PORT ARTHUR —
By Josh Brown
The News staff writer
Janis Joplin. ZZ Top. The Big Bopper. Jimmy Johnson.
Most Southeast Texans can create a short list of famous people from their hometown without hesitation — musicians who made memorable hits or sports figures who etched their way into history.
Grace Megnet, an associate professor of fine arts at Lamar State College-Port Arthur, hopes another name will be added to that list one day.
“I like to be in the birth place of the greatest artist of the 20th Century, Robert Rauschenberg,” she says. “He was born right outside the door.”
Rauschenberg is an artist from the 1950s and 60s who became famous for helping innovate the Pop Art movement, which brings elements of popular culture into fine art.
His work is featured in museums around the world, including the Guggenheim in New York City.
“People say he is the most important artist of the second half of the 20th Century,” Megnet said. “One day I hope he will get a street named after him or something. He’s an incredible artist.”
But the most fascinating thing about Rauschenberg, according to Megnet, is that he was never introduced to art until he came across a museum in San Francisco while serving in the armed forces.
“He said ‘Somebody has to make those things. That looks like fun!’” Megnet said. “And he did it.”
It’s this story, this kind of dormant creativity, that motivates Megnet to inspire her students.
Read the rest of this story in Wednesday's edition (1-16-13) of The Port Arthur News.