Art Center of Corpus Christi
Over the past 40 years, The Art Center has evolved into a thriving intersection of creativity and community located in the heart of Corpus Christi’s bay front district. It is a unique organization in the Coastal Bend that provides all levels of art making education along with a venue to exhibit and sell art.
The Art Center is a destination for artists, school groups, visitors, tourists, and community members to view rotating exhibitions of original artwork and engage in art making experiences.
Art Center programs are vital to the development and survival of the unique creative culture of our South Texas. Education and exhibition programs help advance artists (of all ages and stages) career and the audience for their art.
Corpus Christi Art Museum
The Mission of the South Texas Institute for the Arts (the Institute), doing business as the Art Museum of South Texas, is to operate educational facilities and an art museum which advance the awareness, knowledge, appreciation and enjoyment of the visual arts for residents and visitors of South Texas.
To meet its educational mission, the Institute will present a variety of programs which include classes, lectures, films, performances and other activities which inspire community interest in the visual arts. These programs will be offered at the Art Museum of South Texas, the Antonio E. Garcia Arts and Education Center, and other outreach venues that serve the Institute’s mission.
In operating an art museum, the Institute will actively collect, conserve, exhibit, research and interpret outstanding works of visual art with interest in art of the Americas and of the region.
Originally located at the corner of Waco and Comanche Streets, this colonial revival home was built in 1907-08 for the family of Asa Milton and Frances Garrett French. A.M. French (1850-1936), a native of New Hampshire, was a surveyor and civil engineer. He settled in Corpus Christi in 1882 after working on the construction of the Texas-Mexican railroad and became an active civic leader. The home was acquired by Rafael Galvan (1887-1966) in 1942. The home remained in the Galvan family for 40 years.
The french-Galvan house is a two story structure with a wraparound gallery on each floor. The home has been the site of the Tri-57 Group Exhibition. The first floor is ideal for local art classes and other functions. The classical ionic order is also featured at the front entryway. The Corpus Christi landmark was moved to this site of Heritage Park in 1983.
Port Aransas Art Center
The Port Aransas Art Center was formed informally in 1995 by a group of artists who wanted to provide a place where artists and art lovers could gather, and to encourage, educate and support one another in a pleasant gallery and classroom setting where fine art could be produced and presented for sale. In April 1997, the Port Aransas Art Center was granted its official IRS designation as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit.
The Center operated for many years in a small rented facility, but eventually, the scope of its programs led the Board to consider building a larger, more modern facility. Over the course of ten years, the Art Center patiently raised funds to acquire land for the new building. Once the land was acquired, the Art Center embarked upon construction. The new facility was built to the highest possible standards. The Art Center moved into the 4,000 square foot location at 104 N. Alister Street in Port Aransas in late summer, 2017.
The Port Aransas Art Center has operated under different names over the years including Art Center for the Islands, Inc. and Island Art Association, Inc. Those names are no longer valid. Only Port Aransas Art Center remains.
Rockport Center for the Arts
The Center began in the 19th century when informal groups of Rockport artists gathered to share their artistic interests. Later in the mid-20th century, artists like Simon Michael, John P. Cowan and Dalhart Windberg were painting and teaching in the area, pioneering the Texas Coast aesthetic.
By 1967, a larger group of artists had been attracted to the charming and quiet fishing and birding paradise of Rockport, and the need for a strong cooperative unit became apparent. An art guild was first formed, soon to be followed in 1969 by the establishment of a non-profit corporation and the first Rockport Art Festival. The dream of the founding members of the Rockport Art Association, Inc. was to have a place to exhibit their work, to offer art education, and to expand the cultural horizons of the community.
For fifteen years the association operated from various small, leased spaces across the community, including the gallery of Estelle Stair, considered one of Rockport’s founding artists. Yet, numbers continued to grow along with their ambitious cause. In 1983 the Association, through a generous donation, acquired the historic (1890) Bruhl/O’Connor home and moved it to the budding museum district between Rockport Harbor and Aransas Bay. The building and the mindset behind it began to operate as the Rockport Center for the Arts, fulfilling an early mission to provide a center around which many art activities revolve. Exhibits were first housed in twin parlors and in an adjoining room of the home. Another room served as a classroom. The kitchen became a favorite gathering spot for artists. The setting was right to foster more growth, and it did.