Rockport center for the arts open and hosting first post-covid-19 exhibition

Award-winning impressionist V….Vaughan show opens June 19; selected as poster artist for Rockport Art Festival

ROCKPORT, Texas — With her impressionist oil paintings gracing the collections of museums and private collectors alike, Virginia “V….” Vaughan’s work focuses on special projects that are heartfelt and comprehensive, treating her subjects to documentary style study.

Painting on location all across the U.S., her plein air creations are purposeful, depicting the environments and locations she loves.

“My favorite subjects are wild places and around the countryside near the Texas Coast and America’s small farms,” said Vaughan. “I paint because it’s the best way I know how to communicate, study and observe God’s creative work, and to think His thoughts after Him.”

Vaughan will be the first featured exhibition following the May 1 reopening of Rockport Center for the Arts. The June 19–August 1 show will feature a variety of V….Vaughan’s works, including her piece selected as the poster art for this year’s Rockport Art Festival, scheduled for July 4–5, 2020. There will be a public unveiling of the piece along with an artist gallery talk, reception and poster signing on Saturday, June 20, from 4–7 p.m. The original work will then be sold at the live Summer Art Auction 2020 on Thursday, July 2, kicking off Art Festival weekend; this year there will be an online auction element along with the in-person event being held at the Estelle Stair Gallery. Posters will be available for sale at the gallery as well as on-site at the Art Festival Store during event weekend.

 “We are so pleased to have V….Vaughan’s art in the gallery again,” said Elena Rodriguez, curator for Rockport Center for the Arts. “Her work is so iconically Rockport. I can look at one of her paintings and know exactly where it is in town, and I feel at home. Even non-locals will appreciate the serene nostalgia of a V….Vaughan painting.

Vaughan’s signature style is influenced by notable artists she has studied with, including Carolyn Anderson, Kevin Macpherson, Kathryn Stats, Ann Templeton, and Ray Vinella, a former member of the famed Taos Six.

Throughout her career, Vaughan has worked on a number of memorable projects. In 2008, she created 365 daily small works depicting her family’s “Last Year on the Farm” before moving from the land, with the paintings featured at various museums and venues, including Rockport Center for the Arts, and receiving great reviews. In 2011, she presented a follow-up exhibit entitled “Passing America” in which she explored America’s disappearing family farms. Both shows debuted at the Great Plains Art Museum at the University of Nebraska. Following in 2013 was “The Birdseed Project,” a personal study of bird paintings that became a small fundraiser to provide birdfeeders and birdseed to Austin area nursing homes.

Current projects, including the Art Festival poster art, explore the Texas Gulf Coast, shaped by tides, dramatic weather, and rapid change as Texas grows.

“V….Vaughan’s work is outstanding and the perfect choice for this year’s Art Festival poster,“ said Luis Purón, executive director for Rockport Center for the Arts. “Every year, a committee gathers to select one master artist, to join a select group of individuals known for their achievements and excellence in the arts, for their engagement and contributions to the Rockport Center for the Arts, and for their ability to capture the coastal aesthetic that Rockport and the Rockport Art Festival are recognized for.  V…. is the essence of those qualifications.”

Prior to her full-time career as an impressionist painter, Vaughan used her artistic talents in other ways, including as an Addy Award-winning graphic designer/art director/illustrator for advertising clients including Samsung, The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, and Harcourt Publishing.  For more than 20 years she has been a part-time art instructor at Hyde Park High School (Austin) and continues to share her love of art with others also by teaching painting workshops across the country. Vaughan adds, “I am very proud of what Hyde Park High School has accomplished in order to continue to carry out their mission during the pandemic. Our children did not miss a beat and they are ready to tackle the next school year.”

Vaughan’s paintings are part of the permanent collection of the Great Plains Art Museum located at the University of Nebraska (Lincoln, Neb.), the Bone Creek Museum of Agrarian Art (David City, Neb.), and the Gadsden Museum of Art (Gadsden, Ala.), as well as countless private collections. She has won numerous awards over the years and been featured in numerous publications including Art of the West, Southwest Art and Texas Monthly.

Rockport Center for the Arts is located in downtown Rockport at Estelle Stair Gallery, 406 S. Austin St. Hours of operation are Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Admission is always free and open to the public. Visit rockportartcenter.com, follow us on Facebook, or call (361) 729-5519 for more information.

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