OC Art Blogger on the move – Good Art in Texas?

San Antonio, TX.  At the 2012 SSCA annual conference, this year held in The Alamo City, San Antonio, three Orange County writers were shocked and amazed by this fascinating and artistic city!

Who would have thought that The Alamo City had good art! Ok, maybe Los Angeles and Orange County have warped my mind into forgetting about the other states outside of New York and California for art in America, but I stand corrected! Texas definitely has art. With a slew of public sculptures that brighten the city’s earth-toned downtown, and a poorly advertised well-stocked art museum, it makes total sense that somehow, someone would make this place a kind of art hub for Texas, outside of Austin’s city limits. Artpace is a non-profit organization that has contemporary art exhibits and houses artists-in-residence to create, show, and educate the population of San Antonio. Linda Pace (Linda Pace Foundation), the founder and major artistic influence for this city lives by the belief that art is a vital social force. She was also an artist, and as such, she exposed “…the symbolic potency of everyday images and objects in her drawings and assemblages.” As a collector she gathered more than 500 contemporary artworks into a personal and expressive collection, which reflects many of the critical strands of recent art. And as a philanthropist, she boldly fostered the work of today’s most adventurous artists through the founding of Artpace San Antonio, an international contemporary art program sited in her Texas hometown.

After 14 years in existence, Artpace has given fellowships to more than 150 artists and served as a catalyst in the careers of five MacArthur Fellows and four Turner Prize nominees. Located in a old gigantic car dealership in downtown, Artpace regularly involves more than 200 schools throughout South Texas into its exhibition program and innovative education programs. Pace once described Artpace as a “laboratory of dreams – my own as well as the artists.”

Secondary to my stumbling upon such an extraordinary art center, the humble San Antonio Museum of Art (SAMA) shows the dedication and the love for art that Linda Pace clearly embodied during her lifetime. The SAMA has an extensive collection of Greek, Roman, and Egyptian artifacts, including sarcophagi, beautifully kept ceramics, and ancient busts. But this museum also has a huge modern and contemporary area that rotates regularly. This city has shocked me into love! The constant cicadas creating music for my dreams, the always-present humid warmth that reminds me of a different time, the smell of dew and fresh green around every corner, and the friendly patriotism of the locals… love it. Yes, it was very difficult for a Gluten-Free Vegan and her like-minded OC art writers to find edible treats, but we found them! The Cove, Vegeteria, and Green Cuisine filled us up better than Native Foods in OC! Andrea Steedman (former OC Art Blogger), Bryan Moe (former CSUF MA graduate), and myself all found a little love for the Alamo City last week while we conferred about Voodoo in Art and Culture… Every conference brings a new adventure, to try and find good ART, and I can’t wait to find out where my next one will be. I’l be blogging about it here, on the OC Art Blog. Stay Tuned!


5 Responses to “OC Art Blogger on the move – Good Art in Texas?”
  1. oxpox says:

    I am so glad to read that others appreciate the artistic beauty SA has to offer. It is too often that we residents keep our cities great finds to ourselves, but part of the enjoyment of having someone visit is getting to show them our secrets.

  2. krayhons says:

    If you haven’t yet, take a look at the Blue Star, Unit B, Sala Diaz and Southwest School of Art, just to name a few.

  3. Yes — there’s great art in Texas! We found the San Antonio Museum of Art (by accident) while strolling on the River Walk last fall. They have an amazing collection of paintings and sculptures, including some by local artists. What a nice surprise!

  4. j. Howard says:

    Texas “Sisters” Find Collaborative Expression in First Show

    “I am very hopeful that my art represents the emotional expression captured by the camera.”- J. Howard
    “This is the best ride I have ever been on and I don’t want to get off!” – J. Wilkinson

    (Calvert, TX – February 26, 2015) Thanks to Robert Irvin and the Food Network, the Gallery of Calvert’s very own Cocoamoda will open with a unique exhibition featuring Texas artist/photographer team Wilkinson Howard on March 28th and on view until their work is on display at the Chrysalis Art Foundation’s Art Express 2015 in Buda, Texas beginning April 16th. Boots, Chaps and Chocolates will feature nearly 40 works by the duo, including the highly regarded Eternal Rodeo piece commissioned by a Texas business owner to depict the respect shown to a fallen cowboy. In addition to this, there will be paintings and prints for visitors to view and purchase depicting the Texas life through the use of pastels and inks hand applied to artist canvas reproduced from original photography through this creative collaboration. Each piece is planned within a specific series with a coherent theme. Wilkinson takes and develops the photographs, and the perfect images are chosen to be reproduced by Howard. A select number of chosen images are then replicated on acid free paper in limited signed editions while others are reworked by the artist’s hand before signing and numbering. Framed pieces are done so in a custom fashion using rustic barn wood and western antiquities making it a unique artistic creation from canvas to frame. With specific attention to detail, each framed piece is transformed into a 3 dimensional mixed media work of art.

    Jacqueline Wilkinson and Julie Howard came together to collaborate on how to creatively and effectively portray life in Texas…then and now. Through their combined talents of photography, design, imagery, and fine art they work as a “sister team” to develop visual pieces that invoke personal emotion. Wilkinson Howard will be appearing at the HLSR Wine Auction during the 2015 season as well as other galleries and juried art festivals around the state, from now until November. They have received a request to submit to a show at the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C. in the fall of 2015 and have three book projects currently on the production table.

    Both born in the beloved state of Texas, they have unique backgrounds. J. Wilkinson began with a childhood fascination for photography and the miracles that could be made using a camera lens. After a lifetime as an avid amateur,
    J. Wilkinson returns to school in her mid thirties and earned a degree in photography. While retaining the integrity of her subjects, she has a refreshing eye for the avant-garde perspective that carries through in a unique way when documenting the Western lifestyles. Her photographs are on an entirely different level of artistic interpretation, worthy of exhibition in any museum. Her love for the art is obvious in her work and is reflected in her love for her Chef husband who is the magic behind the Cocoamoda Boutique and Bistro.
    J. Howard began an artistic career at a very early age and was an understudy for acclaimed Texas artist, Gay Woods. Her work has been shown in various venues throughout her lifetime. Howard having her first exhibit at age 12, earned awards and accolades to include a Division win at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo in 1974. While attending college, she began working as a studio animator and had a successful career in the world of animation where she earned an Annie Award in 1984. Her education, however, took her is a different direction where she has used art as a vital form of therapy in her private practice as a Doctor of Orthomolecular Medicine in Psychology.

    Calvert is a beautiful drive on Hwy 6 to one of the most historical towns in Texas and not far from most major cities. Just 25 minutes north of Bryan College Station, visitors to Cocoamoda Gallery can take time to wander through the town’s antique shops and unique boutiques. While there, reservations can be made to enjoy a meal that will be an experience visitors will return to Calvert to have again. And let us not forget about the chocolate truffles, candied fruit, gourmet coffee and specialty hot chocolate at the boutique just across the street from the gallery. All of which will be available to every patron of Boots, Chaps and Chocolates. To learn more, visit cocoamoda.com.

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