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Tyler Museum of Art: Learn about Exhibitions through Free Art Activities, Treasure Hunts and More

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The Hobbit Gift With Purchase

By Kelly Griffith-Fields

Neighboring Tyler Junior College, the Tyler Museum of Art, sits in the shade of large magnolias and tall pine trees. Its mission is to enrich the lives of East Texans and visitors through the collection, preservation, exhibition and celebration of the visual arts.

The museum’s growing and permanent collection features over 1500 works of art. The works include paintings, prints, photographs and sculptures.

The museum contains two major exhibition galleries, the North Gallery and Bell Gallery, both on the ground floor. Works from the permanent collection are only on display certain times due to limited gallery space.

Since its inception the museum has placed its focus on 19th and 20th century art. It has gained recognition for its emphasis on the work of emerging contemporary artists from Texas and surrounding states.

In recent years, exhibitions have included a greater variety of styles in an effort to represent the diversity and community interests.

In addition to the two galleries, the museum also boasts a library, classroom, café and gift shop.

Family Day is held every second Saturday of the month. Families are invited to learn about exhibitions through free art activities, treasure hunts and more. Children and adults can enjoy activities and snacks in the classroom from 2 to 4pm.

All family members will have free admission to the galleries. Three to five activities, all in different mediums, will be available to explore. “We try to provide materials and projects that children might not get to experience at school, either because of cost or time restrictions,” Interpretation Manager Derek Frazier said. The activities are chosen to relate to the exhibitions by reflecting similar themes, styles, techniques and other artistic aspects.

Admission is free to the exhibitions currently on display. “Flow into the Mystic: Marriage and the Contemporary Artist” will be shown through February 1st. “Flow into the Mystic” is the work of six married couples – twelve artists. The artists spotlighted are Jack and Vera Barnett, Gary and Daphne Hatcher, Sedrick and Letitia Huckaby, Benito Huerta and Janet Chaffee, Dewane and Alexis Serio Hughes, and James R. and Philana Oliphant Pace.

“Between the States & The American Civil War’s Impact on Tyler” will be on display through February 15th. “Between the States: Photographs of the American Civil War from the George Eastman House Collection” commemorates the 150th anniversary of the war and highlights the photographic processes of the period.

“The American Civil War’s Impact on Tyler” highlights the home front and frames the war from the perspective of Smith County.

These Civil War exhibitions, guest curated by Letha Clair Robertson, PhD, will honor the heritage of those who served and tell the story of a community at war through photographs, maps and historical artifacts. For this, the museum collaborated with the Goodman-LeGrand House & Museum, Smith County Historical Society, The University of Texas at Tyler and several private collectors to increase awareness of the technological, scientific and human impact of the war.

Families can also pick up a family guide to encourage a fuller exploration of art. The guide asks questions and puts children in pursuit of specific pieces throughout the gallery.

“If a child completes the guide, they earn a small prize by showing it to Visitor Services staff,” Frazier said.

The museum also offers summer art camps each year as a way to let children 6 to 17 years old express their creativity and imagination.

The museum gift shop has something for everyone. An array of unique items is available that spans from artful decor to postcards.

The museum café offers light lunch options in a relaxed atmosphere. Homemade soups, sandwiches and salads are available Tuesday through Friday from 11:30am to 1:30pm.

The Tyler Museum of Art, aiming to captivate imaginations and cultivate an appreciation of fine art, is located at 1300 South Mahon Avenue. It is open Tuesday through Saturday 10am to 5pm and Sunday 1 – 5pm. It is closed Mondays and for most major holidays.

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Around East Texas

Feb. 23rd-24th: 4th Annual Mockingbird Tyler Conference

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“The Wonder of Grace” Coming February 23rd-24th

B3 Ministries, in cooperation with Mockingbird Ministries (Charlottesville, VA), will bring the 4th Annual Mockingbird Tyler Conference: “The Wonder of Grace” to Downtown Tyler, February 23rd-24th.

 This multi-denominational gathering of conference contributors and MBird devotees will explore all that The Gospel engenders within the hearts of its hearers. This will be a celebration of faith, hope and love brought down to earth.  

Conference speakers will include John Zahl, author of “Grace in Addiction” and John Newton, author of “Falling into Grace” and frequent contributor to Charlotte Getz. 

The conference will also include local breakout speakers Brent Kirkley (Tapestry Counseling Ministries), Ricky Garner (New Days Community Church), Aristeo Rodriguez (El Guapo Records), Brad Wofford (BW Design), Tim and DeAnda Frost, Stanley Ward, Stacy Canion, and Tom Brown.     

