Walkers' Gallery celebrates Jager's life & works

"Jerry (Supple)’s Jammers,"a caricature by Ron Jager. PHOTO COURTESY OF LINDA KELSEY-JONES

Local Arts

Free and open to the public, everyone is invited to the artists’ reception of “Center Stage – a visual celebration of the performing arts” at The Walkers’ Gallery, Saturday, Nov. 18, 5-7 p.m.

The Walkers’ Gallery is located in the San Marcos Activity Center and this year marks its 20th year of art exhibits. In July the gallery presented a Celebration of Visual Arts Retrospective exhibit that spanned the known history of local artists and arts organizations. This exhibit of more than a hundred works from area artists and beyond represents a broad spectrum of musicians, dancers and film and theatrical performers.

Featured in the exhibit are stunning portraits of local performers by Christopher Paul Cardoza, the photographer who goes everywhere and documents everything performing arts related.

Also featured is a legacy wall celebrating the creativity and community contributions of the late Ron Jager.

Dr. Ronald B. Jager (Dec. 31, 1927 - July 26, 2017) was an archetypal Renaissance man. With degrees in geology, law and history, he taught history at Southwest Texas – now Texas State University – from 1967 to 1993. He and his wife, Marie, made their home in the San Marcos historic district and developed vibrant ties throughout the community of San Marcos as well as across university departments. A musician and artist himself, with a shared love for theatre Ron and Marie engaged colleagues and friends across many disciplines in musical and theatrical collaborations, working regularly with then Dean of Fine Arts Richard Cheatham and others to “make things happen” bringing townspeople to the university and the university to the town.

In 1987, with like-minded friends they launched the San Marcos Performing Arts Association (SMPAA) as a nonprofit to promote concerts and theatrical productions during summers and winters in San Marcos. SMPAA started Sights and Sounds of Christmas and Summer in the Park, both have become beloved community events that are still going strong.

Over several decades the couple became quintessential town/gown collaborators, producing and supporting numerous and diverse performances in a wide range of venues at the university and across San Marcos.

Upon retirement from the university, Ron had planned to continue the research he had been working on in his field, the urbanization of Texas. But, as John Lennon wrote, “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans." Less than a year later the opportunity to repurpose the old church on San Antonio Street – purchased and deeded to the city by H. Y. Price – became the couple’s next passionate project. After years of fundraising and labor, the Price Center and multi-arts venue was realized and it continues to grow in scope and inclusion under its current director Clay DeStefano.

The performing arts are ephemeral –after months of preparation, they retreat to memories and photos at the end of their run. The Price Center now provides a stable base for future performances and exhibits.

Surrounding these features are a rich and intriguing mix of artistic responses to the theme including two video installations.

There will be music and light refreshments.

Art exhibits at the Walkers’ Gallery are sponsored by the San Marcos Area Arts Council and the city of San Marcos with support from the San Marcos Art Commission.

San Marcos Daily Record

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P.O. Box 1109, San Marcos, TX 78666