Artists have always been drawn to places with natural beauty, a laid-back atmosphere and interesting people – including other artists. Think Fredericksburg in the Texas Hill Country or Taos, N.M. And now, Glen Rose.
A visit to Barnard's Mill Art Museum confirms that Glen Rose has attracted artists for years. Native son Robert Summers has enjoyed enomous success – richly deserved, because his talent is immense, but his ego is not – with paintings in the White House and monumental public sculptures installed from California to New Mexico and Oklahoma to right here on our courthouse square.
But other artists also have been drawn here – no pun intended – to work in a place with light, space and lots of subject matter all around.
A core of local artists several years ago founded the Barnard's Mill Art League, which is now going strong and holding meetings on the second Tuesday of each month at the mill's renovated annex meeting space.
Other artists and crafts people agreed to be part of the Glen Rose Art Meander, an idea that grew out of the Glen Rose/Somervell County Community Networking Group. Artists agree to open their studios each month on the same weekend of Girls' Night Out – the third Saturday – and display and sell their artworks to the public. The Glen Rose Convention & Visitors Bureau offers a map showing the locations of artists around the county.
And, in one of the biggest developments that could help Glen Rose draw art patrons from Dallas, Fort Worth and beyond, resident Jeannie Lane in 2011 opened The White Buffalo Gallery on the ground floor of the Campbell Building downtown at the corner of Walnut and Barnard streets.
“I just thought it was a beautiful building and felt it looked like art,” Lane said.
Among the artists whose work will be showing in the gallery are Summers, local silvercraftsman and jewelry maker Terry Starnes, pastel artist Dina Gregory, Clifton artist Dan Weller, Robert Fobear of Whitney and Sherry Jo Horton, a realist painter who once had a gallery on Barnard Street and now lives in New York.
Gregory is one of the artists who does plein-air painting, meaning she sets up her easel and works outdoors. Other artists find the hills, rivers and people around Glen Rose good subject matter for portraits, landscapes and mixed-media pieces.
Lane likes the work of all the artists to be represented in the gallery, but she particularly hopes Summers' widely known work and reputation will help draw art patrons and interested visitors to Glen Rose. His original sculpture of John Wayne, which was cast into bronze and installed at the John Wayne International Airport in Orange County, Calif., is now permanently on display at The White Buffalo.
“I feel Bob Summers will be a great tourist attraction for this area,” Lane said. “He deserves to be well-known in his hometown.”?
The gallery will show and sell paintings of all genres – including wildlife and nature art that dovetail with the area's natural beauty and attractions such as Fossil Rim Wildlife Center and Dinosaur Valley State Park – and media, including watercolor, oil, pastel and bronze sculpture. It also plans to sell jewelry. Lane wants to highlight a “featured artist” regularly as well.
Artists are, indeed, being drawn to Glen Rose. One of them, Paul Scott Malone, a Texan who has worked as an artist in Illinois and more recently, in Tucson, Ariz., last year moved to Glen Rose.
His work is abstract – “atmospheric” is how he describes it -- and involves moving paint around on canvas using an air compressor. He doesn't always know what the painting will become -- and that's part of the appeal for him.
In the latest art scene development, Tonya Fonseca late last year opened A Working Artist Studio & Gallery on Elm Street. The gallery features her vibrant paintings, as well the work of other area artists.
Fonseca also has started teaching art classes for adults, teens and families, and hosts private two-hour painting parties for corporate team building, birthday parties, weddings and baby showers, Girls' Night Out or anyone wanting to have a fun experience.
For more information, visit the Web site at www.paintfriendzy.com or call 254-898-2560.