Give Bob Rauschenberg his due. With his groundbreaking modernist combines, the Port Arthur native got a lot of people to stop thinking of Texas art as an oxymoron. If, however, that left anyone with the impression that art in the Lone Star State started with him, CASETA is around to set 'em straight. The Center for the Advancement and Study of Early Texas Art exists to give many other Texas artists their
due, from 19th century landscape painters to mid-20th century abstract expressionists. And its members will be gathering in Austin this weekend to do just that, convening their seventh annual Symposium on Early Texas Art on the University of Texas campus. In addition to presentations from scholars such as Dr. Ted Pillsbury of Heritage Auction Galleries; Ransom Center photography curator David Coleman: Museum of Fine Arts, Houston curator Bonnie Campbell; and independent curator Carl McQueary, the event will feature the Texas Art Fair, with works from 10 top-notch galleries from across the state; a free public screening of Kenneth Harrison's 1976 documentary, Jackelope
, focusing on George Green, James Surls, and Bob "Daddy-o" Wade; and what should be a kickass artists' panel with Surls, Wade, David Bates, and Melissa Miller. Maybe most important of all is the opening of a new exhibit, "Texas Treasures: Early Texas Art From Austin Museums," which pulls together for the first time works from the collections of the Blanton Museum of Art, the Ransom Center, the Austin Museum of Art, and the Umlauf Sculpture Garden & Museum. In two dozen samples of Texas art, curator Robert Summers, who chairs the CASETA board of directors, covers classical portraiture and landscape, social realism, and modernism, encapsulating into one show what's at the heart of CASETA's mission. You'll have until the end of summer to see it, but why wait when you can catch it while a host of Texas art's biggest fans are around to appreciate it with?
"Texas Treasures: Early Texas Art From Austin Museums" runs May 1-Aug. 30 at the Umlauf Sculpture Garden & Museum, 605 Robert E. Lee Rd.
The seventh annual Symposium on Early Texas Art will take place May 1-3 at the AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center on the UT campus. For more information, visit www.caseta.org.