“Texas is a state of mind. Texas is an obsession . . .”
— Author John Steinbeck
For about a decade, the Texas show at the New Braunfels Art League Gallery downtown has featured the scenes near and dear to every Texan’s heart — cacti, rodeo, bluebonnets, old barns, windmills, the Texas coast, armadillos, cow skulls, boots, dance halls, and of course, cowboys at sunset.
What is it about the Lone Star State that makes it such an appealing subject matter for artists?
“I think all of the painters want to express the scenes where they live and work,” said Myra Knapp, who chairs the show along with Anne McCoy and Sherry Wooley. “Bluebonnets aren’t blooming right now, but we like to enjoy them all year long.”
The show brought in 120 entries and several pieces already sold by the opening reception night on July 1. The show features all things Texas in several types of media — including oil and acrylic, water media, drawing media, photography and digital art, and 3-dimenstional media — at the Elaine Felder Gallery at the New Braunfels Art League Gallery through July 30.
Austin artist Bruce Bingham served as the judge for the show.
“I think the award winners appreciated her comments even more than the ribbons themselves,” Knapp said.
Bingham was impressed with the face definition in Jerry Henkener’s “Goliad Defender” (pastel, first place), adding that it gave a bit of mystery to the piece.
“It is a beautiful harmony of color,” Bingham wrote.
True to the theme, the show brought in the best this year in another way.
“You can really tell from the pieces that the artists were happy to get back out and paint on location,” Knapp said. “They weren’t as locked in as they were last year, and there is a larger range of subject matter.”
Visitors to the gallery will enjoy viewing the unique pieces such as Joe Eby’s “Hot Foot” (third place) a sterling silver boot atop a box of matches; and “Texas Sotol” in colored pencil by Terry McCaffrey (second place), displaying a view from above of the unique symmetry and circular patterns of the Texas native plant.
Brenda Briggs Shannon’s piece, “Wading Zone” (acrylic), provides a look at a day in the life of cow, finding refuge in the water from the Texas heat. Marlene Silcocks’ “Texas Staycation” (mosaic table) pays homage to the Texas postcard and the many places to visit in the vast state.
The Texas show continues through Saturday, July 30.
On Aug. 2, a new show, “Take It to the Streets” will open at the gallery. The show will feature scenes ranging from old country roads to busy city streets
The New Braunfels Art League Gallery is located at 239 W. San Antonio St. and is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and from noon to 5 p.m. on Sundays. Admission is free. Donations are appreciated.
For information, visit www.thenewbraunfelsartleague.com or call 830-629-8022.