Day Trips & Beyond: Of Texas Rivers & Texas Art
Collection expands our appreciation for nature and art
By Gerald E. McLeod,
2:18PM, Wed. Apr. 26, 2017
The human race has a tenuous relationship with water at best. We love it, we hate it; there’s too much, or there’s not enough. It says something of the arrogance of humans that we have such arguments at all.
For all of our childish complaining about water, it doesn’t mean we don’t appreciate it. Few things soothe our souls like a body of water. Any body of water, large or small, moving or still. With a sunset reflecting across its mirror surface or waves crashing in a deafening roar. We love it, we hate, and we can’t do without it.
Whether the surface is windy, calm, or sprinkled with clouds passing overhead, we have a picture in our memories of how a particular body of water looks. We burnish that image every time we visit.
Our personal vision of a favorite swimming, fishing, or meditation spot is always being added to and subtracted from as we climb through our years. Of Texas Rivers & Texas Art supplements our memories. Like another visit to our favored spots, the pictures in the book of Texas rivers by Texas contemporary artists expands our understanding and appreciation for these cherished places.
Not only does the collection expand our appreciation of these regional artists, but it should remind us of the intrinsic and practical value of our rivers. The art should inspire us to passionately protect our rivers and streams.
Whether it is the fun of Keith Davis’ Tubing Down the Guadalupe or the serenity of Noe Perez’s Una Mañana en el Arroyo Santa Gertrudis, each of the works stands alone as an accomplishment of the artist and a reminder of a special place to the viewer. When considered collectively, the work is as refreshing as a spring-fed pool on a hot summer’s day.
The 20 feature contemporary Texas artists also includes Randy Bacon, Mary Baxter, David Caton, Margie Crisp, Fidencio Duran, Jon Flaming, Charles Ford, Pat Gabriel, Hunter George, Billy Hassell, Lee Jamison, Robb Kendrick, Laura Lewis, William Montgomery, Jeri Salter, Erik Sprohge, Debbie Stevens, and William Young.
The book was assembled by Andrew Sansom and William E. Reaves for Texas A&M Press and the Meadows Center for Water and the Environment at Texas State University as an “eloquent plea for the preservation of one of the continent’s most beautiful, and yes, romantic landscapes.”
Sansom is executive director of the Meadows Center for Water and the Environment, author, and former executive director of the Nature Conservancy and Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. In his introduction to the art, Sansom makes an argument for a change in the state’s antiquated water laws to save the sources of our rivers.
Reaves is an author and owner of Reaves-Foltz Fine Art in Houston. His introduction to the art puts the works in context and expands on the genius of the artists.
In conjunction with the publication of the book, an exhibition of the artwork will travel around the state during the coming year. The exhibition can be found at:
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, Austin
June 5-Aug. 13, 2017
The Witte Museum, San Antonio
Sept. 2-Nov. 27, 2017
Of Texas Rivers & Texas ArtAndrew Sansom and William E. Reaves
Texas A&M University Press, 168 pp., $35