The conference will feature musical guest singer/songwriter/pastor Josh White, who will deliver a Friday night concert at 7:30pm on the 3rd floor of Bethel. A breakout talk on “Christ in Culture” will take place Saturday.

Josh White is the founding pastor of Door of Hope Church and Deeper Well Records in Portland OR. As a songwriter and recording artist for Tooth and Nail and Deeper Well, Josh has released eight albums over the last 15 years as well as writing for other artists such as Liz Vice. When not making music or running the church, Josh loves to spend his time reading and hanging out with his wife Darcy, and 2 children Henry and Hattie.

As part of the Saturday break-outs, Ricky Garner will speak on “If It Ain’t Broke, It Can’t be Fixed: Why The Cross is The Only Hope for Your Marriage.” Ricky currently serves as assistant pastor at New Days Community Church in Tyler.

Also, Tim and DeAnda Frost will speak. Tim Frost is a memory-collector, storyteller, father, and husband. Tim is a speaker and author of hope from firsthand experiences of survival. He emits a positive and light-hearted energy when he speaks to a large crowd or in a one-on-one conversation.

Registration will begin at 4pm on Friday, February 23rd at Christ Episcopal Church, and the conference will begin in full at 5pm. The Foundry Coffee House and Bethel Bible Church will host Saturday, February 24th’s portion of the conference.

Registration for the MBird Tyler Conference is $50. For couples, the cost is $90. A 1-Day Drop-in ticket is $30. Tickets to the Josh White concert only is $15. Childcare is available for a fee.

Registration will include dinner from Stanley’s BBQ, a copy of “Grace in Addiction,” a gift bag full of various goodies, and free admission to Friday night’s Josh White concert.

For more information, online registration, itinerary, and past event videos go online to or find them on Facebook.

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Around East Texas

Feb. 24th: For a Good “Soulful” Cause, Edwin Holt

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For a Good “Soulful” Cause:

Edwin Holt, Red Clay Roadhouse, and Texas College Choir Join Forces

By Edwin Holt

Some of you already know the backstory of my musical life, what you may not know is the soulful bond that developed between myself and a culture that I have come to define as my second family.

Like most people that stay in their comfort zone of their own culture, I found myself in a different realm. For several years in the south Dallas area and beyond, I found myself, a twenty year old male, performing in an all black blues band, in all black juke joints. The music was and will always be a great reward of my dues paid. The family of musicians I inherited, was a reward I never saw coming. Having the opportunity to perform, travel, and join them at their dinner tables with their families, has changed me into someone else.

Growing up in the small town of New London, Texas, I was sheltered to what lied ahead in the real world. A world that opened my young eyes to the reality of a culture riddled with struggles that continue to plague our society and most importantly, the very body of Christ.

People talk about how we are divided as a culture. They say that leadership does nothing to aid within this division but at the same time we fail to notice the blame within ourselves. We think we are helpless to make any kind of change in the world due to who we are or where were from – I believe differently. My focus in life, is to make a continued difference using love as a means of change.

So it should be no surprise that when the Texas College Choir reached out and asked me to help them get to New York in their own efforts to share the Gospel of music, I was all in. And with that, I’m hoping you are all in as well.

Presented by the Holt family, this will be an evening full of soul that will take place on February 24th at 8pm. Doors open at 7pm. The performance is being held at the Caldwell Auditorium, 300 S. College Ave., Tyler.

Please help me help others with music. It is a wonderful gift from God that brings people of all cultures together.

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit

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Liberty Hall: Feb. 23rd, Johnny Lee “The Original Urban Cowboy”

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Johnny Lee: “Texas Country Music Hall of Fame” member, performed for years at Mickey Gilley in Tyler…

Liberty Hall is hosting a variety of upcoming events. Liberty has something for all ages! Liberty Hall is located at 103 E. Erwin St., Tyler. Tickets are available online at

Classic Movies

  • March 16th (7pm) – “Monty Python and the Holy Grail”

Concerts & Events


February 22nd (7pm) – From Hollywood with Love – Prepare to have your hearts warmed with the music of iconic films, such as “Casablanca,” “Top Hat,” “Rosalie,” “The Lion King,” “Sleepless in Seattle,” “Ghost,” and others. Seating is limited. Tickets are $5-$15.

February 23rd (7pm) – Johnny Lee “The Original Urban Cowboy” – Johnny Lee has a legendary career – he is a member of the “Texas Country Music Hall of Fame,” performed for years at Mickey Gilley, was in a 1979 TV movie, “The Girls in the Office,” performed in the film “Urban Cowboy.” For tickets call (866)710-8942. Tickets start at $30.

