Signed and inscribed books will be available during an Art Colony Weekend, spearheaded by the Rockport Cultural Arts District, June 17-19. The Fulton Mansion will host an opening reception for the authors and artists included in the book on Friday, June 17. Attendees may have their books signed by the artists as well as the authors at this event. A Symposium Saturday at the Texas Maritime Museum will feature renowned speakers, including William and Linda Reaves. Their topic will be “The Allure of Sand and Sea: Coastal Painting Traditions in Early Texas Art.” W. Reaves was one of the founders of the Center for the Advancement and Study of Early Texas Art (CASETA) in 2003. CASETA’s annual conference and Texas Art Fair have raised awareness of the importance of Texas artists, and helped art patrons add significant Texas artwork to their collections. The Reaves have recently begun the Texas Art Project to further knowledge of Texas artists -

Another session at the Symposium will focus on the importance of Sporting and Wildlife Artists in the history of the colony. Kitty Allen, Jack Cowan’s daughter; Jim Booth, Herb Booth’s son; and artists Sam Caldwell, Dinah Bowman and Chance Yarbrough will discuss artists’ roles in early organizations such as the Coastal Conservation Association. Their efforts were instrumental in passing legislation to protect redfish and trout and support Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s enforcement and environmental efforts. Harold Phenix’s watercolors of Texas lighthouses will be toured at the Texas Maritime Museum Saturday afternoon.

The Art Colony Weekend will also offer many other activities for residents and visitors. The Rockport Center for the Arts will have a reception for exhibits by past Art Festival poster artists and the release of their 2022 poster by Jeffrey McDaniel, as well as Austin Street’s monthly Art Loop. Several galleries will be having special events, including artists John and Jamie Speck in their Studio and Gallery. The Cultural Arts District will host an exhibit at its Rockport Railroad Depot with important works by Simon Michael. Steve Russell will also have an exhibit and sale during the weekend at the Maria Nesbit Gallery.

The Symposium has been named an “Editor’s Pick” by Texas Highways magazine and has been featured in numerous statewide and regional publications.

The detailed schedule  is available on social media through on the Cultural District’s Facebook page, and at

Art Colony Weekend Schedule

Friday, June 17

1 p.m. to 4 p.m. – Simon Michael exhibit (Rockport Railroad Depot)

3 p.m. to 5 p.m. – Reception for Steve Russell weekend exhibit & sale, Maria Nesbit Gallery (2734 Bus. SH 35)

6 p.m. – Opening reception & Book Signing with Kay Betz, Vickie Merchant, and the book’s artists, Fulton Mansion Education Center (317 Nancy Ann St., Fulton)

Saturday, June 18

10 a.m. to 4 p.m. - Simon Michael exhibit (Rockport Railroad Depot)

11 a.m. to 4 pm. - Steve Russell weekend exhibit & sale, Maria Nesbit Gallery (2734 Bus. SH 35)

(Note: The following Saturday activities are held at the Texas Maritime Museum)

10 a.m. – Keynote speakers William and Linda Reaves (Allure of the Sand & Sea: Coastal Painting Traditions in Early Texas Art)

11 a.m. – Presentation by Vickie Merchant (How a Texas Fishing Village became an Art Enclave)

Noon – Lunch break

1 p.m. – Panel discussion: Artists and Conservation (Panelists - Jim Booth, Dinah Bowman, Sam Caldwell, Steve Russell; Moderator – Kay Betz)

2 p.m. – Tour of Harold Phenix Lighthouse paintings

3 p.m. – Book sales and signing (Kay Betz and Vickie Merchant)

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