Local airport launches art gallery

DONNIE BRYANT?donnie.bryant@empiretribune.com
PRCA President Doug Shores, CTFAC Executive Director Julie Crouch and the legendary G.K. Lewallen visit at the opening of Ethel Lewallen's art exhibit. ROCHELLE STIDHAM/E-T

The Clark Field Regional Airport was the launching site of a new Cross Timbers Fine Arts Center exhibit Thursday evening, where western art by local artist, Ethel Lewallen, was displayed. The art expo was the inauguration for a new program called Art in Public Places. It is the brainchild of the CTFAC Art Divas, a division of women dedicated to the promotion of art appreciation in the Cross Timbers area. Art in Public Places will rotate pieces in the airport gallery on a regular basis with the intention of eliciting public interest in the visual arts and bringing patrons into the space to view the works of local talents.

Julie Crouch, executive director of the arts council, anticipates the appeal of the exhibit will prompt attention from visitors on layover in the local airport.

"I hope the visitors to Stephenville who arrive by plane will enjoy the visual art from area artists,” Crouch said.

The opening of the exhibit was a busy one with G.K. Lewallen and his family on board, CTFAC board members, the Art Divas and members of the rodeo and airport boards attended the unveiling of the art gallery.

“Our first exhibit features the western artwork of beloved local artist, Ethel Lewallen, in honor of Western Heritage Week and the E.C.L.A. Rodeo later this month,” Crouch explained. “We hope to showcase a Western exhibit each September to honor the rodeo.”

Ethel Lewallen was the wife of rodeo cowboy star G.K. Lewallen. She had secured a position as a commercial artist while simultaneously studying at Tarrant County Junior College as an art major. Her talent earned her many accolades, culminating in her nomination by Texas legislators for the appointment of the Texas State Artist of the Year. Ethel Lewallen passed away in 1988.

Lewallen’s art will be on display until the first week of October. The exhibit is free to the public.

Clark Field Regional Airport is located at 1050 Airport Rd. behind Pulido’s Restaurant and the Caravan Inn on East Rd.