If asked where Texas’ most distinctive art is, some might point to Marfa.


f asked where Texas’ most distinctive art is, some might point to Marfa, the now-tony enclave for creatives in the Big Bend area that became legendary after minimalist Donald Judd created large-scale installations ladder and other works after his move. in the 1970s. Others might take you to Houston, where the Rothko Chapel continues to invoke “a moving stillness.”

But the official visual arts capital, since the June 2021 passing of a competing House resolution by the Texas legislature in June 2021, is San Angelo, the city of 100,000 in west-central Texas. Among other works, the city is home to:

  • A 200-acre cultural district around a historic downtown that serves as the headquarters of the Center for the Study and Advancement of Early Texas Art;
  • A popular fine arts museum that hosts the largest national ceramics competition, now in its 24th year; a biannual national sculpture competition, and one of the largest outdoors painting competition in the United States.
  • 100 painted sheep that were introduced to embrace the community’s history as one of the largest sheep markets in the United States
  • One of three permanent “Don’t Mess with Texas” murals in the state, part of the “Don’t Mess with Texas” anti-litter campaign launched in 1986;
  • The Art in Uncommon Places program, whose affiliate artists have placed more than 200 works of art in San Angelo, including Paintbrush Alley, showcasing works embracing the region’s western, oil and gas heritage through art based on the movie “Giant,” which was shot in West Texas; and the Pop Art Museum, an open-air venue located in a former bowling alley;
  • the new Buffalo Soldier Art Gallery, which highlights the role of the Buffalo Soldiers stationed at Fort Concho in the 1870s;
  • The Concho River Walk, named one of five great public spaces on the American Planning Association’s annual list of Great Places in America.

San Angelo Economic Development expects a booming oil and gas industry to drive job growth. Upcoming assets include the San Angelo Railroad Park, a 180-acre north side of the city of South Plains & Lamesa Railroad that will serve as a multi-freight transportation interchange. Texas Pacifico Transportation, a branch line operator based in San Angelo, is gradually investing $100 million in the rehabilitation of the South Orient rail line, as the region anticipates the impact of the opening of the destroyed Presidio-Ojinaga International Rail Bridge. by fires in 2008 and 2009.


Comments are closed.