Denton is celebrated as a thriving arts scene with its many eclectic shows and festivals. 35 Denton, a music fest that has been established for seven years and counting in the downtown area, is one of those magical events that unites artist with opportunity, and music with people. The man behind 35's marketing and social media efforts: Andy Odom.
As a Dentonite, Odom has contributed to the arts and music scene in a myriad of ways, from 35 Denton promotion and community service, to singing Oakridge Boys at GDAC's annual All Star Karaoke event at Dan's Silverleaf! He's making a difference in our town, and we are surely glad that he supports the arts!
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I've lived in Denton for around 15 years. During that time I've been a student, musician, volunteer, concerned citizen, and I hope, a good neighbor. I came to Denton from Nacogdoches to finish school at the urging of friends because I needed a town with a little more culture. I found it. I got sucked into that Denton magic and I've been here ever since.
How does art inspire you?
Art inspires me because art is something that helps the world make sense.
What is one of your most notable artistic experiences in Denton?
Most of my experience with art in Denton comes though the world-renowned music scene. One of the things the music scene and the visual art scene share in Denton is a strong DIY ethic, and as such, house shows have always been a backbone of the music community here. One of my earliest experiences at a house show in Denton was seeing Robert Gomez, Sarah Jaffe, and Baptist Generals in a living room. Norah Jones Happened to be in town visiting the Gomez's and attended, just sitting around the living room floor with the rest of us. After the show, we all went to Dan's Silverleaf for one last drink before closing time, and there was this band from out state playing the back patio. We later found out that they were HUGE Baptist Generals fans and knew about this place called Dan's in Denton. They routed their tour through Denton - without a booked gig - hoping to somehow run in to Chris Flemmons from Baptist Generals at Dan's, and lo and behold it happened. They were ecstatic. That night really showed me how magical of a place this is, and how far its influence reaches.
What do you believe is the role of the arts in Denton?
I believe the arts community in Denton is the spice that adds flavor to the city. There are a lot of cute, small towns in Texas with downtown squares and nice restaurants or little shops, but none can approach that special vibe we have. It's very important and essential to protect and foster, which is why GDAC is so important to our community.
What is one of your favorite works of art and why?
This is almost impossible for me to answer, especially if I limit myself to thinking of a single painting or album or something like that. Instead, I'll choose a book shelf my father made. He was a master wood worker, although he would never consider himself more than a hobbyist. I asked him once to make me a "nice" bookshelf, and with no other info from me he designed a beautiful piece of furniture that will last me the rest of my life.
How does art create community?
I first read this question on the day Prince died, and obviously it makes me think of when Bowie died, or Lemmy, or any celebrity or artist. These are just top of mind as they're so recent. I spend much of my time on social media due to my job and I saw all of these deaths create a huge communal and cathartic experience online. Everyone was reacting together, sharing memories and feelings, and really mourning together online. And all because they loved the art as much as the artist(s). I think art creates community because it creates either a shared experience, or helps reflect a shared sentiment, and this can happen at a local gallery or music venue or on Twitter.