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Inside the Artist’s Studio: Lisa (Frazier) Horlander

And time waits for no one, and it won’t wait for me.

By Derrick White

Lisa-Horlander-2Lately, I have been thinking about time. C.J. Cavanaugh was an art professor for decades. I am impressed with the durability of faculty at Tyler Junior College. Despite low salaries and few remunerations many professors have passion and strive to make positive differences in the lives of students. In my early years working at the college Mr. Cavanaugh had already been employed since the 1960’s. He had been teaching at Tyler Junior College longer than I had been alive. He had served our country in two separate branches of the military and he operated his own sign business (C.J. is responsible for two of the three ‘Welcome to Tyler’ signs). Before he retired there was, however, a generational gap between this teacher and some of his students. Young people would sometimes complain to me that his lectures were not stimulating and were monotonous. They could not understand his terminology, jokes, or analogies. My answer was, “Go out and get a job, any job. And keep that same job for 47 years! Then you can come back and complain you do not like the way he does something.” Professor Cavanaugh had earned his right to be here. He had paid his dues to the college and our local communities before these students’ parents were in Kindergarten. Mr. Cavanaugh had taught his art students, their children, and then, even their grandchildren, as he served East Texas for almost 50 long years. He had a loyalty and a longevity you do not find anymore, and I hope to live long enough to be as monotonous and uninteresting as he was while still showing up for work every day.

Lisa-Horlander-4Time and technology passes everyone. Respect your elders. Like it or not, we are all getting older.

Lisa Frazier (now Lisa Horlander) is a stand out student from my first, early years of teaching at Tyler Junior College. I will confess, I knew her so long as Lisa Frazier it is still somewhat strange for me to use her married name of Horlander, but time marches on. She was our first official art club President when we reestablished the club back in 2002-2003, and she was a selected performance grant scholarship student.

Then suddenly, in the blink of an eye, it is about to become 2016! How did this happen?

Lisa, who I remember as a young adventurous art student, is now an adult, young woman, a mother, an art teacher, and a prolific and professional artist. Primarily painting in acrylics and oils on canvas, she also works on anything from shoes to faces. She creates paintings, sculptures, and mixed media pieces made from found objects and trees. I have, fortunately, remained in contact with Lisa over the years, and it has been wonderful watching her career develop.

Lisa-Horlander-6She has become one of the most productive, civically involved, and hardest working artist in Tyler today. When asked about what started her on her creative path and what art has brought to her life she states, “I have constantly created. It’s kind of like breathing, I have to make art. When I was younger, if the opportunity arose to make something, I took it and usually disappeared into my own world, not coming back until I was done. I did not plan on being an artist as a career, but I knew whatever I did, it would be art related.”

Lisa declares the most important thing art has brought to her busy life is a sense of purpose. She knows, if she is able, she will still undoubtedly be creating far into the future – 50 years from now. She might not be painting, but she will be exploring some kind of creative outlet. This idea comforts her and frees her from worrying about where she needs to go in life while letting her plow down her current path with all of her energy.

Discussing the frustrations inevitably associated with art making, Lisa Horlander states, “Staying focused is frustrating. I have too many ideas, and deciding which ones are the best is almost more than I can grasp sometimes. I have had to learn to choose something, and then not look back. There are too many concepts and not enough time.”

Lisa-Horlander-5There is the tricky concept of time again.

Artist Lisa Horlander finds inspiration in having many favorite artists and gains something of value from every artist she meets. Nature is a big stimulation and a guide for her artwork, as well as contemporary British artist Andy Goldsworthy (sculptor, photographer, and environmentalist making site-specific sculptures and land art located in natural and urban situations – imagine discovering a cairn of stacked stones in the woods or an icicle sculpture attached to a tree).
Currently, Lisa Horlander is working on her B.F.A. thesis dealing with capturing the experiences of nature in paint. She states, “My focus and inspiration in my art is to mimic the excitement and beauty of the light, movement, and colors in nature. I am fascinated with how they change and move in windswept leaves, across the ripples of water, and through layers of ice” (which to me all seem linked to the inescapable passage of time). “My paintings and sculptures are not based directly from a picture or object I have seen, but rather the emotions and memory of those collective moments I have experienced,” says Lisa.

