Brittany Sodic | Staff Photographer
A Creative Art Studio, located just off the Square on Oak Street, recently reopened after closing for six months due to a fire in the unit above. This will be the first year the studio has participated in Denton’s Day of the Dead coffin races, along with other local businesses and teams.
Owner Robin Huttash and fellow artist Clint Lynch organize the studio and continue the weeklong process of decorating the coffin on Wednesday, Oct. 21. Lynch built the cart over the course of a month during his free time.
Huttash uses a permanent marker to create a bold, black outline around her artwork on Wednesday afternoon.
Local artist Chase Gentry pushes UNT painting and drawing senior Mick Burson down Oak Street on Thursday, Oct. 22. The team took their cart to the streets to test out the design and make adjustments before race day.
Burson and Gentry switch roles to test the cart from both positions. A passing cyclist spurs an impromptu race up the hill between the two.
Left to right: Huttash, Lynch, and Burson determine the best starting position for their test runs, using a yardstick to measure the push-off points. The front of the “Skull Racer” was the first portion completed.
Huttash puts the finishing touches on the banner of her cart on Friday, Oct. 23. While she completed most of the artwork herself, friends and family contributed to the finished product as well. The turquoise body paint and “scarier skulls” were contributions from her son.
Despite the constant drizzle over the past few days, East Hickory Street is transformed into a raceway on Saturday, Oct. 24. In each race of the competition, two racers were pitted against each other, and the winners advanced to the next round.
Burson, the “Skull Racer” driver, crosses the finish line during the first round of races. A Creative Art Studio beat its first opponent, Beth Marie’s Old Fashioned Ice Cream, by more than 10 seconds.
As Burson brakes before the hay bales after winning his first race, the phrase “Back From the Ashes” is visible from the back. This phrase is a nod to the studio’s closure, which lasted for multiple months after a fire in the unit above damaged the building.
Burson awaits the start of the second round’s race. Jupiter House Coffee, another local business, was the opposition this time around.
Burson and the racer for Jupiter House Coffee fly down the straightaway, competing for a spot in the next round. Unfortunately, Burson fell behind midway through the race and did not advance.
The times for both “Skull Racer” runs are displayed on top of the coffin. While the studio didn’t advance past the second round, they were all smiles after the race. Huttash said she was proud they made it that far in their first year participating.