“Enough Room” is the brainchild of Texas artist John Osburn. The exhibition, which opens today at the Greater Denton Arts Council Center for the Visual Arts, contributes to the explosion of community art shows that bring together diverse artists and contextualize their individual focuses under one umbrella.
The exhibition was designed to integrate music, dance, visual art and film. Osburn recruited North Texas artists Lily Sloan (Big Rig Dance Collective) and Timothy Harding to complete the idea. The concept is based on the Coney Island “Ten-in-One Sideshow” which featured 10 acts for the price of one admission. Although the Coney Island approach included sword swallowers and the occasional human pincushion, this collaboration looks at the everyday “freaks” that we are by exploring the idea of space and time, and the effect society has had on the space around and between us.
Each artist has constructed rooms that are either single or multifunctioning. In one closet-size room on casters – so that it can move around the exhibition space – the walls, floor and doorway have been covered in layers of plastic bags. The room will be inhabited by a trio of dancers, but what they are doing in there is something that will be revealed when the show opens. There is a New Year’s themed dance party complete with tunes spun by DJ Jesse Grisak, champagne and a living room made out of paper.
Local artist Peter George and Austin’s Clarke Curtis will be creating original work in makeshift art studios, dancers will be invading the space (both personal space and the constructed space), and one room will feature dance for camera films, including my film, Strange People At Your Parties. Along with the constructed rooms, there will be a main performance area with live entertainment, including a new work by African dance choreographer Stafford Berry and artwork for sale through a silent auction. All proceeds goes toward supporting the artists, the Greater Denton Arts Council and the collaborators.
“This night of art will expose the people of North Texas to types of art familiar as well as unfamiliar to them,” Osburn says. One such way is through recent Texas Woman’s University M.F.A. in Dance graduate Lily Sloan’s dance installation work, in which I am taking part.
“One of the performances is a series of events, or tasks, that loop for an hour (think Groundhog Day, but with post-modern influences). The movement ranges from physical dancing to pedestrian … I’m eager to see how the audience responds,” Sloan says.
I am just as eager to discover how the audience will respond, not just to our wacky outfits – I’ll be the one in shiny red bloomers and pink frilly dress – but to the concept of the show as a whole.
“Enough Room” has brought together many local artists who might not have had the opportunity to showcase their work, which runs from the experimental to the participatory, and gives them a gallery to work out of. What started off as an experiment for Osburn has turned into a fully realized project for all the artists involved and for the city of Denton.
Come and find out if there is “enough room” at the Greater Denton Arts Council Center for the Visual Arts for all the art, dancers and video and enjoy the free pizza and beer donated by Denton’s HotBox Pizza and Fort Worth’s Rahr Brewery. And to top it off, admission is free! You only have two days to do: today and Friday.
Funding for this exhibit was made possible by a grant from The Clare Hart DeGolyer Memorial Fund via the Dallas Museum of Art’s Awards to Artists program. The collaborators would also like to thank Greater Denton Arts Council for housing this exhibit.