SAN ANGELO – San Angelo was designated for 10 years as the visual arts capital of Texas by Governor Greg Abbott.
The San Angelo Convention and Visitors Bureau has learned that Governor Abbott signed the designation on June 14, 2021 in Austin.
Diann Bayes, vice-chair of the Bureau of Conventions and Tourism, said they contacted Drew Darby’s office and Senator Perry’s office in May 2019 to learn about the nomination process.
“We were told we had to send information to their offices during the next legislative session, which was in 2021,” Bayes said. “In December 2020, we prepared a presentation to our lawmakers, along with letters of support from Mayor Gunter, downtown San Angelo, Inc., and the Museum of Fine Arts and submitted it.”
Gunter said she strongly believes in the importance of the artistic community.
“We have an arts community that has made our city much more attractive by using their talents to attract and inspire people through their commitment to the arts,” said Gunter. “Thanks to all the artists in town who believe in and share their talents with the public.”
Darby said he was proud to have passed House Resolution 24, giving San Angelo that designation.
“From its murals, museums and galleries to historic Fort Concho and the iconic Cactus Hotel, San Angelo has many attractions and accolades that truly make it a vibrant city for the arts in Texas,” said Darby said.
Representative Darby introduced HCR24 and Bayes testified in Austin on behalf of San Angelo.
Bayes read a testimony before the Committee on Culture, Recreation and Tourism.
“Our town is known for the visual arts on display throughout San Angelo, including 100 Painted Sheep which were presented to embrace our community’s history as one of the largest sheep markets in the United States across our city, ”Bayes said in his testimony.
“We have nearly three dozen museums and galleries, featuring works by local artists and traveling exhibitions. With over 250 sculptures and statues in our city’s parks, businesses and educational institutions, the visual arts play an important role in improving the quality of life of our citizens through the beautification of our city. . “
Bayes also credited Art in Uncommon Places, Julie Raymond, and Joy Thomas as a large part of the art community.
“Their nonprofit has placed over 200 works of art in San Angelo,” Bayes said.
The organization’s work includes Paintbrush Alley, the Pop Art Museum and more.
Finally, future projects that will continue to enhance the visual arts in San Angelo include a Buffalo Soldier Art Gallery, slated to open later this year, helping to highlight the role of the Buffalo Soldiers stationed at Fort Concho in the 1870s and 1880s, ”says Bayes.
Senator Perry proposed the designation and it was unanimously approved by the Texas Senate and House of Representatives.
The Convention and Tourism Office plans to organize an event soon to celebrate this designation and the artists who made it possible, according to Bayes.
“We are excited to be able to promote our community for the next 10 years as the visual arts capital of Texas,” said Bayes.