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Museum To Explore Texas Art With Events, Exhibits

June 23, 2014
SHSU Media Contact: Jennifer Gauntt

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The Sam Houston Memorial Museum is offering three activities and events this July that will explore the artistic side of Texas history.

“Lost and Found in Texas,” a photography exhibit by Derrick Birdsall that showcases the landscape of Texas, is on display through Aug. 10 in the Katy and E. Don Walker Sr. Education Center Exhibit Gallery.

silhouette of a structure with a damaged roof against a golden sky with sunset in the background
An image from Derrick Birdsall's "Lost and Found in Texas" exhibit, on display in the Walker Education Center through Aug. 10. —Submitted photo

The exhibit includes approximately 40 images that showcase the landscape of Texas, and especially west Texas.

"Growing up, I always had a love for history and I carried that through my college years, eventually emerging with a master’s degree in history from SHSU,” said Birdsall, the superintendent at the Historical Park in Farmers Branch. “At some point in the last few years, I started to get serious about photography and merged my love for history and old places with my passion for photography and adventure.

“Whether it's remnants of old frontier forts and homesteads or just ‘old’ places that stir the soul, old places are a common theme in my photography,” he said. “It is my belief that in order to feel connected to a place, you need to see and feel it for yourself. If you can view some of my images and get the urge to see something in person, then my work here is done.”

On July 9, the museum’s “Tin Punch” demonstration will allow both children and adults the opportunity to create their own hand-made crafts from 9 a.m. to noon at Bear Bend Cabin, with hands-on activities beginning each hour.

“After Texas pioneers settled into their new homes, they began to make them beautiful. Tin was readily available in the form of cans and sheets which settlers would poke holes into to make designs,” said Helen Belcher, museum acting curator of education. “This decorated tin could be used to make candle holders, pie safes and more.”

All ages are welcome, although children must be accompanied by an attentive adult, and attendees are encouraged to bring a hammer or mallet, if one is available.

Finally, the worlds of art and history will collide for local children in July and August, when the museum will host its second hands-on, educational day camp.

The “Where Art and History Collide Art Camp” will be held in two sessions, one for ages 6-8 from July 21-25 and the second for ages 9-12 from Aug. 4-8. Both will be from 9 a.m. to noon at the museum.

Looking to the past for inspiration, projects will utilize the museum’s collections and features to inspire the young “campers’” projects, such as Temple Houston’s pottery collection in learning about building pots; the museum’s main rotunda in mosaic making; and Gen. Sam Houston’s silhouette portrait to make their own silhouettes.

“We plan to have fun and get our hands dirty as we explore different artistic techniques,” said Belcher, who is leading the camp with museum historical interpreter David Barker. “We plan to create mosaics, craft and fire pottery, explore drawing and perspective, work with weaving and textiles, make homemade toys, and more.”

The camp will culminate with an art exhibit and reception, which will highlight these projects and are open to the public. The first session reception and exhibit will be on July 25, from 5-6:30 p.m. at the Walker Education Center, and the second session reception and exhibit will be on Aug. 8, also from 5-6:30 p.m. at the Walker Education Center.

“Last year was an experiment for us to try a program like this at the museum, so we were not really sure what kind of response we would get,” said Megan Buro, museum marketing coordinator. “We learned from last year that it would be best to have two sessions because of the differences in maturity and abilities between 6 year olds and 12 year olds. The two sessions allows staff to focus more on that age limit and projects geared for that age.

Space is limited for each session. The cost is $75 per week per child or $20 per day.

The Walker Education Center Atrium is open from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

For more information or to register for a day camp, contact Belcher at 936.294.3153 or visit the museum on Facebook.



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