Lee Casbeer Art Exhibit Opens at Llano Fine Art Guild

Lee Cassbeer talks with Ira and Kathy Kennedy at the Saturday reception of his art exhibit scheduled through October 4.

Saturday afternoon, September 19, was a continuation of a big art weekend in Llano with the opening of Lee Casbeer’s Art Exhibit at the Llano Fine Art Guild. Casbeer grew up in Llano but finished High School in Fredericksburg, Texas, then studied art under John McClusky with the Fredericksburg Art Guild. Afterwards he spent 5 years in Italy developing his skills in painting and selling his art work in sidewalk shows including “Trastevere in Arte Vicenza.”
The work in this exhibit has a Western theme featuring his Longhorns, Equestrian, Deer, one particular piece featuring the Alamo and others featuring the Texas Hill Country wildflowers.
In 1999, he and his brother Matt founded their mural painting company, Lmc Murals & Fine Art. Their work can be found in corporate and private collections around the United States, Europe, and the Middle East. In 2009, he opened a studio and gallery in Johnson City, Texas where he continues to create murals and fine art, as well as work on art restoration.
The exhibit will continue through October 4, 2015, hours for the Guild are Wednesday through Saturday, 10-4 and on Sunday 1-4.

Western Trappings Exhibit Begins

Western Trappings opened Friday, September 18, The show runs through November.

“Kintsugi,” Cheryl Quallenberg said. “It’s a Japanese philosophy and repair technique. Kintsugi means if you repair something that’s broken it’s better than it was before. It adds to the beauty of life.” It’s also more valuable because you repair it with gold.
We were standing next to a sculpture of mesquite wood that looked like abstract art. Actually it was the way the tree grew and local artist Lou Quallenberg worked the wood, polished it, and finished it off. He carves exclusively in mesquite and always makes hearts. And he adds gold.
This one is valued at $2500. “I have one that’s $4300. I spent 180 hours on it. And it also has gold in it.”
Quallenberg is one of 55 artists whose work is on display at the Llano County Historical Museum for an exhibit called “Western Trappings on the Llano.” Many of the artists are local, but some hail from states such as Oklahoma, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Wisconsin, New Mexico, California, and others. If it’s western art, it’s in.
Or maybe not. “There are 110 items here, but that’s only about 50% of the artwork submitted. Some really good stuff was juried out,” said Charles Wendt, chairman of the event. “Over 200 works came in.” All were screened for quality.
We were visiting at the Friday night “Meet the Artists” event at the Museum. Thirty-seven of the artists showing were present and eager to talk to museum visitors. This third annual “Western Trappings on the Llano” is part of a movement that includes art exhibits in the Cherokee Strip, Enid, Oklahoma, Phoenix, Arizona, and Alpine, Texas.
The Llano Museum is itself a historical artifact. It was Bruhl’s Pharmacy and still has the lunch counter and stools intact.
Towards the back of the exhibit I admired a bronze sculpture by Norman, Oklahoma artist H.R. Kaiser. Entitled “Trepidation” and priced at $5200, it depicts a cowboy lassoing a wild stallion, presumably for breaking. He’s dallying his lariat around a post while the horse is resisting. Kaiser captures the power of the horse and the strength and determination of the cowboy; even the chaps seem to be flapping in the effort expended.
Everything in the exhibit is “one of a kind.” Besides paintings and sculptures there are items of “custom gear.” Pottery, silver, leather, basketry, jewelry and woodcarvings are on display.
Jason Yachik from Albuquerque makes spurs. He spends more than 20 hours on each pair, and eight and a half hours on each rowel, depending on the fancy cutouts and other decorations. “Ninety percent of my spurs go to working cowboys and they wear them every day,” he says. The cowboys pay from $450 to $750 for the fancy sets layered with precious metals.
You may have seen the work of Daniel Adams, presently of Buchanan Dam, and not have known it. He worked animatronics for Disney World in Florida. Pirates or presidents, anyone? Now he paints buffalo, bison, hummingbirds, “all things Texas,” he says. His “Tatonka”, a buffalo oil painting measuring 36” x 24”, is priced at $8000.
An acrylic on canvas painting of a prickly pear in flower by Merri Ellen Kase was very impressive. Several people agreed it was almost 3D. “You think that spine will prick you,” one man said. The painting is big, 30” x 40”. Entitled “Everything’s bigger in Texas,” it’s priced at $3500.
Want to take good care of your lariat? Wayne Decker of Round Rock, provides a Sheridan style tooled rope case at $895.
Benton Cassady, from the Six Mile area and a 1955 graduate of LHS, does leatherwork, mostly braiding. One six-foot bullwhip goes for $800. He has others, and braided leather cane on display.
The event was hosted by Texas Public Radio (KVHL 91.7FM), Lowe’s Supermarket, and Miiller’s Meat Market.
Saturday afternoon at the American Legion Hall, Link Fuller captained the auction to benefit Western Trappings and the Museum. Fifty-six items were cataloged and sold, but some were donated back and resold. As Link said, “You’re not here to get a deal, you’re here to help the cause.”
A water color by local Jack Moss, “Days Work Done”, showing a cowboy looking like John Wayne in “The Searchers,” brought $575.
Ten of the auctioned items were from Llano artists, 30 from other Texas artists. Other items came from artists in Wyoming, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Washington, Arizona, Nebraska, California, Ohio, and Louisiana.
The unofficial total for the auction sales is about $12,500, Charles Wendt reported.
The third annual Western Trappings on the Llano will be on exhibit until November 15, at the Llano County Historical Museum, 310 Bessemer Ave (park in back across from the Chamber of Commerce building). Admission is free during museum hours. For more information visit www.WesternTrappings.com.

