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Spring Student Programs!

Spring Student Programs!

Currently on display in the Stasney Center for Education are forty artworks by young artists from the surrounding area. The artists are local 7th-12th graders and are all students who benefit from the OJAC's monthly in-school program, Art-to-Go. In January, one of our staff members and ATG instructors presented these students with five pieces by known artists in the OJAC collection. In cooperation with our theme "Talking Back," each student chose one of the five collection pieces as inspiration and responded by creating their own unique artwork. The collection pieces serve as a "jumping off point" for the students as they find their own voice or show us their own take on the subject matter, technique, or style of the original. As a part of the learning experience and honing their own artistic voice, students are also asked to write an artist statement with their work. 

We call it a Student Art Show not only for the artist participants but also for its jurors. The OJAC is proud of our Junior Docent corps, 7th-12th grades students who volunteer or work for the Education Department. The annual student art show is one of the JuDos' biggest projects during the school year. In the week before the show opens, JuDos volunteer their time and efforts to judge hundreds of submissions and carefully curate a show of artworks that speak to the theme and meet quality standards of creativity and craftsmanship. At the opening reception (held Saturday, March 10th) our JuDos present the winning students with certificates and prizes for Honorable Mention, Best in Category, and Best in Show.

On Saturday April 14th, JuDos will be hosting International Slow Art Day at the OJAC. Each of them are already hard at work to prepare a small gallery talk and activity for museum guests. Their research and presentation will be based on their favorite piece from our current exhibitions. In the coming weeks students will contact contemporary artists and research the history and style of their piece to give visitors a fresh look at their chosen piece and facilitate a more interactive museum experience. 

All in all, we're proud of the young artists and art appreciators in our area. It's deep within our mission at the OJAC that art is for all and we work hard to make it so. Be sure to come by and check out the Student Art Show before it goes off display at the end of March and mark your calendars to show your support for our students on International Slow Art Day, Saturday, April 14th.

2018 - Year of Conservation

2018 - Year of Conservation

As you may recall, the Old Jail Art Center designated 2017 as the "Year of the Membership" and successfully increased our membership by about 120 percent. 2018 will be the "Year of Conservation" and will encompass a variety of initiatives. Conservation, preservation, sustainability, and stewardship are all related concepts that describe the multiple projects taking place throughout the year.  

Efforts to increase funding for much needed conservation and preservation on works in the art and archives collections will focus on the Fort Worth Circle paintings and the original Shackelford County courthouse drawings. The OJAC has already taken the first step in its conservation endeavors by submitting a grant to the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) to fund a survey of 83 paintings by Fort Worth Circle artists. During that process, it was realized that the OJAC has the largest holding of Fort Worth Circle art works by any museum in the world. The original courthouse drawings on linen in the OJAC's Robert E. Nail Jr. Archives are in need of stabilization and archival framing. These are just two examples on a prioritized list of collections care. 

The much-anticipated initial series of video interviews in the Ardon Judd Oral History project administered through the OJAC's Robert E. Nail Jr. Archives will debut in October. This project demonstrates the importance of preserving regional history, while also making that history accessible to visitors, students and researchers. This wealth of information will be valuable resource for research, education and enjoyment for current and future generations.

The OJAC takes another step in sustainability by being awarded a grant from the The Green Mountain Energy Sun Club ® to install solar panels, which will reduce our energy expenses. Sun Club funds will also be provided for education programs that will dovetail with our current curriculum utilizing collection objects to promote stewardship and sustainability of our natural resources. Not only will the OJAC take a leadership role in this important endeavor for our region of Texas, but also reduce operating cost - directing those savings to other programs. 

These activities emphasize the imporantance of the OJAC as not only the primary repository of cultural and historical items and information, but also our obligation to protect and preserve that which we hold in public trust. 

- Patrick Kelly

Executive Director and Curator of Exhibitions 



Western Swing 2017

The 22nd Annual Western Swing Fundraiser was a big success! 

Thanks to all who came out for this fabulous exhibit opening and fundraiser benefitting OJAC Education Programs!

Each individual ticket sponsors 5 students for a year of school outreach through Art-To-Go.

Make plans to join us next June for this special event!

Earth Day at the OJAC

Earth Day at the OJAC

On Saturday, April 22nd, the OJAC hosted a Family Festival in celebration of Earth Day! Families of all shapes and sizes from the surrounding area made the trek to Albany to participate in arts, crafts, and activities that included important Earth Day topics. We created a cheerful spring mural out of our recycling, made bird feeders, and even got our hands a little dirty planting in an effort to learn about taking better care of our planet.

The truth is, after all the planning and preparation, Family Festivals are as much fun for the museum staff and volunteers as they are for those who attend. We love introducing local students and people of all ages to new cultures, art-forms, and social awareness topics in an exciting, hands-on way. Seeing our student's faces light up when they try or learn something new reminds why we're here and brings joy to even the most mundane tasks. In the weeks leading up to a Family Festival, flyers are sent out to all our participating Art-to-Go students from Region 14 and personal invitations are extended by our instructors in every classroom they visit. As a result, families come from miles around to experience the crafts, music, games, and refreshments inspired by a culture or topic represented in the museum collection.

We look forward to these quarterly opportunities to make fun and creative connections with visitors of all generations from our community. Bring the whole family and join us for our next Family Festival this Fall. 

- Molly Gore Merck

Education Coordinator