Local art historian Scott Barker and his cohorts at Collectors of Fort Worth Art came up with a novel idea awhile back — they wanted to create an exhibit of early Texas art and ask a wide assortment of local art collectors to loan one painting each.
Some of Fort Worth’s best art can’t be found in museums or galleries — they’re held in private homes. Collectors of Fort Worth Art is a group of local art enthusiasts who purchase and preserve paintings created prior to 1970.
Looking for the Lone Star: Early Texas Art From Private Fort Worth Collections will be shown this month at the Fort Worth Community Arts Center. The exhibit will showcase 46 examples of early Texas art with the bulk of it done by Fort Worth artists.
The intriguing part: the collectors got to choose one painting each to loan, ensuring a highly varied and personal exhibit.
(Note: I have a small and unimportant collection of Fort Worth art but Barker asked me to loan one of my paintings. I chose “Water Tower — Evening,” an oil on canvas by Hal Normand. I chose the painting because it’s one of my favorites and it’s one of the few paintings I own by a living artist. Most of the paintings in this exhibit were done by artists who have long since died, but Normand is still peacefully retired, playing with his grandchildren, and fishing regularly out on Lake Worth. Normand painted “Water Tank — Evening” in 1959 while attending Paschal High School. He no longer paints but was pleased to learn that one of his works was included in the exhibit.)
Other artists represented in the exhibit include Bill Bomar, Cynthia Brants, David Brownlow, Marian Camp, Vicky Cardwell, Beth Lea Clardy, Lia Cuilty, Edwin Curry, Pattie Richardson East , Kelly Fearing, Frank P. Fisher Jr., Eleanor Virginia Fritz, Scott Gentling, Sallie M. Gillespie, Lloyd L. Goff, George Grammer, Emile Guidroz, Veronica Helfensteller, Josephine Mahaffey, Blanch McVeigh, Frank Reaugh, Dickson Reeder, Alice Reynolds, Frederick W. Sloan, Emily Guthrie Smith, Coreen Mary Spellman, Lura Ann Taylor, Bror Utter, Victor Valdes, and Vivian S. Yarbrough.
Looking for the Lone Star: Early Texas Art From Private Fort Worth Collections will be on display from July 8 to July 29 at Fort Worth Community Arts Center, 1300 Gendy St., Fort Worth. An opening reception will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday.