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Weekend Ticket: TAM shows new side to Southeast Texas

Globetrotter artists lay fresh coat to familiar scenes

Galleries in the Texas Artists Museum this month are packed full of familiar scenes, shown through the lenses and brushes of chronic travelers.

Groves native Barbara Haviland, 68, dominates the Founders Gallery with her paintings of local bayous, seascapes and blooming flowers.

Weekend Ticket“I’ve been painting for 39 years, and I’ve always been attracted to bayous, florals — things I see day to day and, of course, in my travels,” Haviland said at the museum Thursday. “I brought in a lot of seascapes from a trip to California I took two or three years ago.

“I’d make my husband pull over as far as he could on these very narrow roads so that I could hop out of the car and snap a picture of these coastal scenes I just had to paint when we got home.

“But my favorite piece hanging right now is actually a painting I did based on a picture my friend sent me. She snapped a picture of this tree half in the water, half in along the Neches River. That’s basically in all of our back yards. I like to paint these moments of our travels, whether we’re out on the road or exploring at home.”

"Pelicans in Flight" is one of many seascapes hanging in the Founders Gallery this month by Groves artist Barbara Haviland at the Texas Artists Museum in Port Arthur.

“Pelicans in Flight” is one of many seascapes hanging in the Founders Gallery this month by Groves artist Barbara Haviland at the Texas Artists Museum in Port Arthur.

Missouri native Carr Chad Ward, who moved to Pleasure Island a year ago for a construction job, said he started experimenting with photography four years ago.

The images hanging in the Texas Room represent his view of the towns he’s visited for work and pleasure over the last few years — several of which were taken in Southeast Texas.

“I’ve got some in here now that I’ve taken just within the last year of moving here,” Ward said Thursday. “I’ve got photographs of Pleasure Island, a local refinery, a macro shot of a tree frog I found and a couple of Sabine Lake.”

Ward said his photography is definitely secondary to his work, but that doesn’t mean he can’t experiment with his new “hobby” with each new location.

“A lot of people think you need really expensive equipment to even start with art photography. You don’t have to have really expensive equipment — you just need to learn how to use it,” he said. “Just keep practicing and trying new techniques. If you’re interested in it at all, start off with a small digital camera and see what you can do with that. For me, it’s all about learning and just practicing whenever I can.”

Paintings by Jude Cutshall, a 2 1/2 year old boy diagnosed with autism a year ago, hanging in the Highlights Gallery this month at the Texas Artists Museum in Port Arthur demonstrate Cutshall's journey with paint therapy. Proceeds from Cutshall's work will go to The Shorkey Center and to Cutshall's therapy.

Paintings by Jude Cutshall, a 2 1/2 year old boy diagnosed with autism a year ago, hanging in the Highlights Gallery this month at the Texas Artists Museum in Port Arthur demonstrate Cutshall’s journey with paint therapy. Proceeds from Cutshall’s work will go to The Shorkey Center and to Cutshall’s therapy.

The Highlights Gallery this month is dedicated to the work of Jude Cutshall, a 2 1/2 boy who was diagnosed with autism about a year ago. Cutshall’s abstract paintings are his only way to express himself, his grandmother and fellow artist Ann Cutshall, said.

All of the work hanging in the Texas Artists Museum this month is for sale, but any pieces sold from the Highlights Gallery will go directly to treatment for Cutshall and to The Shorkey Center in Beaumont.

The Texas Artists Museum, located at 3501 Cultural Center Drive in Port Arthur, is open from noon to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday.

For more information about any of the exhibits, call the museum at (409) 983-4881.

Twitter: @crhenderson90