ROCKPORT CENTER FOR THE ARTS: A Message about Hurricane Harvey from Luis Purón, Executive Director

Follow Up Message from RCA (Aug 29, 2017)

My thoughts are with the millions of Texans that continue to be affected by Harvey as it lingers in the Gulf of Mexico. Loss has been substantial.

I am personally empowered by the hundreds of people that have communicated with me directly from across the United States who believe in our mission and want to support our efforts. To all of you thank you for your concern and your well wishes.

As search and rescue efforts and the restoration of services continue in our area I would like to provide you with an update about our facility. By now most of you have seen images circulating on social media that tell the story of the external damage suffered by the Art Center as a result of Harvey’s direct impact on our great City.

Yesterday, Taylor Hendrix entered the facility and was able to provide us with a visual account. The pictures are sobering and demonstrate that internal damage caused by the loss of a large portion of the roof is substantial. An overhead inspection of the roof structure has not yet been performed.

This is what we know for certain:
Externally, most of the sculptures appear intact, except the Danville Chadbourne triptych (2016) which was toppled over by the wind.
A large portion of the roof has been lost and is scattered across the Sculpture Garden.
This has left the interior of the building exposed to the elements.
There is internal damage to the majority of the interior spaces- galleries, offices and classrooms and many of the contents.
The building located at 106 S. Austin St. has suffered some damage- a toppled air conditioning unit, broken windows and lost shed roof.

Remotely, we are working hard to return to a sense of normalcy, and leveraging our assets and contacts to restore operations as soon as possible. A top priority is to continue the visual arts and arts education programs that are huge community staples so they are in place for you when you return; as well as to continue forward with the last event of the calendar year- the Rockport Film Festival.

Art has the power to heal. One of my immediate goals is to provide a constructive and creative outlet for our community during this challenging time. United, anything is possible. United we can.


Luis Purón
Executive Director

My thoughts are with all the people who live and work along the Texas coast that have been personally impacted by Hurricane Harvey. Because you are a member of our community I wanted to inform you about the condition of Rockport Center for the Arts in the aftermath of the storm event.

The Art Center staff is safe. We are presently scattered across Texas and neighboring states. As local authorities recommended mid-dayon Thursday we evacuated Rockport after the facility was boarded the same day. The time to prepare for this evacuation was minimal, as information regarding the strength of the storm changed.

From images I have been provided and third party accounts, it appears the building has sustained serious external damage. One image demonstrates that the front porch is completely gone and a roof structure in the front of the building is exposed and thus compromised. It is entirely possible that additional damage to the roof exists, yet only an onsite inspection will reveal that. We are working on obtaining that information. The building is still standing as it has since 1983 a few feet from Aransas Bay. It remains unclear if all the sculptures in the Sculpture Garden collection survived the 130 miles-per-hour winds of Harvey's category 4 direct impact to Rockport. We won’t know about internal damage until we are able to re-enter and inspect the building. The timeline for that is uncertain.

Remotely, I maintain constant contact with the staff, the board of directors, and our member artists who are the very life-blood of our beloved institution. Through the creative energy borne in each and every one of you, the Art Center will continue to make a difference in people’s lives and have a positive impact in our community. With hard work and perseverance our team will restore operations as soon as humanly possible.

Rockport has a strong and generous heart, great will, and unbridled determination. United, we can restore our community in a responsible way.

As information becomes available I will continue to update you.


Luis Purón
Executive Director

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