The Rockport Center for the Arts (RCA), a multipurpose arts hub in the heart of the coastal city’s Cultural Arts District, is preparing for the 55th Annual Rockport Art Festival. The festival is set to take place over the weekend of July 1–2. The festivities will be held at the Festival Grounds at Rockport Harbor. An Art Auction Gala will mark the beginning of the event on the evening of Friday, June 30 at 6:30 p.m.
The Gala will feature both live and silent auctions in a climate-controlled big top tent. Wildlife sculptor Kent Ullberg, who was honored as this year’s Rockport Art Festival Master Artist, will contribute work to the auctions. Mr. Ullberg creates cast metal sculptures of expressive, lifelike animals with titles like Big Medicine for a bison, and Mountain Lords for a pair of tabletop busts, a bald eagle and a mountain lion that were created to be bookends. Pieces from former Festival Master Artists will also be available. Tickets to the gala can be purchased on the festival’s website for $200 per person.
Admission to the festival itself is $10 for a single-day ticket. Children 12 and under get in free. Two-day VIP passes are available for $15 each. Tickets may be purchased online until June 28, in person at RCA, or at the event itself. The festival grounds are located at 1500 E. Laurel, adjacent to Rockport Beach Park and Aransas Bay.
Open hours are from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on July 1 and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on July 2. There will be food and drink available from an array of vendors, and live music will occur throughout the weekend. The Jon Perez Duet, the Alley Catz Trio featuring Michael Perez, the Tristum Trio Featuring Mike Guerra, Michael Moore (playing solo guitar), and Carl and Claudia Melton’s Family Affair will all perform in a 14,000-square-foot air-conditioned tent. An adjacent children’s activity tent will feature arts and crafts, face painting, and live music by Joe McDermott.
The Art Festival Store will offer an array of items for purchase, including event t-shirts. Each year the Festival’s shirt is designed by a student from Rockport-Fulton Middle School. Seventh grader Bristan Rodriguez submitted this year’s winning design, which features a geometric shorebird wading in front of a vibrant seaside landscape.
The Rockport Art Festival began in 1969 and now attracts over 10,000 attendees annually. This year, more than 120 artists from across the country will participate. A comprehensive list of participating artists, including painters, sculptors, ceramicists, and metalworkers, can be found on the festival’s website.
According to Karen Ernst, chairman for the Rockport Art Festival, “The event offers an enjoyable festival experience for all while celebrating creativity and providing the premier place to collect original works of art in a vast array of media and price points.”
For more information about the Rockport Art Festival, interested parties may visit rockportartfest.com or call (361) 729-5519.