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Art is alive in the Coastal Bend

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Photo by Sierra Lutz. Lars Roeder, visiting assistant professor at TAMU-CC, shows festival goers how to use a Polargraph in a fun drawing game.

Sierra Lutz
Interim Editor-in-Cheif

50 artists, a Family Art Time center, live music, hands on art experiences and good eats were all part of Arts Alive 2018,  a two-day event at the Art Center of Corpus Christi over the Labor Day weekend.

The festival provided a venue for local artists, as well as some national artists, with out of state visitors from Oklahoma, New Mexico and even Alabama.

“I think I won the award for the furthest traveled to be here this weekend,” Nick Cantrell, a Batik Watercolor artist, said. “I came from Orange Beach, Ala., which is just off the Florida pan handle. So, it’s a good ways.”

As an artist, Cantrell goes to a lot of similar art festivals and he believes they not only help the artists themselves but the cities they are in.

“There are a lot of us who make a living out of this,” Cantrell said. “This is my full-time job so there is an economic impact, there is a tourism impact, there’s an educational and awareness impact. Anytime you’re sharing a piece of art there’s all those intangible things that are great, but there are many measurable benefits to having a thriving art community within your municipality or county.”

The Art Center of Corpus Christi has been serving the Costal Bend since 1972 and has continued to support local artists, encouraging community members to get involved with art.

Lars Roeder, visiting associate professor in the College of Liberal Arts who received his MFA from TAMU-CC in 2017, has been very involved with the Art Center and enjoys volunteering at many of their events.

“I’m very active. I’ve taught workshops, I’ve assisted on projects, helped them hang exhibitions in the gallery, so I’m pretty much around like a contracted artist/worker,” Roeder said. “And they’re so open to innovation and opportunities, so an event like this, anyone with a good idea can come in and do it.”

Over the last couple of years, art has become a big focus for the Coastal Bend. This event and others like it really strive to keep that streak going in the community.

“You really see the same faces,” Roeder said. “For Corpus being a big city, it’s a small community of people who are trying to put things together and get people to come out. Meeting them and knowing them connects you with that same core of people.”

Arts Alive 2018 has come and gone but there are many other events that you can be involved in throughout the year. Go to, http://www.artcentercc.org/, to learn more about what the Art Center of Corpus Christi has in store for you.

Then keep an eye out as student, faculty and guest exhibitions go up right here on campus at, http://cla.tamucc.edu/art/Events.html.

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