Mu­seum of the Big Bend

Western Art Collector - - WESTERN ART TRAIL CALENDAR -

400 N. Har­ri­son Street, Alpine, TX 79832­se­u­mofthe­big­

The Mu­seum of the Big Bend hosts four ex­hibits an­nu­ally in its gallery. Be­gin­ning in mid-jan­uary, the late-win­ter ex­hibit re­flects how the Texas land­scape in­flu­ences who and what de­cides to call Texas home. In April the mu­seum cel­e­brates their Western and cow­boy cul­ture and tra­di­tion through works shown in Trap­pings of Texas. Trap­pings of Texas be­gan in 1985 and is the long­est con­tin­u­ally run­ning ex­hibit and sale in the country, show­cas­ing together con­tem­po­rary cow­boy gear and fine Western art. In June, the gallery is de­voted to the art of pho­tog­ra­phy. Septem­ber the gallery show­cases art ex­hibits with shows rang­ing from his­toric maps, to works by Charles M. Rus­sell to con­tem­po­rary artists.

The Mu­seum of the Big Bend will be host­ing the 32nd Trap­pings of Texas with an open­ing week­end of events April 12 through 14. Week­end events in­clude a pre­view and af­ter-pre­view party, lunch with the artists, grand open­ing re­cep­tion, ex­hibit and sale and the fourth an­nual Ranch Round-up Party. The ex­hibit opens to the pub­lic on Satur­day, April 14 along with talks and demon­stra­tions. Chess­ney Se­vier of Buf­falo, Wy­oming, is the 2018 Trap­pings of Texas Premier Artist. New artists to Trap­pings of Texas in­clude Janet Brous­sard, Nathan Solano and Thor Peter­son,

along with Navajo weavers rep­re­sented by Mark Win­ters of Toadlena Trad­ing Post.

The Mu­seum of the Big Bend is ex­cited to present the 32nd An­nual Trap­pings of

Texas, fol­lowed by two out­stand­ing ex­hibits: Fo­to­texas, Peo­ple, Places & Cul­ture cu­rated by pho­tog­ra­pher Laura Wil­son for the Texas Pho­to­graphic Society, and Big Bend Paint­ings

by Cal­i­for­nia land­scape artist Erin Han­son of San Diego, Cal­i­for­nia. All three ex­hibits will fea­ture spe­cial pre­sen­ta­tions and demon­stra­tions by the ex­hibit­ing artists. Rob­bie Fitz­patrick works in wa­ter­color. “It can be chal­leng­ing, but it can do so much, and I sup­pose I love the prob­lem solv­ing,” says the artist. Fitz­patrick also paints re­al­is­ti­cally, us­ing value, with the play of light and shadow and strong com­po­si­tion to tell the story.

The artist’s fa­vorite sub­jects are an­i­mals, both wildlife and do­mes­tic. “I be­lieve I’m par­tial to them be­cause if I can get their eyes right, most of the story is told, and I in­clude the rest of the nar­ra­tive in the re­main­ing de­tail,” says Fitz­patrick. That may mean the set­ting, or at least the stance and ex­pres­sion of the an­i­mal. “I’ve started work on some fig­u­ra­tive and por­trait work, and the same as­pects at­tract me—the story in the eyes. I sup­pose what I en­joy most is cap­tur­ing mo­ments in the lives around me.

“Ev­ery piece seems to chal­lenge me with a new puz­zle to be con­quered,” Fitz­patrick continues, “from paint­ing eyes, to fur, to feather, grass, dirt, rocks, wa­ter, waves, skies, clouds, stormy clouds, sun­light, rain or mist. I be­lieve I could study wa­ter­color for an en­tire life­time and never know it all. What a chal­lenge!”

So far, high­lights of a ca­reer that started later in life (the artist spent most of life teach­ing writ­ing) in­clude in­creas­ing suc­cess in com­pe­ti­tions, mem­ber­ship in many art or­ga­ni­za­tions, such as Women Artists of the West, In­ter­na­tional Guild of Re­al­ism, Society of An­i­mal Artists. Fitz­patrick is also an Art Re­newal Cen­ter Liv­ing Artist.

Cur­rently, Fitz­patrick has a piece in the Society of An­i­mal Artists’ 2017-18 Art and the An­i­mal Tour at the Ari­zona-sonora Desert Mu­seum in Tuc­son, Ari­zona, from April 14 through June 3; then, the artist will show at the Ge­orge A. Spiva Cen­ter for the Arts in Jo­plin, Mis­souri, June 30 through Au­gust 26. The artist will also have a piece in the 43rd an­nual Western Fed­er­a­tion of Wa­ter­color So­ci­eties Ex­hi­bi­tion at the South­ern Ari­zona Guild Gallery in Tuc­son, Ari­zona, from May

1 through June 24.

Fitz­patrick is rep­re­sented by Lovetts Fine

Art Gallery in Tulsa, Ok­la­homa.

Western works on dis­play at the Mu­seum of the Big Bend.

Left: Rob­bie Fitz­patrick, Stealth, wa­ter­color on pa­per, 19 x 10" Right: Per­sua­sion, wa­ter­color on pa­per, 20 x 24"

Mu­seum of the Big Bend, Full Flower Carved Sad­dle, by Marc Brog­ger.

Rob­bie Fitz­patrick, Gen­tle

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