Lisa-Horlander-3Lisa earned an Associate’s Degree from Tyler Junior College. She works as a freelance artist and teaches private art lessons. Since her time so long ago in the art department of TJC, Lisa has become a wife to her husband, Ben, who has served our country through the U.S. Marine Corp, and together they are parents of a talented and creative (and quickly growing) son who I would expect to have enrolled in my art courses sometime in the future.
After taking time to work as a self-employed artist, and raise a family, Lisa has returned to school and is currently working on her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Texas at Tyler.

Before too long she will probably have my job and will hopefully defend the crazy, old, kook professor who has been teaching there a long, long time.

The time is gone, the song is over.

For more about Lisa Horlander go to




Call for Entries Open for 2018 Art of Peace Tyler Visual Art Exhibit

Entries are now being accepted for the “Sowing Seeds of Peace” Visual Art Exhibit as part of the Art of Peace – Tyler celebration, a citywide commemoration of the United Nations International Day of Peace, September 21st.

“Art of Peace – Tyler is happy to once again to partner with the Tyler Museum of Art to invite regional artists to offer their creative responses to the idea of peace and to our 2018 theme, ‘Sowing Seeds of Peace’,” said Anne McCrady, co-founder and co-director of the peace event.

The visual art show will be presented as a juried exhibit in the museum’s education classroom September 16th-23rd, at the Tyler Museum of Art, 1300 S. Mahon Ave, on the Tyler Junior College main campus. The exhibit will be open to the public and admission is free.

The jury for selection will consist of members of the Art of Peace – Tyler committee and TMA representatives. The jury has the option to select up to two works per artist for inclusion in the show. Past exhibits have included the work of artists from Austin, Dallas, Lubbock and the East Texas area.

“We are privileged that the Art of Peace – Tyler committee once again has asked us to be the host venue for this exhibition,” TMA Executive Director Chris Leahy said. “The work we have seen over the past four years of our partnership has grown increasingly more dynamic and accomplished, and we are proud to have the opportunity to participate in such a great community event.”  

For more information about Art of Peace – Tyler events, visit For questions about the art exhibition, e-mail

Sunday, September 23rd, there will be an Artist reception at 3pm.

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“David Bates: Selected Works from Texas Collections” on Exhibit

This Month at Tyler Museum of Art:

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

David Bates, one of the most acclaimed artists in Dallas, is the focus of Tyler Museum of Art’s summer exhibition, “David Bates: Selected Works from Texas Collections” on view through September 9th.

Curated by the museum’s Caleb Bell, the exhibition features close to 30 works surveying the prolific career of Bates, one of the most versatile and widely collected contemporary Texas artists. Spanning art from 1982 to 2016, works in the show highlight several of Bates’ most celebrated series and include a wide array of media: oil painting, lithographs, woodcuts, screenprints and bronze sculpture. The show was assembled from art in public and private collections throughout the state, including the museum’s own permanent collection. Bates’ work is widely exhibited and included in several museum and corporate art collections.

Admission is $6 for adults and $4 for seniors. Museum members, students, TJC faculty/staff and city of Tyler employees are admitted free. Support for exhibit is provided by The Byars Foundation.

Family Days

Free admission, interactive art projects, light snacks and a festive atmosphere for all ages are on the menu from 2-4pm the second Saturday of each month with the Tyler Museum of Art’s Family Day. This popular program focuses on fostering a deeper understanding of the Museum’s spotlight exhibitions – and, above all, having fun! To RSVP for groups of 10 or more, please call (903)595-1001 or e-mail

First Friday

The first Friday of each month, the TMA offers a full day of free admission plus guided tours of its spotlight exhibitions at 11am. From contemporary Texas art to Hudson River School to Andy Warhol, each tour is unique.

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Art Events Warming Up For Summer


Events & Classes

Every Wednesday (6-8pm) and Sunday (1-3pm) – Acrylic Painting Classes will be held at Michael’s, 5839 S. Broadway, Tyler. Cost is $15. Topics include landscapes, life, and floral. To RSVP go to and select the Tyler location. This class features master classic painting techniques while completing an image selected by the Instructor. Supplies are not included.

First Saturday of every Month (10am-2pm) – Eastside Fiber ARTist Meeting – The monthly meeting will be held at the Tyler Public Library, 301 S. College Ave, Downtown Tyler on July 7th. Please join the monthly meetings and participate in a variety of fiber arts from quilting, weaving, embroidery, knitting, crocheting, jewelry making, and mixed media and tons more. Guests and visitors are always welcomed. For more info go to It is free to attend.

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