Show Preview | Of Texas Rivers and Texas Art

San Angelo, TX
San Angelo Museum of Fine Arts, February 16-April 9

Randy Bacon, The Bridges at Samuels Avenue, oil, 38 x 80.

Randy Bacon, The Bridges at Samuels Avenue, oil, 38 x 80.

This story was featured in the February 2017 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art  February 2017 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story.

To Texans, rivers are more than just symbols of life; they’re tangible sources of sustainability and are vital and beautiful natural resources. So Andrew Sansom, the executive director of the Meadows Center for Water and the Environment, and Bill Reaves, of William Reaves | Sarah Foltz Fine Art in Houston, set out to collaborate on a project designed to draw attention to this powerful—and limited—river system.

Of Texas Rivers and Texas Art is a testament to the juxtaposed fragility and strength of these waterways through a newly published book and traveling art exhibition. The show, sponsored by William Reaves | Sarah Foltz Fine Art, opens at the San Angelo Museum of Fine Arts on Thursday, February 16, with a reception at 5:30 p.m. The opening also celebrates the book’s debut this month and coincides with a book-signing event at the museum on Friday, February 17, at noon.

Through 50 paintings representing 23 different Texas rivers, six major bayous or creeks, and three bays or estuaries, Sansom and Reaves not only address the historical development of riverine themes in Texas art, but also offer a dialogue surrounding the importance of water conservation and the essential role that rivers play in the state. “We’re hoping to bring rivers and river conservation back to the forefront of people’s minds through the visual aspect of art,” Reaves says. “Each of the artists help drive that idea through creating a beautiful narrative in a diverse range of styles.”

Artworks by 20 contemporary Texas regionalists celebrate the diverse beauty of the state’s landscape and the preciousness of its waters. Since the eastern part of the state receives approximately 60 inches of annual rainfall and the western part receives only 12 inches, the dramatic landscape across the state changes the rivers, too. One will find muddy, swampy rivers in the east, and spring-fed, clear waters in the central and southern portions of the state. The book, which is part of a larger series on rivers, binds together these diverse images and chronicles the river ecosystem with essays by both Sansom and Reaves.

A noteworthy work in the exhibition is by David Caton, an artist at William Reaves | Sarah Foltz Fine Art who has been painting Texas landscapes for 45 years. His river landscapes are painted with an unparalleled fidelity and authenticity, thanks to his days spent hiking state park trails and exploring riverbeds up close. Caton’s distinctive treatment of water is on full display in FAST WATERS OF THE RIO FRIO AT GARNER STATE PARK. Another one of his works, BOTKIN RANCH, is featured on the back cover of the book.

Other art seen in the show and the book include works by Laura Lewis, Randy Bacon, Margie Crisp, William Montgomery, Mary Baxter, Fidencio Duran, Robb Kendrick, and William Young, to name a few. The exhibit travels to a number of other museums in the state, including the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin, the Witte Museum in San Antonio, and the Pearl Fincher Museum in Spring. —Katie Askew

contact information
325.653.3333
www.samfa.org

This story was featured in the February 2017 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art  February 2017 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story.

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