Rockport Center For The Arts Returns To Estelle Stair Gallery For Summer Poster Artist Show



Rockport Center for the Arts is happy to announce that it has secured Estelle Stair Gallery, located at 406 S. Austin St. in downtown Rockport, for the months of June and July 2018 to host its annual Art festival Poster Artist exhibit. The agreement was entered into on May 8 with Lisa Baer Frederick, proprietor of Estelle Stair Gallery who is a Poster Artist herself (2009). Baer Frederick is also the niece of the famed gallerist that bears the historical building’s name. She states “I am so excited!”

Until August of last year, Baer Frederick operated the 3,800 square foot space as one of Rockport’s premier spaces for art with husband John Paul Frederick. The gallery has been in operation since March 1978. Until recently, the pair have worked diligently on the space to restore it after the storm. “We are so happy to be able to give Debbie Stevens the show we promised her last year, in a large open space where her beautiful paintings will show well,” states Elena Rodriguez, Curator of Exhibitions. Stevens currently resides in Cypress, near Houston, and is originally from Corpus Christi. She has been accepted into the renowned Birds in Art exhibit a total of 5 times, including the 2016 edition which traveled to the Art Museum of South Texas after hurricane Harvey destroyed Rockport Center for the Arts’ facility on Navigation Circle.

Known as the Bruhl~O’Connor home (1890), the Art Center operated its many visual arts and art education programs there since 1983.

“It’s a win-win situation,” states Luis Purón, Executive Director. He adds, “Renting Estelle Stair Gallery will allow us to do everything we had planned for this summer. We will be able to give our members and patrons what they want, and what they were used to getting before Harvey – three concurrent exhibits.”

The Art Center plans to host the Debbie Stevens solo show in the main space at Estelle Stair Gallery. The back area of that space will be host to the member’s show. This is something that has not happened since last August, due primarily to lack of space at the Art Center’s current location. “At our present location, on 106 S. Austin St., we will host the Past Poster Artist Exhibit. This exhibit was usually displayed in the Garden Gallery,” sates Rodriguez. The Poster Artist tradition started with Harold Phenix 26 years ago, in 1993.

Debbie Stevens’ 2018 Art Festival Poster Artist solo show will open to the public on Friday, June 15, 2018. A gallery talk and a reception with the artist will take place the following day, Saturday, June 16 at Estelle Stair Gallery. The gallery talk is scheduled for 430 PM. Simultaneously, a reception for the Past Poster Artist Exhibit will take place at the Art Center’s current location. Both shows will be open to the public through Saturday, July 28. The 49th Annual Rockport Art Festival, which will be branded with an image of Debbie Stevens’ artwork, is scheduled for July 7-8, 2018 on the festival grounds.

“As we continue to anchor the Art Center to the downtown area, adding another space for exhibits and events allows us to meet a very important goal. Economic development for the Austin Street business corridor is essential to Rockport’s economy. We are a key stakeholder in this effort. Creating additional foot traffic downtown, will have a revitalizing effect on all our businesses,” states Purón.

Rockport Center for the Arts, currently entering its 49th year of operation, was located in the blue Victorian house between Aransas Bay and Rockport Harbor. On August 25, 2017 the facility suffered catastrophic and irreparable damage due to hurricane Harvey’s direct impact on Rockport. Ninety-nine days after the storm, the staff and Board of Directors re-established operations in a building located in downtown Rockport at 106 S. Austin St. All programs are fully operational and a full calendar of events, exhibits, workshops and children’s programs for 2018 is fully in place. The Art Center is open to the public Monday through Saturday from 10 AM to 4 PM; admission is always free. For more information, call (361) 729-5519 or visit and

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