Briefly in the arts

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Jonathan Molina-Garcia/Courtesy photo
Artist Jonathan Molina-Garcia captured his brother, Elmer, right, with his co-worker, Danny, left, as part of documentary project that began at the University of North Texas. Molina-Garcia was just awarded a Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Graduate Arts Award for his work.
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Graduate students show art in UNT showcase

Seven University of North Texas graduate students will show their work in an upcoming group show.

The students are the artists who make up the 2014 UNT College of Visual Art and Design MFA Showcase.

The exhibition will open June 12 at the UNT Art Gallery, on the first floor of the UNT Art Building, 1201 W. Mulberry St. The exhibit closes there on Aug. 23. The exhibition also runs from June 12 to Sept. 13 at UNT ArtSpace Dallas, in the University Center Building at 1901 Main St. in Dallas. Works by each artist will be displayed at the Denton and Dallas galleries.

A opening reception will take place from noon to 2 p.m. June 14 at UNT ArtSpace Dallas, in conjunction with East Dallas Gallery Day.

The MFA Showcase provides a way to see works by emerging artists before they will go on to work or be featured in creative organizations and institutions throughout the Dallas-Fort Worth region and the nation, said Tracee Robertson, director of UNT Galleries.

“We have the privilege of exhibiting their works at the start of their professional commitments to the arts, which we’ve found to be a pivotal time in their processes of forming and articulating ideas and concepts,” Robertson said in a news release.

One of those artists, Ellie Ivanova, will feature two projects that play with photography. In A Guide to Stitching, photographic images are printed on fabric and framed in hoops, with stitches and embroidery added to them. For The Skin of Memory, she used an experimental acid-based process called mordancage, which causes the emulsion of a traditional black-and-white photographic print to lift from the paper and form veils and bubbles — destroying the original image but creating a new, unpredictable image in which the shadows become the brightest part.

“Any artist can work independently, but the intellectual community that is the studio art program at UNT is a great creative environment for experimentation,” Ivanova said in the news release. “And since all art is a collaboration in a sense, it has been interesting to see how the work of my peers has influenced mine.”

The featured artists are:

* Ellie Ivanova, photography;

* Tabatha Trolli Diloreto, ceramics;

* Kai Peter Martin, painting and drawing;

* Luke Ball, printmaking;

* Longhui Zhang, painting and drawing;

* Abigail Sherrill, fibers; and

* Lynné Bowman, photography.

Gallery hours at UNT ArtSpace Dallas are 5 to 8 p.m. Thursday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Free parking is available at the Elm Street Garage or in metered spaces along Main Street.

Summer hours at the UNT Art Gallery are noon to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

Arts group seeks entries for members show

The Denton-based Visual Arts Society of Texas has announced a call for entries for the group’s members exhibition, which opens July 1.

Member artists can submit up to two works of art on June 19. From 10 a.m. to noon and 4 to 7 p.m., works can be brought to the East and West galleries inside the Texas Woman’s University art building at Pioneer Circle and Oakland Street.

Eligible media include both two- and three-dimensional art in painting, drawing, photography, printmaking, textile, graphic, sculpture, jewelry, metalworking and woodworking.

A total of at least $2,500 in cash and merchandise will be awarded, including a $500 Best of Show award. Catalogs will be published and will include photographs of all art represented in the exhibition.

The entry fee is $20 for society members. Membership dues are $35 for an individual, $45 for a family membership, $25 for educators and $15 for students.

The exhibition juror is Marilyn Ivy, an artist and educator who earned her master’s degree in painting at Texas Woman’s University and a bachelor’s in painting at Texas Christian University. She has worked in the Fort Worth area for many years, first as an art teacher at L.D. Bell High School in Hurst, later as a lecturer of drawing and art education coordinator at TCU from 2003 to 2006. Since 2007, she has held the position of studio and family programs coordinator at the Kimball Art Museum.

For more information, visit or email Laurie Weller at or Jo Williams at

UNT graduate earns prestigious art award

A very recent graduate of the University of North Texas has won a Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Graduate Arts Award, worth up to $150,000.

Jonathan A. Molina-Garcia earned a Bachelor of Arts in photography and art history in the College of Visual Arts and Design. He was one of just 20 college seniors to earn a graduate arts award this year. The award is considered the most prestigious award for students pursuing postgraduate work in the arts.

Molina-Garcia submitted work to the award committee that began as an assignment in professor Pavel Romaniko’s class to take portraits on a view camera. He took a photograph of his brother Elmer, a roofer, as he worked.

Molina-Garcia saw the potential in the idea and began a documentary project following his parents, who work as house painters in Odessa. His father is from Mexico and his mother is from El Salvador, so the project allowed him to look at the notions of identity in the United States. He used a 15-pound, large-format camera instead of a quicker digital camera.

“I wanted something that really forced me to be meditative about the work that I was doing,” Molina-Garcia said in a news release.

The graduate considers Romaniko, photography professor Dornith Doherty and art education and art history chairwoman Denise Baxter his mentors.

James Duban, director of the Office for Nationally Competitive Scholarships, said Molina-Garcia’s talents have been proven by his other awards — the Arts and Humanities Outstanding Paper Award at the 2013 University Scholar's Day and the College of Visual Arts and Design Creative Project Grant for his artistic endeavors focusing on community and identity.

“Jonathan is a brilliant photographer who possesses immense potential, both for graduate school, and beyond,” Duban said in the news release.

Molina-Garcia plans to attend California Institute of the Arts in Valencia, Calif. He hopes to eventually teach on the college level while continuing his photographic endeavors.

This marks the second year in a row that a UNT student has won the graduate award presented by the Virginia-based Jack Kent Cooke Foundation.

— Staff reports

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