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Humans have worked with gourds for thousands of years, crafting them into everything from drinking vessels to musical instruments. The bulbous shape is also a beautiful medium for artists, which is evident at the Kerr Arts and Cultural Center’s annual Southwest Gourd Fine Art Show. The juried show and sale, May 21-June 28, features about 150 pieces from 30 artists. Their artworks, which must be at least 50 percent gourd, range from sculptures to elaborately painted, engraved, and woven gourds. The show’s free awards reception at 1 p.m. May 23 will bestow honors in categories like Southwest theme, fiber works, and mixed media.
Days of the Bison
On five trips to the American frontier in the 1830s, artist and writer George Catlin chronicled American Indians of the Great Plains in hundreds of colorful, detailed paintings. Forty of those works make up the Smithsonian Art Museum Touring Exhibition George Catlin’s American Buffalo, which the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum in Canyon hosts until August 30. Depicting bison, American Indian hunters, and tribal culture, Catlin’s paintings capture life on the Great Plains shortly before American settlement and government policy ushered in irrevocable changes.
PRAIRIES AND LAKES>Washington
At the Star of the Republic Museum, Enduring Spirit: African Americans in 19th Century Texas focuses on three time periods: the 1820s and early ’30s, when African-Americans were among settlers seeking land grants; the slavery years of the Republic of Texas and the Confederacy; and the post-Civil War era, when blacks met mixed fortunes as sharecroppers, craftsmen, and refugees. Artifacts of the exhibit—on display through February 15, 2016—include slave records, a slave quilt, and pottery made by newly liberated entrepreneurs. The Star museum is part of the Washington-on-the-Brazos State Historic Site.
The T-Bone Shuffle
Longview will celebrate the widespread musical influence of Texas bluesman Aaron “T-Bone” Walker this June 5-6 with the T-Bone Walker Blues Fest. About 30 bands will play the festival on indoor and outdoor stages at Maude Cobb Convention Center. Headliners include Los Lonely Boys, Rick Derringer, Tab Benoit, and Eric Gales. Born in 1910 in the Linden area and raised in Dallas, Walker was a dancer, singer, and multi-instrumentalist who wrote a multitude of classics, including “Stormy Monday.” He’s also credited as the first bluesman to record playing electric guitar.