Weekend Events: June 12-14

Lavender Field

This weekend is full of diverse events, perfect for a unique daytrip! Whether it's shopping hand-made goods, trying some Texas mead or browsing an art gallery that tickles your fancy, it's all going on this weekend in the Hill Country.

Here are some of our favorite events happening June 12-14:

  • Blanco Lavender Festival in Blanco: The 11th annual Blanco Lavender Festival will be in full-swing from June 12-14 in the Blanco Square. Check out hand-made lavender products, take lavender farm tours, or taste-test some tasty Texas treats!
  • Amateur Wine, Mead & BBQ Festival in Seguin: Blue Lotus Winery and Texas Mead Works are joining together to present the Amateur Wine, Mead & BBQ Festival on June 13, from 11am to 6pm. Attend some of the festival's wine and mead lectures, enjoy live music and browse through the wares of local vendors at this community event.
  • "Figures in an Exhibition" by Peter Mangan in Johnson City: In this sculpture exhibition, you'll see the evolution of an artist's work over 20 years through stunning and abstracted sculpture. "Figures in an Exhibition" is on display at The Sculpture Ranch through October 15 and will be open from noon to 6pm this weekend.

Photo courtesy of Free Images.

Artists Helping Wimberley

100 Pieces of Original Art for $100

Following Wimberley's historic flood which damaged the homes of many residents, the Wimberley Valley Art League is reaching out to help those in need. The Art League, comprised of 125 members, has a dozen or more of its artists affected by the floodwaters. To help those artists and many other displaced residents, the League has called upon its members and artist-associates to host a special one-day exhibit called [email protected] This gallery show on June 27th from 2pm to 6pm will be at the Wimberley Community Center, 14068 RR12 in Wimberley.

Over 100 pieces of art, of all media and sizes, will be sold for $100 or less. A few larger and special pieces will be available at a silent auction. Live music by local talent, and wine and snacks will be served. There is no admission fee, however donations will be accepted. The art is donated by the artists and proceeds will go to Barnabas Connection for the 2015 flood victims. Artists who would like to donate work for this event can contact the League at 512-826-4286. Visit wimberleyartleague.com for more information.

