My first time in Denton, I was enraptured by something magisterial, epic and downright artful: The garlic parm fries at LSA. But shortly after that, I took a jaunt down to the Square. Once there, I explored the ins, outs, nooks and crannies of downtown Denton, a place I would soon call home. I took in the sights, sounds and soul of this eclectic environment, while Dentonites, Dallas denizens and dozens of others passed me by, on their way to drinks at Paschall or a show at Dan’s. Amidst this sensory overload stood a lone wolf: an artist, unencumbered by the creative chaos surrounding her. Music, mayhem and the typical madcap Saturday night all threatened to engulf her, but this photographer stood resolute, aiming her camera at a dog perched on the courthouse steps, priming for the perfect shot.

Despite all of the wonderful Denton happenings I’ve witnessed since that first night, this moment remains entrenched in my memory. The patience, skill and determination displayed by that photographer came to epitomize Denton for me. That’s why I look forward to the photo facet of Thin Line Fest every year. While marquee movies and music bring lauded performers from far and wide, the free fest’s photo galleries remind us that sometimes the greatest art is right in front of us -- all we have to do is take a look and capture it.

This year’s Thin Line Fest includes three photo galleries: one at Armadillo Ale Works, one at the Hickory Street Office and one at the Golden Triangle Mall. Photographers from Denton to Ohio to the U.K. will display their candids and abstracts, while special sections highlight shots from nature. Thin Line hosts a contest each year, and this year’s theme is “Walk the Line.” What conjures up your vision of something that ‘walks the line?’ That’s the question underlying this competition, and more than 50 photographers will have a chance to answer it. Furthermore, a Young Artist Series will highlight photographers from grades K-12.

Between this youngster spotlight and the list of 2019 photographers, Denton is well-represented. Maybe, as I stroll through the fest’s three photo galleries, I’ll stumble across that photo of the dog on the courthouse steps. Even if I don’t, I’ll walk away knowing what I knew then: Denton is a special place because of the beauty you can find around any corner -- and the artists ready to capture it.

Thin Line's Photography Track will be open to the public during the duration of the festival April 10-14 at Armadillo Ale Works (221 S. Bell), Hickory Street Office (207 W. Hickory) and the Golden Triangle Mall (2201 S. I-35E). To register or purchase a VIP registration, click here.