Celebrate the Arts festival
Sat, 11/02/2013 - 10:00am
World-renowned artist and sculptor Robert Summers will open the new Cultural Arts Complex in Cleburne with a “hearth blessing” at 10 a.m. on Nov. 2 at the Celebrate the Arts festival at 425 Granbury Street in Cleburne.
“I am flattered you would want me to do this,” said Robert, who was born in Cleburne and is a longtime resident of Glen Rose.
The Celebrate the Arts festival and hearth warming will be the first major event at the JN Long Cultural Arts Complex. Cleburne Friends of the Cultural Arts has leased the former JN Long elementary campus at 425 Granbury Street from CISD for development into a major arts center. The main three-story structure was built in 1915. The separate cafeteria, gym and annexes were built later. Adult Ed will continue to use the annexes this year.
Two of Robert Summers most famous sculptures are the three cowboys and 70 Texas Longhorns on the Trail Drive in Dallas, and the 9-foot statue of John Wayne in the Orange County airport. Other works are in the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame, the state capitol in Austin, on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C., in Roswell and Artesia, New Mexico, and many other locations. See the website at www.summersstudio.com.
Robert had no formal training in art except a short course in mixing colors at age 15. He was soon told he had surpassed the instructor and was wasting his time. Robert's natural talent has been combined with a lot of hard work. His website shows the daunting process of making a sculpture at http://www.summersstudio.com/process.html.
He is equally acclaimed for his paintings, being chosen as the Western Artist of the Year, official Texas Bicentennial Artist in 1975, Official Sesquicentennial Artist of the Year by the 69th Texas Legislature, and, of course, has been named Favorite Son by the Glen Rose / Somervell County Chamber of Commerce.
Robert and his wife Boo, an artist in her own right, live in a partially underground home in Glen Rose that they built themselves.
The new JN Long Cultural Arts Complex is the result of a vision by a few persevering people. Cleburne Friends of the Cultural Arts began just two and a half years ago, and now, thanks to the lease of the historic JN Long campus made possible by Cleburne ISD Superintendent Dr. Tim Miller and the school board, a place for the arts has been found.
Charlotte Lawson, president of the Johnson County Art Guild, said “The Johnson County Art Guild purposely began in 1974 to promote the growth of art appreciation among its members and the general public through educational activities and public display of works of art. In spite of moving from pillar to post since its beginning, the strength and dedication of its county wide membership has kept the organization intact ever since. Needless to say, the JN Long Cultural Arts Complex is a dream come true for the organization. It will be a dependable space to support JCAG's purpose as well as the other cultural arts organizations. Then to top it off - a "hearth blessing" by Mr. Robert Summers himself! On behalf of the JCAG, we are so proud to be a part of this beginning. We thank all who have given themselves and resources to this effort.”
Henry Long, president of the Cleburne Camera Club and personal friend of Robert Summers, said “We are very pleased for Robert Summers to dedicate Cleburne's new Cultural Arts Complex November 2. Robert is not only an exceptional artist but a friend of the arts who strives to promote developing art associations, which in turn increase the quality of life in communities. I am certain everyone will enjoy his visit.”
He continued, “The Cultural Arts Complex will not only benefit the Cleburne Camera Club, but approximately seventeen other arts related organizations at this time. We appreciate the vision and hard work of Alden and Micki Nellis, members of the Arts groups, and Dr. Tim Miller and the Cleburne School Board for helping to make this dream possible.”
Alden Nellis, president of Cleburne Friends of the Cultural Arts, said, “We are truly honored that Robert Summers will help us open our new Cultural Arts Complex. We feel this is the beginning of a great thing in Cleburne. We hope everyone will come out November 2 and celebrate with us.”
More information is on the website at www.cleburneculturalarts.com.