November 24 - January 7, 2024
From the Rockprot Center for the Arts:
“The new Rockport Center for the Arts (RCA) opened on Dec. 10, 2022, with the Big Wave! Annual All-Members Exhibition as the new facility’s first show. One year later, the annual all-members show is set to once again kick off the holiday season.
Running November 24, 2023, through January 7, 2024, the Big Wave! Annual All-Members Exhibition will feature works from nearly 200 of RCA’s talented member artists, along with Merit Artist, showcasing three juried member artists from last year’s Big Wave! exhibition.
Spanning the H-E-B, Mendez Family, and Jeanie and Bill Wyatt galleries, Big Wave! will include more than 200 original works, such as paintings, sculptures, ceramics, and pottery. This year’s Merit Artist exhibition will be displayed in the McKelvey Charitable Fund Gallery with works by Al Kline, Emily McCauley, and the late Joyce Combs, selected by 2022 Big Wave jurors, sculptor Greg Reuter and RCA board members Lucy Nye and Kelly Schaub.
This year’s Big Wave! guest juror will be Michelle Smythe, executive director of K-Space Contemporary in Corpus Christi, who will have the honor of selecting the three participants for next year’s Merit Artist show. The artists will be announced at a special reception on Saturday, Dec. 9, from 5–7 p.m., which is free and open to the public, and features work available for purchase from both exhibitions. The reception will be part of the final Austin Street Art Walk of the year, a free, alfresco, walkable art experience featuring RCA and other galleries located in downtown Rockport.
“The annual all-member show is a favorite for many as it highlights an incredible variety of art from our family of amazing artists and provides an opportunity for an elite group to stand out as merit artists the following year,” said Luis Purón, executive director of RCA. “We are so pleased to have Michelle Smythe serve as our guest juror this year. She will no doubt have a difficult time selecting only three artists to receive top honors as participants in next year’s Merit Artist show.”
In RCA’s first year of operation on its new 1.2-acre campus in downtown Rockport, the facility has seen major growth: membership has tripled to 1,200; gallery and gift shop sales have doubled; and the number of visitors has also tripled with 6,000 guests over the summer months alone, compared to 1,000 on average in years prior.
In recognition of RCA’s stellar first year, The City of Rockport has proclaimed Dec. 9, 2023, as “I Love Rockport Center for the Arts Day” citing RCA’s 1969 start and the positive impact it has had on the City of Rockport, the 2022 completion of the $12.5 million 1.2-acre campus without incurring debt, and the impact the project has as a driver of the local economy.
“We have had a phenomenal first year,” said Purón. “We are so proud of these beautiful facilities and the impact they are having on our community, bolstering Rockport’s position as an artist colony, increasing revenues to other businesses in our community through increased tourism, and providing yet another cultural element to this part of the Coastal Bend.”
About Rockport Center for the Arts and The Rockport Conference Center (The ROCC)
The new 1.2-acre Rockport Center for the Arts is located a block away from Aransas Bay in the heart of the Rockport Cultural Arts District. Designed by the award-winning team at Richter Architects, the state-of-the-art campus features a two-story, 14,000-square-foot, visual arts and education building with four galleries and five classrooms (204 S. Austin St.); a one-story, 8,000-square-foot conference and event center, known as The ROCC, including a 4,400-square-foot ballroom and culinary arts kitchen (106 S. Austin St.); with a 16,000-square-foot Sculpture Garden serving as a visually inspiring transition space between the two buildings. The hours of operation for the showroom, galleries, and gift shop are Tuesday–Saturday from 10 a.m.–5 p.m., and Sunday from noon–4 p.m. Admission is always free. For information on event space, or to book an event, call (361) 450-8033. For general information and to become a member, visit rockportartcenter.com, follow RCA on Facebook, or call (361) 729-5519.
About Austin Street Art Walk
Austin Street Art Walk is a collective effort of the Rockport Center for the Arts and Moon Over Water Gallery in partnership with Rockport galleries, restaurants, and businesses located along Austin Street in the Rockport Cultural Arts District. Scheduled the second Saturday of each month, April through December, from 10 a.m.–6 p.m., Art Walk is a free, alfresco, walkable art experience featuring an ever-changing mix of participants and art mediums such as paintings, ceramics, jewelry, photography, textiles, as well as live music, artist demonstrations, food and more. Follow us on Facebook for more information.”
Reception: December 9, 2023 | 5–7 pm
638 E. Market St.
Rockport, 78382 TX