The growth of Mexicans/Mexican-Americans/Hispanics in Abilene can be attributed to the need for workers for the growing town of Abilene. Today, Hispanics are a very important group in Abilene and contribute greatly to the community as business owners and educators, as professionals in the public and private sectors, and as active members in other arenas such as involvement in churches, volunteer and charitable organizations, and the arts.
Identifiable subjects are only part of the enduring allure of realism. Each generation of realist artists brings new subjects, new media, and new viewpoints to the genre. The AS IS: rural realism exhibitions feature the art of contemporary realists who focus on off-road subjects to create unique ways of seeing just how significant the seemingly insignificant can be. Following the lead of earlier American realists who shunned romanticized views of their world, artists Randy Bacon, Daniel Blagg, Julie Bozzi, Lloyd Brown, Brian Cobble, Pat Gabriel, Woody Gwyn, Katie Maratta, and Sarah Williams draw on personal experience to capture current rural landscape AS IS.
“In 2004, I quit my day job as a staff photographer at the Dallas Morning News to pursue freelance and fine art photography. Day one of being self- employed, I drove to Marfa with my future husband, our two dogs and my red Hasselblad and a bunch of film. I took the opportunity to slow down, wait for the light and make photography. I have continued photographing Marfa and surrounding West Texas towns over the years as an ongoing study of the landscape and light. I love trying to capture the slow desert pace and the mythical light.” - Allison V. Smith
Josef Albers (1888-1976) was an American-German artist best known for his iconic color square series, Homage to the Square, which he began in 1949 and major contributions to color theory. In 1981 Mr. and Mrs. Tony Andress gifted this set of ten lithographs from Albers’ 1965 series Homage to the Square, Soft Edge - Hard Edge to the Abilene Fine Arts Museum. This is the first time the full set of prints has been exhibited at the museum.