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.