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TJC Art Community Reaches Out to Disciple Place Village Seniors

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TJC Professor, Students Bring Art Class to Disciple Place Village Seniors

It is the third Thursday of the month and residents of Disciple Place Village in Tyler are ready for art class. For more than eight years, TJC Art Department Chair Derrick White has been bringing art students to the senior-living apartment complex with the purpose of teaching more than just art.

“I love to share my passion for art with those who are interested,” said White. “I also hope to spark a desire for community service in my students,” he added. According to White, students are often more comfortable serving with other students because it is less daunting, and those who begin serving in groups are more likely to continue community service later.

Cooper Adams of Troup said this was his first time to participate in the Disciple Place Village art activity and he definitely plans to return. “It is enjoyable making art alongside the residents,” he said. “It’s like an art community.”

Shannon Rooney of Tyler said she enjoys doing something different outside the classroom. “I like having fun with the ladies, and volunteering is part of my nature,” she said.

“This is the highlight of my week,” said Julie DePue as she spread paint across her canvas. “It’s playtime.”

LaJuana Goff has been participating in White’s student art activity since 2011. “I have no talent and Derrick always finds something good,” she said.

Projects vary from month to month and may include painting, ceramics or woodworking. White typically demonstrates how to complete the project and students work alongside the residents and assist as needed. Some of the participating students are art majors while others are taking art classes as an elective.

Several pieces of art produced in the monthly classes decorate the walls and shelves of the facility’s library and computer room.

“We come here to spend time with the residents and have conversations, and art gets made in the process,” said White.

TJC offers an Associate of Arts degree which provides the first two years of a liberal arts education that prepares the graduate to successfully pursue a career in the fine arts, or an art degree at the university level. For information on TJC art programs, go to


Art in the Garden April 28th at the Rose Garden


April 28th (11am-2pm) – 12th Annual Art in the Garden

The Tyler Parks and Recreation Department invites you to come paint or draw with us in the Tyler Rose Garden, 420 Rose Park Dr., Tyler.

Join local artists of all ages to paint. Bring your paints, any medium (paper or canvas) and an easel and create a masterpiece. Non-painters are welcome to view the garden and the artists at work.

A display of artwork will be shown in the exhibit area.

This is free to the public. Light refreshments will be served in the Rose Garden Center.

Art instructors are welcome to bring their students of any age.

For more info call (903)531-1214.

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14th Annual High School Art Exhibit at Tyler Art Museum

This Month at Tyler Museum of Art:

14th Annual High School Art Exhibition and “Sticks & Stones: Works by Helen Altman” on Exhibit

The Tyler Museum of Art (TMA) is located at 1300 S. Mahon Ave. on the Tyler Junior College main campus. Regular TMA hours are 10am-5pm Tuesday-Saturday, and 1-5pm Sunday. The Museum is closed Mondays and most major holidays. The Museum is supported by its members, Tyler Junior College, and the City of Tyler. For more info call the museum at (903)595-1001,, or email

TMA’s 14th Annual High School Art Exhibition on Exhibit April 8th-May 6th

An unprecedented number of aspiring artists from local schools will have their first opportunity for a full museum exhibition with the Tyler Museum of Art’s “14th Annual High School Art Exhibition,” opening Sunday, April 8th and continuing through May 6th at the Museum. The museum is located Tyler Junior main Campus is located at 1300 S. Mahon Ave. Admission is free.

What began in 2005 as a small showcase for 23 students from four area high schools has blossomed into a major exhibition and community event. This year’s juried competition, tops the previous record of 2016, spotlighting for the first time the work of more than 100 students from a best-ever 14 high-school campuses in Tyler and nearby cities.

Five outstanding works as selected by the jurors will be presented with “Merit of Honor” awards during the Opening Reception and Awards Ceremony from 2:30-4pm, Sunday, April 8th at the Museum.

The community is invited to meet the participating artists, enjoy light refreshments – and cast their votes for the annual Viewers’ Choice Award to be presented at the exhibition’s conclusion. Ballots are available at the Visitor Services desk in the TMA lobby.

