RCA | STANDING OUT: The Merit Artists Exhibit 2018

Lauryl Eddlemon, former Art Director at Southwest Art Magazine, selected 5 artists for this year's group exhibit at Rockport Center for the Arts. A sixth artist was chosen by popular vote.

STANDING OUT opens to the public Saturday, August 4th at 5 PM.

The first “Merit Show” at Rockport Center for the Arts opened in July of 1985. The artists chosen were Evelyn Atkinson (also Art Festival Poster Artist 1998), Gertrude Bryant, Kathy Sayre, Cookie Tillman, and Fred Wright. At the time, all were chosen by popular vote. Now each year a guest juror chooses five artists whose work stands out, and the public chooses the sixth by popular vote.

Continuing a 34-year Tradition, six outstanding Rockport Center for the Arts members will display works in the Main Gallery.  Last December, during Currents, the annual All-Members exhibit, juror Lauryl Eddlemon, former Art Director at Southwest Art Magazine, selected five artists from the show to be part of a small group exhibition this August. A sixth artist was selected by popular vote to also be a part of the August show.  Several hundred votes were received and counted to identify to lucky winner.

Currents was the first exhibition to be held at the Art Center’s temporary location after Hurricane Harvey. The 2017 Merit Artists show was the last show exhibited in the Bruhl~O’Connor home, the building at 902 Navigation Circle that saw hundreds of activities, events and exhibits since 1983 when it was relocated there.

Standing Out 2018 opens to the public with a reception August 4 from 5 to 7 PM at 106 S. Austin St. Admission is open to the public and free of charge.

About the Merit Artists
Joey Blazek (Beaumont, TX) – “I consider myself a designer first and a painter second. Throughout my career I have worked to create images that are quick to communicate and are pleasing and attractive to the viewer’s eye. And that is exactly what I have continued to do now with the fine art side of my career. Everyday subjects that people might miss along their way are captured on canvas in a way that I hope conveys the beauty I see.”  Blazek is an accomplished oil painter who was honored as the 2016 Rockport Art Festival Poster Artist.
Kim Jones (Rockport, TX) - A fourth generation Texan from Austin, Kim has lived in Rockport, TX, for over 25 years. She worked as Assistant to the Director of Rockport Center for the Arts and has taught drawing workshops. She enjoys working in graphite pencil, and the challenge of creating a wide range of texture and tones with a single instrument.
Veronica Koenig (Houston, TX) – “I am a lover of corgis.  My lifelong artistic journey is currently focused on watercolor portraiture, striving for a painterly style. I’m a regular at the Figure Lab at the Watercolor Art Society in Houston as well as a board member. I love the challenge of en plein-air painting and living part-time on the coast affords many opportunities to observe and capture the beauty of nature.”
Mark Mayfield (San Antonio, TX) – “I am always amazed when venturing into the realm of nature. Whether a short distance from where I live or somewhere very far away, there is always something new.  Looking at a majestic landscape, entering the ocean realm or peering into the petals of a cactus flower, I am filled with amazement and wonder. It is my hope that these images preserving brief moments in time might cause you to wonder also at the world we live in and share with others.”  Mayfield is a photographer.
Bruce Moore (Fisher, IN and Port Aransas, TX) – For the past 12 years, Bruce Moore has painted with watercolor on yupo paper. He is inspired by the luscious medium and the mood it can create with color and form.
Brenda Staresnick (Rockport, TX) – Staresnick sees something special in the things that are usually overlooked. Her small, realistic paintings are full of vibrant colors and delicate moments. She paints en plein aire. For the Standing Out exhibition she plans on incorporating figures into her work.

About Rockport Center for the Arts

Rockport Center for the Arts, currently in its 49th year of operation, was located in the blue Victorian house at Rockport Harbor near Rockport Beach. On August 25, 2017 the facility suffered catastrophic damage due to Hurricane Harvey’s direct impact on Rockport. A building demolition was completed on May 22, 2018.  A world-class sculpture garden featuring works by Kent Ullberg, James Surls and the late Jesús Moroles have accentuated the Art Center since 2000, making it one of the most prestigious showcases for fine art in South Texas. Some of the sculptures sustained damages, yet none were lost, and conservation is underway to protect Rockport’s art legacy. Patrons can still visit the Sculpture Garden which is in the process of being beautified for the enjoyment of residents and visitors.  Inspiring exhibitions, an annual Artist-in-Residence program and traveling exhibits are part of the repertoire the community and its visitors have come to expect. The many activities of the Art Center draw fifty-thousand visitors per year. This spring, the Rockport Studio Tour allowed visitors to see some of the most unique artist studios in Rockport’s storied art colony, learn about medium, technique and acquire unique pieces of art. In the summer, the Rockport Art Festival is the place to be July 4th weekend. More than 10,000 people attend each year to enjoy music, food and artwork from 120 of the best artists from around the country. Early in November, the Rockport Film Festival entertains audiences with the best independent cinema. Workshops, classes and mentoring from established local artists are part of a well-crafted art education program. For decades children have enjoyed free, high caliber art instruction year-round through ArtSpace and Free Family Saturdays. Since hurricane Harvey none of the programs or events at the Art Center were canceled.  Three months after Hurricane Harvey, 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 exhibits is in place. Open Monday through Saturday from 10-4pm.  Admission is free and open to the public. For more information please visit www.RockportArtCenter.com or call 361-729-5519.

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