February 24th (8pm) – Monte Montgomery in Concert – One of East Texas favorite artists, Liberty is thrilled to have back Monte Montgomery in concert. He has recently released his new album “Dragonfly” and is currently touring. Get your tickets today to see this amazing guitar artist. Check him out at Tickets start at $15.

March 10th (8pm) – Shooter Jennings – Shooter Jennings is an American singer-songwriter active mainly in the outlaw country music and Southern rock genres. He is the son of country music legend Waylon Jennings. Jennings made his debut with the single “4th Of July” of his 2005 album “Put the ‘O’ Back in Country,” which peaked at No. 22 on the Billboard country charts. Tickets range from $35 -$45.

March 30th (8pm) – Deana Carter – Drenched in sun-kissed natural beauty both inside and out, Deana Carter’s wildly successful multi-platinum international debut “Did I Shave My Legs For This?” put her on the charts. Anchored by the dreamy super hit “Strawberry Wine,” Carter sprinkles her music with the folksy singer/songwriter qualities. Tickets are $30-$40.

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April 12th (7pm) – The Legendary Johnny Rodriguez in Concert – Texas Country Music Hall of Famer, Johnny Rodriguez, has had fifteen top-ten singles and 6 number-one hits since 1973. Some of Johnny’s classic hits include: “Pass Me By,” “You Always Come Back (To Hurting Me),” “Riding My Thumb To Mexico,” “That’s The Way Love Goes,” and “Just Get Up and Close The Door.”  For tickets call (866)710-8942. Tickets start at $35.

April 14th (7pm) – “Ultimate Elvis Country, Gospel, and #1 Hits” – This will be a riveting evening of Elvis music, performed by Al Joslin. Al is a multi award-winning Elvis Tribute Artist who has taken his show across the country for the past 12 years. Opening the show will be the very popular “Shake, Rattle & Roll,” featuring songs from the 1950’s and 1960’s. All VIP tickets – Rows A-D include a glass of Prosecco, as well as exclusive entry to “meet and greet” after the show. Tickets are $25 -$40.

April 20th (7pm) – Bill Anderson in Concert – Country Music Hall of Famer, Bill Anderson, has been a member of the Grand Ole Opry sine 1961. One of the most popular, most enduring entertainers of our time, he’s known, in fact as “Whispering Bill,” a nickname hung on him years ago as a result of his breathy voice and his warm, soft approach to singing a country song. For tickets call (866)710-8942. Tickets start at $40.

April 21st (8pm) – Mouse & The Traps – After more than 50 years together, Mouse & the Traps continue to be one of the best examples of “Texas Rock & Roll.” Formed in Tyler, Texas in 1965, Mouse, Nardo, Dave & Larry continue to give the public just what they want – great rock and roll. Whether you remember “Public Execution,” “Hit the Bricks,” or not, Mouse & The Traps has something for everyone. Tickets are $20-$25.

May 10th (7pm) – Twitty & Lynn: Grandchildren of Conway & Loretta in Concert – Tayla Lynn grew up in the heart of Tennessee and started singing with her grandmother at an early age. Tre Twitty, the grandson of the late Conway Twitty, is a remarkable young talent and will perform as well. For tickets call (866)710-8942. Tickets start at $30.

June 27th (7pm) – Country Music Hall of Famer Connie Smith – In 1964, Connie Smith recorded the Bill Anderson-written “Once a Day.” Issued as her first single, it spent eight weeks at #1. She also cut darkly personal songs, including “Ribbon of Darkness” and “The Last Letter.” For tickets call (866)710-8942. Tickets start at $40.

July 20th (7pm) – “Sail On: The Beach Boys Tribute” is a show based out of Nashville, TN, that focuses on performing songs by America’s Band, The Beach Boys, to sheer perfection. The show includes over 30 well-known hits. Members of Sail On have performed with Brian Wilson’s band, The Zombies, Earth Wind and Fire, Cheap Trick, Mark Lindsay. Tickets are $20.

August 11th (8pm) – Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Bluegrass Band will visit Liberty once again! They are a modern bluegrass band that plays and sings the songs of The Beatles. Performing some of the very best music composed by Paul McCartney, John Lennon and George Harrison, beloved songs are presented with instruments you normally wouldn’t expect to hear. Tickets are $20.

August 16th (7pm) – The Bellamy Brothers – Best-known for the easy rolling, ‘70s Southern soft rock classic “Let Your Love Flow,” the Bellamy Brothers are the most successful duo in country music history, consistently climbing into the upper reaches of the Billboard country charts during the ‘80s, including “Redneck Girl,” “If I Said You Had A Beautiful Body, Would You Hold It Against Me,” ‘“You Ain’t Just Whistlin’ Dixie,” and “Dancin’ Cowboys.” For tickets call (866)710-8942. Tickets start at $40.


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