Ghost Town Arts Collective is anything but a ghost town. Located in Sherman, GTAC is a nonprofit, arts education organization comprised of a group of creative individuals, artists, photographers, filmmakers, writers, artisans and anyone interested in the cultural arts.
Their mission is to provide an open and creative space for artists to collaborate, experiment, share, connect, and for the community at large to experience the creative process through participation. They have established a makerspace for hosting artistic workshops and classes that are taught by artists within the community to share their expertise.
Workshop instructors are paid for their time and it is their goal to help supplement the artist’s income this way.
In addition to the workshops, they also host gallery exhibitions showcasing visual and performance art created by members of the community.
GTAC Executive Director Liz Elsberg, and co-director Jared Tredway to talk about their upcoming show, future projects, and goals of GTAC.
“Call and Response is an exhibition of regional artists that pairs written words (in the form of song lyrics, poetry, or other literary work) with art,” Elsberg said. “We expect that some artists will create work inspired by the written words, and conversely some will select words to complement their work when it is completed.”
The group welcomes artwork created in any media including painting, drawing, ceramics, photography, fiber art, mixed media sculpture, video art and film.
“Basically anything!” Elsberg said. “This exhibition will serve as a fundraising effort to support all the various programs we have implemented as well as future projects. The artist reception is a public event scheduled for Saturday, August 17th at 6 p.m. and the address is 101 East Jones Street, Sherman, Texas.”
Tredway said there are a lot of projects they are excited about.
“This is a hard question because we are excited about all our programs,” he said. “Three programs, which we would like to highlight, are Saturdays at the Station, the poetry and short fiction writer’s workshops, and the publication Apparitions: the arts and literary journal. Saturdays at the Station are free, weekly creative exercises that focus on a new topic each week. So far, we have hosted these events for watercolor painting, collage, and a photography walk. All are welcome to come and make some art!”
Writers and aspiring writers looking for constructive feedback on their material in a safe, fun environment currently have two opportunities: “Dancing Catfish: Poetry Writers Workshop” and “Rock Salt Writers Workshop: Fiction and More.”
“The publication Apparitions is a focused arts and literary journal that will feature the work of local artists,” Tredway said. “The journal is still in the development stages, but we plan to feature short fiction and nonfiction stories, bilingual poetry, artist interviews, and more.”
Some of the benefits of being a member of GTAC is the ability to become a part of a very creative multi-talented group of individuals who collaborate, discuss, and experiment with various fun ideas.
“We can accomplish more for the arts in our community if we work together, and the conversations we have elevate all our work as well.” Tredway said.
Other member benefits include a supportive environment to build a project or idea, access to the facilities and supply closet full of various art materials, showcase one’s art in our regularly-hosted exhibitions, the opportunity to lead an artistic workshop and get paid doing so, and finally, one-on-one coaching for developing oneself as a professional artist with help taking slide images, writing an artist statement, documenting an exhibition record, and how to approach galleries and regional museums to showcase a body of artwork.
“We are not short of ideas,” Elsberg said. “Current goals at our physical location include the expansion of the existing gallery, workshop and makers spaces to potentially include ceramics, video installations, and customizable/adaptable display and critique space. Workshops in development include traditional black and white darkroom photography, intro to filmmaking, bookmaking, acrylic painting, and fiber arts just to name a few. As a companion to “Apparitions” we plan to publish a series of documentary films called “Ghost Docs” that will feature interviews with local artists and artisans.”
To find out more about events or joining the Ghost Town Arts Collective you can go to their website http://www.ghosttownarts.org/membership-levels/ or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org. All of their events are open to the public and published on their Facebook page as well as Eventbrite. Their website has information about membership levels, workshop details, and a donation page for patrons of the arts.