Enjoy State Park Views Indoors at the Houston Museum of Natural Science

AUSTIN — Want to appreciate the beauty of Texas State Parks and stay indoors? Visit the The Art of Texas State Parks traveling exhibit at the Houston Museum of Natural Science this summer to stay cool while enjoying the views and vistas found in parks. The exhibit, created in honor of the Centennial Celebration of Texas State Parks, will remain in Houston until October 1.

 The exhibit features paintings of more than 30 parks by some of Texas’ finest artists. Along with the traveling exhibit, the project also includes a commemorative book published by Texas A&M Press. Proceeds from book sales and the sale of the artwork through Foltz Fine Art in Houston will be donated to Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation (TPWF) to benefit Texas State Parks.

The project was several years in the making. In anticipation of the 2023 Centennial Celebration of Texas State Parks, TPWF partnered with Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD), the Meadows Center for Water and the Environment at Texas State University and the Bullock Texas State History Museum to present The Art of Texas State Parks. H-E-B, presenting sponsor for the Texas State Parks Centennial Celebration, provided additional support for the project.

“We hope that in displaying these extraordinary pieces, visitors will be inspired to get out and enjoy and explore the stunning natural landscapes we’re fortunate to have right in our backyards,” said TPWD Executive Director David Yoskowitz, Ph.D. “We are grateful for the collaboration that is bringing The Art of Texas State Parks to museums across Texas, spreading the message about these natural treasures that belong to us all.”

The Art of Texas State Parks is intended to increase public awareness of Texas parklands and heighten their popular appeal through the elegant and inspired works of Texas’ best contemporary painters. While the national park system has benefitted from its chroniclers in art, no such artistic record had been undertaken for state parks.

“The Centennial Celebration offers the perfect occasion to create a lasting visual record of Texas State Parks in art and, at the same time, memorialize the past and ongoing development of the distinctive collection of Lone Star parks and natural areas,” said Texas State Parks Director Rodney Franklin.

Participating artists include:  Randy Bacon (Abilene); Mary Baxter (Marfa); David Caton (Utopia); Charles Criner (Houston); Margie Crisp (Elgin); Ric Dentinger (San Antonio/Santa Fe NM); Fidencio Duran (Austin); Janet Eager Krueger (Encinal); Joel Edwards (Waco); Malou Flato (Austin); Gordon Fowler (Austin); Pat Gabriel (Fort Worth); David Griffin (Lubbock/ Dallas); Brian Grimm (Fredericksburg); Clemente Guzman (San Antonio); Karl E. Hall (Houston); John Austin Hanna (Fredericksburg); Billy Hassell (Fort Worth); Hailey Herrera (Bryan); Lee Jamison (Huntsville); Denise Mahlke (Whitehouse); Jim Malone (Fort Worth); Talmage Minter (Waco); William Montgomery (Elgin); Kermit Oliver (Waco); Noe Perez (Corpus Christi); Jeri Salter (Hutto); Jim Stoker (San Antonio); Bob Stuth-Wade (Dublin); and Terri Wells (Austin).

The exhibit can be seen at the Houston Museum of Natural Science until October 1. It will then be exhibited at the Panhandle Plains Museum in Canyon from Oct. 27 through Feb. 18, 2024. The exhibit will also be displayed later in 2024 in College Station, Albany and Tyler. The commemorative book is available online through several sources, including Texas A&M Press and Amazon.

“It was a real pleasure to see the passion these artists brought to this project, and we’re thrilled these works will be on display at prestigious museums across Texas,” said Andrew Sansom, co-author of the commemorative book, founder of the Meadows Center for Water and the Environment at Texas State University and former TPWD executive director. “It is our fervent hope that these works of art will inspire present and future generations of Texans to forever appreciate and protect their parks.”

TPWF has partnered with TPWD to celebrate Texas State Parks all year long. H-E-B donated $1 million to help Texas State Parks engage all Texans in discovering and exploring their parks. For more information on the Centennial Celebration, including special community events at all Texas State Parks, the history of Texas State Parks and how to make a day visit or overnight reservation, visit TexasStateParks.org/100years.