Kerrville Memorial Weekend Art Events Expand Even More in 2015

Kerrville once again will become the center of the Texas Art Scene Memorial Weekend as a remarkable variety of arts events will take place throughout the city and the surrounding area.

The 12th Annual Texas Masters of Fine Art and Craft Invitational Show will be held Friday, May 22, through Sunday, May 24, as 25 award-winning Texas artists transform the ballrooms of the Y.O. Ranch Hotel into a breath-taking gallery of original artwork. This show has become an annual "Collectors' Showcase" as art aficionados travel from all over the US for the chance to acquire new treasures.

Exhibition organizer Dan Baker, who, with his wife, Linda, first displayed their handcrafted gold and silver jewelry at the Texas State Arts & Crafts Fair in 1977, states that, "After 38 years of showing in Kerrville we've developed a good clientele and wonderful friendships – in some cases even extending into the third generation of buyers from the same family. The YO is a great place for collectors to hang out with their favorite artists, so we all try to have new pieces to unveil at the show."

The Y.O. Ranch Resort Hotel is located at 2033 Sidney Baker (Hwy 16), ½ mile from exit 508 of IH 10, on the southwest corner of Sidney Baker and Hwy 534. The show hours will be Friday, 10 a.m. -7 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Admission is free. For more information about the show and its artists and to view photographs of their work, go to http://texasmasters.com

The 2nd Annual Masters of Fine Art & Craft at the Inn of the Hills will fill the hotel's Conference Center with the displays of two dozen outstanding artists and craftspeople from Friday, May 22 through Sunday, May 24. The show will benefit the West Kerr Community Scholarships and will host a special reception Friday night, May 22rd from 6:30 to 9 pm. The reception will feature both a silent and a live auction, accompanied by wine, hors d'oeuvres and music. There will be a fee for admission to the reception.

Regular show hours will be 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on Friday; 10 a.m.- 6 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on Sunday, with free admission during those times. The Inn of the Hills Conference Center is located at 1001 Junction Highway, Kerrville, Texas 78028. For more information about the show call 830-238-4098, or go to FACEBOOK.COM/WKCSMFAC.

Downtown Kerrville will become a free festival from the county courthouse to the Guadalupe River with the 2nd Annual rendition of the Kerrville Festival of the Arts on Saturday and Sunday, May 24th and 25th. After its successful debut last year, this juried fine arts and crafts event will expand from its original site in the 700-800 blocks of Water Street to include the 200 block of Earl Garrett St. About a hundred artists and craftspeople will exhibit their original creations from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. each day. There will be street performances and lots of other opportunities for family fun. Admission to the festival is free of charge with ample parking in the nearby city garage. For more information about the festival, call 830-895-7962 or go to www.kvartfest.com.

The Kerr Arts & Cultural Center is adjacent to the Festival of the Arts and will be presenting the Southwest Gourd Fine Art Show, along with other activities, May 22 through June 22, 2015. A reception and presentation of awards will occur on Saturday May 24th, from 1-3 p.m. This show will amaze you with the inventiveness of the artists. Also there will be special hands-on art projects for younger visitors – they can weave, print, glue, bead, paint and be painted at the Creative Area for Kids at KACC. Some projects are free and others are $2 each or 3 for $5. For more information go to http://kacckerrville.com/

Kerr County Market Days, May 23 and 24 is an old-fashioned market on the square with over 75 vendors selling Texas wares; arts, crafts, jewelry, fresh-grown produce, plants & more. Hours will be 9 a.m.-4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday at the Kerr County Courthouse Square, 700 Main St. Go to http://www.kerrmarketdays.org/ or phone (830) 895-7524 for details.

Kerrville's Historic Downtown area offers visitors not only a Fine Art experience but also the opportunity to visit our fine restaurants and shops. You will find a little bit of everything – antiques, collectibles, rare and collectible books, home décor and fine clothing.

