The phrase “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” is something you’ve likely run across at one point or another in your life. It is also probable that on a regular basis you either think about what you count as beautiful or you vocalize it to someone you are with. Beauty is something that unites us and attracts us all, regardless of background, gender or race. But how we define beauty is what sets us apart and what makes each of us a unique art critic. We all have a valuable perspective to offer, whether positive or negative, to any given piece of art. And, speaking as someone who enjoys exercising her artistic ability from time to time, art is created to be shared, enjoyed, and analyzed with other people. Art is not a one man game.
College Station offers a variety of galleries, centers, and museums to promote this universal sharing of beauty. Local artists share their work with others and offer it up to be enjoyed by the public on a regular basis.
Benjamin Knox is a well-known, local artist who sets himself apart by capturing the spirit of College Station and the spirit of Aggieland in his paintings, drawings, and photographs. The Benjamin Knox Gallery is a beautiful venue, wine bar, art gallery, and offers custom picture framing. Their elegant selection of mats and frames ensure that your precious keepsakes will be safely preserved and complimented. The gallery was opened by Knox as a replica of the 1900 College Station Train Depot, the original depot for the university. Art from Knox as well as from students and other artists in the community are housed at this unique location.
The permanent collection at the J. Wayne Stark University Center Galleries centers on American paintings, prints, sculptures, drawings and photographs of the 19th and 20th centuries. The President’s Advisory Committee on Art Policy is responsible for making sure each piece of art passes through a rigorous process of evaluation before it is allowed into the gallery. J. Wayne Stark is a Texas A&M University graduate, class of ’39 and opened the gallery to help offer students a more well-rounded academic education. After serving in WWII he had a desire to raise civic awareness and bring a high-quality level of artwork to the Texas A&M campus.
MSC Forsyth Center Galleries is one of the university’s art galleries. It is home to a world-class selection of English Cameo glass, Tiffany and Steuben glass, and other important 19th and 20th century art glass. It also houses many American paintings and rotates 6 to 8 temporary exhibits throughout the year. The temporary exhibitions are presented to offer a variety of artwork spanning a large assortment of time, place and culture.
The Sam Houston Sanders Corps of Cadets Center is a museum that is dedicated to the Texas A&M Corps of Cadets. It offers the public over 60 exhibits and the state’s biggest firearms display as well as a library with over 3,000 military research volumes. There is no other way to more fully experience the true Aggie tradition and history without visiting this museum, which presents both tradition and history throughout the years at Texas A&M.
The Texas A&M Sports Museum brings to life the spirit of Aggieland. It is located in the Zone of Kyle Field and functions as a storehouse for precious, historic sports relics. Different exhibits in the Museum include the Time Wall, Legends Gallery, sport-by-sport perimeter displays and interactive computers. It is the nation’s only all-sports museum funded primarily by former athletes.
The Texas Gallery offers permanent exhibits of works from regional and Texas artists, sculpture, paintings and artifacts from around the world that date back to the 11th century. It offers a range of artwork from hand-blown glass, jewelry, paintings, to much more.
The Brazos Valley Museum of Natural History hosts tours, classes, and lectures. Many different opportunities are available to children such as nature camps, birthday parties and school field trips. Discovery kits are for teachers, home schoolers or scouts to use on their own. The museum emphasizes the relationship between people and their natural environment and seeks to raise awareness of nature and a responsible relationship with it. Exhibits include fossil exhibits, sculptures, antique farming and survey equipment, a discovery room with more than fifteen varieties of live animals, dozens of taxidermy mounts, educational resources and several rotating exhibits.
The Carnegie Center of Brazos Valley contains many historical collections from the Brazos county and surrounding areas. Historical pieces of information and artifacts are continually being added to this Center. Featured collections are the Ana Ludmilla Gee Ballet Collection, Harvey Mitchell’s verneir compass and sketch for the original site of the City of Bryan, and a miniature replica of the “Blue” or “Steamboat House,” which was an early Calvert home that was burned down. The museum also contains city directories and old historical telephone books in addition to antique adult and children’s books. Genealogical research takes place in the center due to a collection of materials on ethnicity and areas contributing to discoveries of what immigrants first came to the area.
The Children’s Museum of the Brazos Valley is another creative outlet opportunity. Young children are impressionable and learn at a young age how to express themselves. The gallery encourages artistic and imaginative work from children of all ages and is a world where they are free to go wherever their imagination takes them. The Barbara Bush Library that the museum offers has a wide selection of books and the construction zone allows children to slap on a hardhat and get to work pounding out a playhouse. Mrs. Giggly’s Garden is a safe place for toddlers to explore and fidget with small toys, the music corner offers a place for kids to jam out and be a superstar for the afternoon, and the HEB Kids’ Market gives kids a small dose of the creativity behind putting together a meal. The health station lets children play doctor by testing their eyes and checking their heart rate, and the Spaceship and Control Center is a multilevel rocket.
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