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The Art of Found Objects: Enigma Variations

On view December 14, 2018 through March 3, 2019

Opening Reception:  6:00 - 8:00 p.m., Friday, December 14, 2018
Free and open to the public

Enigma Variations is organized by guest curator and author, Robert Craig Bunch of San Antonio, and is an exhibit of artwork by artists who use found objects. They were included in Bunch’s book, The Art of Found Objects: Interviews with Texas Artists, published by Texas A&M University Press, 2016. This exhibition focuses on artists currently (or formerly) working in Texas that all create art with found materials. Artists Steve Brudniak (Austin), Marilyn Lanfear (San Antonio), Angelica Paez (Houston), Ward Sanders (Lytle) and Kelly Sears (Boulder, Colorado) will be featured as the focus of the exhibition and will each have numerous works in the exhibition. They will be joined by other well-known Texas artists that often explore creating art with found objects, including: Charles A. A. Dellschau, Forrest Bess, Felix “Fox” Harris, Jesse Lott, David McManaway, Maudee Carron, Clyde Connell, Bert Long, Mary McCleary, Dario Robleto, Vernon Fisher, Trenton Doyle Hancock and Jonathan Rosenstein. As guest curator, Bunch has selected each artist, considering the diversity and enigmatic visual history of the found object realm. A book signing of Bunch’s book will take place at the opening reception. Bunch will also write an essay for our gallery guide explaining the focus of the exhibition. Some of the featured artists will be present at the opening reception and will participate in a gallery talk with Bunch.

This exhibition is generously supported, in part, by an award from the Texas Commission on the Arts and the National Endowment for the arts, the City of Beaumont, the Wesley W. Washburn, M.D. and Lulu L. Smith, M.D. Endowment Fund and the C. Homer and Edith Fuller Chambers Charitable Foundation.

To find out more about how National Endowment for the Arts grants impact individuals and communities, visit

Café Arts 


Happy Accidents

On view January 31, 2019 through April 14, 2019

Opening Reception:  2-4 p.m., Sunday, February 10, 2019
Free and open to the public

Artist Statement

“Happy accidents” is a term used by my watercolor professor, Robert O’Neil. He knew that beginner watercolorists are afraid to make "mistakes." He made us realize that even though watercolor may be difficult to control, if accidents happen, they can enhance the work and therefore be “happy accidents.” Most of the works in this exhibition are products of a “happy accident.” I normally start by wetting the paper and applying paint; I primarily use the “wet on wet” technique. I like the fluid results it produces and the blending of colors on the paper. It is fast paced, immediate and exciting, resulting in an explosion of color.

Having initially learned oil painting, I approach watercolor from a different perspective. Many times, my first attempt does not achieve the results desired. I later wash off the top layer of paint, which yields wet paper and a patina of underlying colors. I then apply wet paints onto the surface. Sometimes this process is repeated as many as three times until I receive the desired results. The objectives of the painting may change, but it is the end result that is important. 

All of my landscape paintings are created outside, en plein air, at the Tyrrell Park Garden Center. I am grateful to Doug Oldbury and the staff at the garden for creating an inspiring environment. Painting in the park is always a winner for me. Even if the painting does not turn out well, I have had a nice day in the peaceful park setting while meeting friendly people.

During my working years I did not have the time or energy to paint. After retirement, I decided to get back into art and focus on landscape painting – nature has a story to tell regardless of the season. The color of trees constantly changes over the course of the year, transitioning with the new greens of spring or the chilling blue colds of winter. I appreciate the cloud shapes and colors that set the mood of a work. I love capturing the peaceful moments as dusk approaches with nature’s last intense burst of light and color.  

When I retired, I returned to watercolor painting. The best advice came from my college buddy and art educator friend, Jamie Paul Kessler. He told me to “enjoy myself.” Over the last four years I have enjoyed myself while continuing to learn my craft in an effort to produce good art.

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