The Hill Country Quilt Guild presents the 2015 Quilt Show, "Dimensions in Quilting" May 22-24, in Edington Gymnasium at Schreiner University, 2100 Memorial Blvd, Kerrville TX. Admission $7, children under 12 free. This biennial show features over 200 juried quilts, wearable and fiber arts. Call 830-928-9407 or 830-257-5272 for more information or go to www.hillcountryquiltguild.com.

One of the great Texas traditions returning for its 44th edition is the Kerrville Folk Festival. This internationally acclaimed gathering of musicians is held annually at the Quiet Valley Ranch, 9 miles south of Kerrville on Texas Hwy 16. Starting on Thursday, May 21, the music continues for 18 days, with performances by more than 100 singer-songwriters and their bands. For more information on the festival, call 830-257-3600 or go to http://www.kerrville-music.com/

In addition to the special events, Kerr County is home to many artists and craftspeople.15 galleries and museums, representing a diversity of styles and media, have formed the Art in the Hills Association to create the "Hill Country Art Trail." They can be accessed at http://www.artinthehills.com/.

The Kerrville Convention & Visitors Bureau, 2108 Sidney Baker, Kerrville, TX 78028, 830-792-3535 has information about these and other happenings in the heart of the Texas Hill Country. Their website is http://www.kerrvilletexascvb.com/.

For more information Contact: Dan Baker, Coordinator of the Texas Masters of Fine Art & Craft Invitational Show; P.O. Box 180506, Dallas, TX 75218 ; Phone 214-497-7179 or 469-223-4162; Email [email protected]

Uptown Blanco

Pam Jernigan had no idea she had any creative talent until she stepped into the Textile Studio at Uptown Blanco, a dining and cultural arts complex on the Blanco square.

"I don't draw, paint or sculpt," Jernigan says. "I live in Georgetown, but I drive here because of the ladies who work and teach in the studio." Since taking up quilting a few years ago, Jernigan has branched out to designing and sewing quilted pieces that rival fine art. For example, one creation embodies a friend's garden in Colorado, complete with snow-topped mountains, towering pines, and a footpath bordered with colorful blooms.

Textile studio director Andrea Meegan assists Jernigan with fabric choices and stitching patterns. "Working with our customers is what we do best," she says.

Making people happy and enhancing their lives–ask any of the directors at Uptown Blanco, and they'll agree that those two goals rank among their top work-related priorities. "We want to create relationships," says Ryan Humes, food and beverage director. "We love to work one on one with our customers and clients."

The story behind Uptown Blanco dates back to 1999 when Renee Benson, a native San Antonian with long-time ranching roots in Blanco County, purchased two historic buildings on the west side of Blanco's square. Then she began to envision and formulate a master plan for her long-term project, which she named Uptown Blanco Arts and Entertainment. With time, Benson purchased more property until she owned the entire block, which included the town's old movie theater built in 1938.

After seven years of planning, renovation, and construction, Benson opened her first business in December 2006. Right away, Uptown Blanco Restaurant drew raves for its upscale atmosphere and fine dining menu. In August 2010, the Art Center opened followed by the Textile Studio in December 2013.

"The Textile Studio has taken off and grown in leaps and bounds," says Carolyn Zbytovsky, Uptown Blanco's general manager who offices in a renovated 1873 rock house on Third Street. "In fact, our next project will be to expand the studio with additional workshop space."

Additional plans call for a community theater and a tavern with local and regional beers and wines. Renovations continue on both buildings that will house the future businesses. In the meantime, Uptown Blanco Arts and Entertainment has plenty happening nearly every day.

The Restaurant

Ryan Humes, who joined Uptown last July, oversees the restaurant in addition to the Courtyard and Ballroom. The Courtyard–landscaped with its grassy lawns, Victorian gazebo, and large koi pond–is available for weddings, concerts, and community events. Likewise, the upstairs Ballroom–elegantly furnished with gold accents and a mirrored wall–may be rented for special occasions. The space also hosts the Blanco Performing Arts Concert Series.

