The Frisco Discovery Center is about to receive some outrageously exciting art thanks to the latest show from the Visual Arts Guild of Frisco (VAGF), “Artrageous.” 37 pieces from 28 different artists will fill the Frisco Art Gallery at the center until July 9, according to VAGF President Suad Bejtovic.
The juried show is an annual tradition for the VAGF dating back more than a decade, Bejtovic explained. The show takes the form of an open call for art, no membership to the VAGF or artistic theme required, that’s initially judged by an online panel of jurors. The jurors then pick the top pieces from the pool of submissions, 179 in total this year, for entry into the show and final judging for cash prizes at a celebratory reception open to the public on June 18.
“It’s a great party and we just want everybody to show up,” Bejtovic said of the reception between 6:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m., which includes wine, snacks, a raffle and live music from partner nonprofit Melody of Hope.
The main event of the reception is the art though. Attendees can view all the art in “Artrageous,” talk to the artists on hand and even purchase a piece that they will be able to pick up after the show comes down on July 9.
About halfway through the reception then, “Artrageous” makes way for two special jurors to come up to announce the prize-winning pieces from the 37 entries in the show.
This year’s jurors are Oscar-winning director and co-designer of Dallas’ “The Traveling Man” installation Brandon Oldenburg and Frisco Chamber of Commerce President Tony Felker.
Bejtovic noted that he only gives each juror “some basic instructions,” allowing them to judge the art on their own criteria.
“What we like to do with the ‘Artrageous’ show is divide the show into several categories so that we can give out as many awards as (we) can,” Bejtovic said, noting that the VAGF typically creates categories for awards like painting, photography and sculpture among others depending on the makeup of that year’s show. “We want to have a winner in each category and maybe an honorable mention, but if the juror sees a couple of really good pieces that they want to reward maybe they’ll pick first, second, third and some honorable mentions or something like that.”
Typically, “Artrageous” holds nearly 60 pieces that make it to this final judging and display in the show, but the VAGF had to cut that number down this year due to ongoing construction at the Frisco Discovery Center. That doesn’t mean each juror has an easy decision to make, however.
VAGF Director of Finance Jennifer Luney said that Felker, as the show’s “Art That Speaks to Me” juror, picks just one piece that spoke to him the most to win a cash prize. She described Felker’s task as the “most difficult part of the night” given the tough decision he’ll have to make between all the creative art.
Overall, the competition between the artists doesn’t stop a communal environment from emerging during the reception, however. Luney and Bejtovic both expressed excitement for seeing the artists mingle at the reception, regardless of the judging outcomes.
“A lot of times, we will have artists who are not in the show who may have even been rejected…but they’ll still come to see what’s in the show and to talk to the other artists who may be in the show,” Bejtovic said, adding that the VAGF’s open call for “Artrageous” allows for some artists who may not typically be a part of a VAGF show to be in attendance and talk with the guild’s artists and others in attendance.
That communal environment typically extends to the greater Frisco public as a whole too, Luney and Bejtovic noted.
“I love when the community comes in and says, ‘wow, we have this in Frisco,’” Luney said of the art at the show and its presence at the diverse Frisco Discovery Center that includes other attractions like the Black Box Theater and National Videogame Museum. “It’s really exciting to see the community’s eyes open up.”
The Visual Art Guild of Frisco’s reception for the opening of “Artrageous” takes place from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on June 18 at the Frisco Discovery Center. The show will then run until July 9 at the Frisco Art Gallery in the center. For more information about the VAGF, visit https://www.vagf.org/. To learn more about the Frisco Discovery Center, head to the city of Frisco’s website.