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Exhibiting Style Via Art

Visual Arts Guild Of Frisco Elevates Local, Regional Arts Community

Local visual artists have the fortune to promote their work and cultivate public appreciation through Visual Arts Guild of Frisco, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit since 2009.

Art-related momentum occurred in 2017 when the Frisco Square developers hosted ‘Arts in the Square,’ says Suad Bejtovic, VAGF board president. Annual grants distributed by the Frisco Arts Foundation use funds directed from the city’s hotel occupancy tax. VAGF is again one of the many arts and cultural-related grant recipients this year.

Keeping a nonprofit afloat during COVID-19 was quite a task, but Suad and Jennifer Luney, board finance director, say they fastidiously worked to build local partnerships and increase its membership base. Their hard work paid off, tripling membership over two years, with more than 300 members presently.

Sweetwaters Coffee Shop is among the first of three VAGF partnerships with local Frisco businesses, where selected art is displayed along their 80-foot white wall in a gallery system display. “It was the perfect marriage of opportunity and mission,” says Jennifer.

Frisco Dental Studio, the group's second partner, beautifully displays art throughout the practice of Mahfuzur Rahman, D.D.S. The third partnership, Frisco Square's Texas Title Company, joined forces after investing in the gallery display system to showcase local art on its glass walls that had been bare for three years.

The three transitioning-themed gallery shows occur every five to seven weeks when art changes at each location. Upcoming themes are "Western," "Weather," and "Animals and Wildlife."

Growth is the success metric for VGAF with its three juried shows at the Frisco Discovery Center. VGAF rents the space for the art exhibitions for four weeks each. This year, 38 pieces are on display, including some sculptures. The final show, in November, Crème de la Crème, is expected to be a larger show with more space. At last year’s event, VGAF gave away $2,000-plus in cash prizes to winning artists.

“My goal is to gain enough sponsors and donors to make the first show of the year a higher purse than it is now,” Jennifer adds. “I’d like the first-place prize to be $1,000 for the best in show.”

The application process was codified over time and allows members to submit their digital images. “It grew organically,” Suad says. “We had to scale down to two pieces per artist; around 70 submissions are judged for each show.”

“We are proud of our diversity in membership,” he says. “Our organization reflects the Frisco community from all backgrounds, ages and skill levels; art is a universal language, and anybody can speak it.”

VGAF membership, at $45 per year and a $25 student rate, includes benefits, such as discounted submission fees, presentations, networking and exposure. VGAF monthly meetings are held at 7 p.m. at The Gallery, 8680 Main St.