"Uptown Blanco is such a beautiful location, and we offer many services in one place," Humes says. "As a wedding venue, we have a wedding planner and photographers on staff. We can host rehearsal dinners in our private dining room and special bridal parties, like a 'Sip and Create' workshop at the Art Center. Clients are only limited by their imagination."

At the restaurant, "we serve $7.95 and $8.95 week-day lunch specials, which we post on Facebook," Humes says. "Our chef has a Creole background so seafood is his forte. We've given him the green light to be more creative in the kitchen. Some of our recent specials, which customers love, have been shrimp and tilapia fettuccine with clam sauce and shrimp ravioli with shrimp Creole sauce."

The Arts Center

Housed in a 1930s former hotel later converted into a home, the Art Center offers creative workshops, custom framing, a consignment gallery, retail art supplies for sale, and a small resource library.

"We're super excited about our gallery room, which features more than 10 artists," says Art Center director Olivia Tacker. "Our art for sale includes pottery, glass-fused jewelry, hand-dyed scarves, dream-catchers handmade with vintage doilies, acrylic and oil paintings, 3-D mixed media artwork, and folk art."

A wide variety of workshops range from ceramics and watercolor painting to stained glass and glass-bead making. Participants in the popular "Sip and Create" workshop," hosted monthly and also by private reservations, sip wine and paint their own canvases, all verbally guided by a professional artist ($40 fee covers wine and supplies).

The Art Center also reaches out to children with summer camps and evening classes. "T-N-T" youth programs, held after school Tuesdays and Thursdays, run two hours long. At a recent session, assistant director Kristen Hennessey welcomed elementary-aged kids and younger with popcorn and their ceramic "taco fish," ready to be painted.

The Textile Studio

Rich textures and bold colors blanket the walls, floor, and even high ceiling at the Textile Studio, housed in the 1908 Cage building (formerly Lindeman's Grocery). Repurposed wood from the floor and ceiling were used to construct the striking floor-to-ceiling cabinetry that hold fabric samples, books, and other items.

"We're a quilt shop on steroids!" director Andrea Meegan says. "In addition to all styles of quilt fabrics, we sell textile paints, yarns, embroidery floss, thread, and sewing notions."

Besides quilting, Meegan and her staff advise and teach customers about other needlework skills, such as sewing, knitting, and appliqués. Assistant manager Sharon Romero is a crochet and knitting expert. When one recent customer brought in a knitted shawl she'd been working on, everyone crowded around and offered suggestions on how to repair a dropped stitch.

A section of the shop provides teaching and work space with sewing machines and tabletops. Weekly and monthly workshops range from basic quilting to doll making, using fabric paints, appliqués, and other fun activities. December workshops will celebrate the holidays with classes on making folded-star ornaments, vintage shirt tale aprons, Christmas tree wall hangings, and Christmas stockings.

The second weekend each October, the Textile Studio hosts an annual Blanco Quilt Show that continues to grow in popularity.

For more information on any and all textile and art workshops, not to mention restaurant menus and specials, check out Uptown Blanco Arts and Entertainment on Facebook and UptownBlanco.com. At this unique complex, creativity rules!


Uptown Blanco Arts & Entertainment

(830) 833-1579

[email protected]



Restaurant hours

Monday-Wednesday: 11 a.m.-3 p.m.

Thursday-Friday: 11 a.m.-3 p.m., 5-9 p.m.

Saturday: 8 a.m.-3 p.m., 5-9 p.m.

Sunday: 8 a.m.-3 p.m.


Art Center hours

Tuesday-Friday: noon to 8 p.m.

Saturday: 10 a.m.-2 p.m.


Textile Studio hours

Monday-Saturday: 9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.

Friday: 9:30 a.m.-8 p.m.