“Merit of Honor” winners will receive gift certificates from Dick Blick Art Materials. All participating artists will receive Certificates of Participation and one-year student memberships to the TMA. To RSVP for the April 8th opening reception, call (903)595-1001.

Participating schools in the “14th Annual High School Art Exhibition” include All-Saints Episcopal School, Bishop T.K. Gorman Regional Catholic School, Cumberland Academy, Grace Community School, John Tyler High School and Robert E. Lee High School, all of Tyler; The Brook Hill School, Brownsboro High School, Bullard High School, Chapel Hill High School, Elkhart High School, Frankston High School, Whitehouse High School and Winona High School.

Support for the exhibition is provided by Collectors’ Circle-Platinum Sponsor The Rogers Foundation; and Collectors’ Circle-Gold Sponsors Martha and Randy Key, McElfatrick Charitable Foundation and Myrtis D. Smith.

“Sticks and Stones: Works by Helen Altman”

Tyler Museum of Art celebrates the arrival of springtime with a quarter-century survey in the career of one of the most diverse and prolific contemporary Texas artists. “Sticks and Stones: Works by Helen Altman” continues through June 3rd in the museum’s Bell Gallery. Admission is free.

The exhibition, organized by the TMA and curated by Caleb Bell, features more than 40 pieces spanning a dynamic body of work by Altman, a Fort Worth-based artist noted for her ability to move between various series across an eclectic array of media.

“Sticks and Stones” focuses on her fascination with flora and fauna, which “have been a much-appreciated constant in my life,” the artist said. “They have been a constant source of joy and also a source of coping.”

Altman’s specific choices of media throughout her career – blankets, wire birds, egg editions, and torch drawings, to name just a few – also reflect a pronounced emphasis on exploring the unique in the everyday.

“Many of my works use commonplace materials and objects. I respond to ready-made objects that are often discards or flawed in some obvious way,” she said. “Alterations in these familiar things elevate them and draw parallels to our own human predicament.”

Altman received both her bachelor of fine arts and master of arts degrees from the University of Alabama, as well as her master of fine arts from the University of North Texas. Her work has been widely exhibited and is featured in numerous public collections, including the Art Museum of South East Texas, The Grace Museum, and Museum of Contemporary Art in San Diego.

Support for “Sticks and Stones” is provided by Collectors’ Circle Platinum Sponsor The Byars Foundation.

Special events in connection with the exhibition include: Free First Friday tours at 11am April 6th, May 4th and June 1st; and Family Days from 2-4pm Saturday, April 14th and May 12th.


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Around East Texas

Inside the Artist’s Studio: GMS exhibits “Elephant in the Room”

Inside the Artist’s Studio:

Gallery Main Street – Elephant in the Room

By Derrick White

The city of Tyler’s Gallery Main Street, serves as a cornerstone of the Downtown Arts and Culture District and opened in August 2009 as a fine art gallery. The gallery shares space with the City of Tyler Main Street Department and Heart of Tyler, Inc., as well as the administrative offices of Liberty Hall. Located in the beautifully renovated building at 110 W. Erwin St., Downtown on the square, the gallery offers visitors the opportunity to view fine art created by area artists.

Exhibits at the gallery rotate on a continuous schedule, so there is always something new and interesting to see. The current juried exhibition on display is a group, idiom inspired, show titled “Elephant in the Room.” Participating artists were asked to creatively interpret and create artwork defining an issue everyone is aware of, but nobody wants to talk about – an “elephant in the room” if you must. The exhibition is on view through the month of April, finishing up May 1st.

The show has a lot of diversity ranging from literal theme interpretations to very esoteric creations. There is a variety of small and large-scale works. Most of the pieces are two-dimensional and hang on the wall (paintings, drawing, and photographs) but a few pieces contain three-dimensional visual elements including sculptures.

