The architectural fabric and the economic viability of the downtown area were severely eroded after Hurricane Harvey in the late summer of 2017. The Rockport-Fulton Chamber of Commerce formed several economic recovery planning groups, one of those groups addressed downtown issues. A major goal for the downtown Rockport group was beautification—with two key strategies being adding art and flora to the downtown landscape.
In the winter of last year, the Rockport Center for the Arts (RCA) contracted San Antonio artist Louis Vega Treviño to paint a colorful mosaic on the stoop of the building, meant to add color to the street that had turned gloomy by the storm. In the spring of this year, RCA partnered with the largest U.S. construction company for a summer-long rehabilitation of the building.
This fall, during the Artist in Residence program, visiting artist Rabecca Signoriello engaged the arts community and students from the high school in a mural project to cover the building’s non-functional windows. Curator Elena Rodriguez states “This is something we have wanted for a long time—the murals combine downtown beautification and the elements of Rockport that make it what it is—art, history, and wildlife.”
Also, the Rockport Country Club (RCC) has entered into an arrangement with the RCA to act as the official curator of original works of art to be displayed in the newly rebuilt RCC clubhouse. Officially beginning in January 2019, the Art Center, under the direction of Executive Director Luis Purón and Curator Elena Rodriguez, will be selecting and displaying throughout the clubhouse art from its own collection and from noted artists.
In 2019, the Rockport Art Loop will be the new cultural activity. Nine Saturdays a year, the Austin Street corridor will feature seven simultaneous gallery openings, offering a walkable, al fresco artistic experience. The first Art Loop will take place on Saturday, February 9 from 5-7pm, which coincides with Rockport’s Clay Expo weekend. Spearheaded by the RCA, Art Loop is the combined effort of Rockport’s local art galleries. The participating art spaces are:
Rockport Center for the Arts
Anita Diebel Studio
The Gallery at Latitudes Restaurant
Wind Way Gallery
John Martell Photography
Stan Irvin Ceramics
Nothing can stop the arts from growing in Rockport!