Kevin R. McCarthy for Jefferson County Commissioner

Port Arthur City Council Has Lost It’s Mind

According to KFDM News, the Port Arthur City Council has decided to beautify the west end with a series of murals on buildings.  They have contracted with a museum in Houston to help with the work and will get schools, churches, etc involved.

Now don’t get me wrong, I think it’s a pretty good idea.  Not quite up there with adding 10 more patrol officers to PAPD, but not a terrible plan.  The STUPID part is that they went to Houston for help with the art.  Everything must be better in Houston, because they must not have even checked the Golden Triangle phone book.

Port Arthur has TAMS, the Texas Artist Museum, that monthly features local artists and has dozens of gallery shows.  The director of TAMS is from California and was a MURAL ARTIST for a major motion picture studio.

Nederland has their own art guild.

Beaumont has the Art Studio Inc, the Beaumont Art League and the Art Museum of Southeast Texas.  The BAL and the Art Studio have lists of local artists in a huge variety of mediums and styles.  There are literally hundreds of local artists.  The Art Museum doesn’t do a lot of art, but regularly has exhibitions from famous artists.  Surely, one of these organizations would be willing to work the City of Port Arthur.

Let’s not forget about the dozens of art students and faculty at Lamar University.  Some of the faculty are literally world-renowned artists (Keith Carter for one).

Hey, Port Arthur City Council,  let’s keep things local.  We don’t need Houston for art.

February 27, 2008 - Posted by | Jefferson County, Politics, Port Arthur, Texas

3 Comments »

  1. […] Once again though, local groups are going outside the area to have work done that could be done be local people.  ( see this blog entry for a list). […]

    Pingback by Arts in Southeast Texas « Kevin R. McCarthy for Jefferson County Commissioner | March 14, 2008 | Reply

  2. With all due respect to artists living and working in Port Arthur and the Golden Triangle area, not every artist is capable and or willing to carry out the type of work that MOCAH produces. MOCAH is a specialist in public art that is designed and produced with the involvement of youth and community members.

    MOCAH has produced over 90 public art projects in the Houston area. To view samples of these projects visit us online at http://www.mocah.org. MOCAH has more than 10 years of experience producing such work. Our specialty is mosaic murals and public art sculpture. As the director of MOCAH I have personally visited Port Arthur, Beaumont and the Nederland area on numerous occassions and I have not encountered one mosaic mural in any of these areas.

    In our discussions with the city of Port Arthur to create a commemorative art project for the West Side Community we reached out to TAMS and met with their Director. We respect his experience and knowledge of murals and we think he is a great assest to the city of Port Arthur. We expressed our desire to work with him and train him in the techniques and methods we use to create large scale mosaic projects. This was an area that was outside his experience base, as he expressed to us.

    Furthermore, we have experience raising money on behalf of these types of projects, which is another area that most individual artist(s) have little to no experience in.

    When you are seeking what is best for your community or city its not STUPID to go to where you know you can get what you need. What doesn’t make sense is to expect something from someone that has no experience in doing what is needed. Again, we are specialist at what we do. There are not even many artists or art groups in Houston that perform the type of work we produce using the methods that we have refined over the past ten years.

    We have designed and produced some of the largest mosaic murals in the state of Texas and some may argue the US. We have managed millions of dollars in public art commissions for major corporations, school districts, the City of Houston, the Port of Houston, colleges, universities, redevelopment authorities, hospitals and community based organizations.

    We look forward to any partnerships that may be forged between MOCAH and Golden Triangle artists. We hope to share and well as learn from each other through this process. There is plenty of work to be done and more than enough to go around for all. There is actually nothing preventing the local artist community from carrying out this work now.

    The real question that may need to be asked is that if there are local artists and resources available to carry out this type of work why isn’t it being done already?

    We look forward to bringing our creative expertise to the great city of Port Arthur and working with any artists or arts organization that are open to working with MOCAH.

    Thank you for this outlet to express our interest in helping the city of Port Arthur through a creative approach to community development.

    Reginald Adams
    Co-Founder/Director
    MOCAH
    http://www.mocah.org
    713.224.2787

    Comment by MOCAH | September 10, 2008 | Reply

  3. Let me answer you questions and statements in reverse order:

    1) Why isn’t it already being done? No one has asked, no one has volunteered, no one even suggested anything about this until we heard on the news that this project was being done.

    2) Will you seek out local artists? Your reply has been the first myself and my wife (who is intimately connected to the local art community) has heard about this since the announcement.

    3) Will you pay them a wage comparable to what Houston artists would receive? A giant project like this, with competent artists, can’t be done as a freebie.

    4) It is not stupid to seek out competent people to do the job, however, there are four well known artists, who have many years with mosaic murals. Two of them have done this same kind of work in Mexico. My wife, while the director of the Beaumont Art League, has handled dozens of major grants, three major fund raising events and 12 shows and competitions every year.

    5) I suspect that there are no mosaics in this area because we don’t have the structures to support large mosaics.

    6) Just who was it at TAMS you talked to?

    7) Have you talked with the Southeast Texas Arts Council? This is the organization that provides grants to SE Texas artists and art programs. There are four major art organizations in the Beaumont/Port Arthur area that have a great deal of experience with this organization and applying for and receiving grants.

    I think the proposal is a good one. However, the artists and organizations of SE Texas have been totally left out of the loop. Any efforts to promote the community should include the community and it should promote the entire community. Why isn’t Griffin Park, Port Acres, the seawall, Downtown, or Sabine Pass being included in this project?

    Thanks for your reply. Since this is a Port Arthur City issue, I would have no control or influence on this decision as County Commissioner. However, I live in Port Arthur, and I am concerned in that way.

    Comment by ogremkv | September 10, 2008 | Reply


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