“Elephant in the Room” features the artwork of over twenty artists including: Dana Cargile, Rita A. Fryer, Amanda Hatfield, Dace Lucia Kidd, Nancy Kimbrough, Maegan Kirschner, Teri Liptak, Dana Lynch, Shawna Lynch, Jennie Price Lyra, Jimmy Morrison, Joel Nichols, Mary Alice Orito, Nancy Patterson, Anthony Piekarski, Mary Ann Post, Chelsea Purgahn, Cory Rhodes, Jamin Shepherd, Harold Vincent, and John York. I am impressed with the show overall. I feel it is important for artists to share their work with an audience so I congratulate all of the artists willing to put their work out there for consideration. Cheers to everyone who entered the exhibit and compliments to everyone selected.

One of the exhibits that caught my attention was Amanda Hatfield’s “Who’s the Real Monster?,” an exquisite mixed media sculpture of a woman with antlers. This stark naturalistic form has amazing attention to detail and incredible proportional aspect. It is powerful and emotional allowing the viewer to contemplate the narrative of the woman’s blindfold, hair braid, dripping antlers, and arrow penetrating her throat. The artist mentions in a printed statement, “It took me a while to really figure out this piece; for a long time it sat unfinished in my house, unpainted and incomplete. After adding the gold, she became this figure of nature, blinded and pierced by the arrow of man, corrupted by the gold dripping from her antlers.”

Amanda has two other selections in the exhibit, each one masterfully executed and commanding in its similar subject matter of the female form. A watercolor of a dripping eyed woman being impaled by arrows is haunting, disturbing, and captivating. Again the artist states, “I tend to paint women a lot and I think that has something to do with how they can evoke a connection to nature. No matter how badly you hurt her, she’s still growing. I like to think the world is the same way.”

Hatfield’s watercolor painting titled “War Ate a Girl and Spat Out a Woman” shows a strikingly beautiful woman in a dead stare with the viewer while ignoring the groping negative space shapes of hands vying for her body. This is a formidable declaration and certainly fits the show’s theme with all of today’s headlines of people refusing to ignore the elephant in the room any longer when it comes to sexual assault, abuse, and inappropriate behavior.

A more literal stand out in the exhibit was a small collage by Mary Alice Orito called “Elephant in the Room.” The composition has an image of an elephant sitting circus style and wearing a crown of sorts (a performer). Text in the design include ‘complicity,’ ‘bully,’ ‘lies,’ and ‘racism.’ The piece is asymmetrically balanced and has a sharp red line tearing horizontally through the configuration. Orito’s statement concludes the image and words in the collage “represent the harshness of the current political environment.” Mary Alice Orito had two other artworks included in the exhibit both equally strong.


My eye was continually called over to a painting titled “Horizontal” by Mary Post with its striking gold-leaf negative space and odd subject of a full-bodied employee flat on a bed or gurney. The artist mentions, “My painting delves into stability and change in the life of this working woman. I strive to honor her by positioning her in a horizontal orientation and surrounding her with an atmosphere of shimmering gold.”

“This Ordinary World” is a fun and mesmerizing painting by John York. In a composition where Red Grooms (an American artist best known for his colorful pop art depicting frenetic scenes of modern life) meets DC comics and Where’s Waldo, York, “sought to entertain viewers and myself by making my friends and neighbors into elephants.”

A dark unambiguous and commanding piece also on exhibit is “LIKE” by Dace Lucia Kidd. The painting is a large-scale, black on black, minimalist composition. Its content resonated with me about society’s insatiable thirst for attention. The execution of the piece is precise and avoids any evidence of an expressive mark or the artist’s hand.

I also very much enjoyed “Food Choice” by Jennie Lyra for its colorful layers and competing visual directions of text and images.

Take some time to go visit this exhibition yourself and see what stands out the most to you. Don’t forget to vote for the People’s Choice Award by writing the corresponding number for your favorite artwork on a ballot and leaving it in the voting box.

Enter now for possible selection in the gallery’s new upcoming solo show. Gallery Main Street is offering one artist an opportunity to fill the gallery and showcase their work. To be considered for selection, artists should submit three pieces exemplifying their work and provide a description (artist’s statement) and total number of pieces. Entries are due by April 22nd. This is a juried exhibit and results will be announced on April 28th.

Gallery Main Street is also home to many arts activities including workshops. Check the calendar of events for more information. Gallery Main Street is located at 110 W. Erwin St., Downtown Tyler. For more info call (903)593-6905 or email

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