575-613-6484 or email or

— Staff reports

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