Art Squared gears up for the holidays

The featured artist for this month’s Art Squared Art Market is Donald Penwell, a self-taught folk artist that primarily works in acrylics, pen and ink and pastels. PHOTOS COURTESY OF ART SQUARED

The Art Squared Art Market hosts the Holiday Extravaganza, its final event of 2017 on Saturday, Dec. 9. Be greeted by dozens and dozens of artisan vendors from across the region exhibiting and selling their work under the beautiful trees of the Hays County Courthouse lawn in downtown. Art Squared also features live local music from 1 to 4 p.m. Enjoy the final market of the year and take care of your holiday shopping with fine handmade gifts.

Sponsored by the San Marcos Art League, the Art Squared Arts Market is funded by Art League memberships, donations, and the city of San Marcos Arts Commission. One of the goals of the art market is to help grow and develop the creative arts in San Marcos.

“There are so many talented individuals and groups in our community, and we are pleased to provide an opportunity for them to showcase their talents,” Market Manager Kelsey Huckaby said. “Each month, these artists display and sell their works under the shady trees. We support and promote creative and diverse art handcrafted by local artists that heightens awareness of the arts in San Marcos.”

Art Squared is changing things up on their final arts market of the year and instead of hosting a nonprofit organization this month they will be accepting donations of new clothing and toys to go to Hays County families.

“Art Squared usually spotlights an organization that provides important services to the community,” Huckaby said. “However, this month, we will take matters into our own hands. Art Squared will be accepting donations of new clothing and toys; we will then contribute those to other community groups which distribute such items to families in Hays County. People can drop off their donations inside the courthouse throughout the day.”

The featured artist for this month’s Art Squared Art Market is Donald Penwell, a self-taught folk artist. He has had an interest in art since he was very young.

“For as long as I can remember, I have been painting and drawing, in fact, I consider myself self-taught, even though I have a degree in the basics of art from the International School of Art Minneapolis.

“I have worked with many different media, but now my work is mostly done in acrylics, pen and ink, and pastels. My interests are broad – I enjoy drawing and painting landscapes, animal wildlife and abstract art, all of which require a different focus and perspective.”

When asked about his background, Penwell replies, “I moved to San Antonio in the late 1990s to pursue a dream of being a fulltime artist, but could not do so at that time. I had to retire early due to health problems and I have been able to work as a full-time artist from home for the past several years. I’ve had work sold to individuals across the U.S. and Canada, as well as Australia and the United Kingdom, which is very gratifying.”

Penwell praises the art scene in town, noting, “San Marcos has given me a place to display my work and I would recommend the area to any artist trying to become better known. I believe the appreciation for art in San Marcos is great, and I appreciate the support I’ve received here. The world of art starts with a blank canvas, a dream and time to create. Art is a way I can escape from reality and create work others may enjoy.”

Stop by Donald Penwell’s booth at Art Squared and enjoy the fruits of his creativity.

This month’s music kicks off at 1 p.m. with Robert Cannon. Cannon is a singer/songwriter from Baytown, with roots deeply embedded in the Gulf Coast. His music has a gritty soulful approach, yet still stays true to tradition. At the age of 26, Cannon moved to San Marcos to pursue a career in songwriting and playing his music.

Upon arriving in the Hill Country, Cannon absorbed a different style which was influenced by the red dirt sound mixed with Texas country that is so prevalent in the area. His music takes on its own original style, which he has coined "Texas Soul." Cannon currently lives in New Braunfels and continues to play music in many venues around the Hill Country.

The final performance of the year commences at 2:30 p.m. when Tracy Weinberg performs. No stranger to this stage, Weinberg books the music for Art Squared and has the honor of both kicking off and closing the concert season at Art Squared. His music exemplifies the variety and eclecticism found in the San Marcos area. With his unique singing style and accompaniment on the dojo (resonator banjo) and ukulele, he creates a fresh acoustic sound with echoes of blues, swing and folk. Add in clever, thoughtful lyrics with a twist of humor and enjoy a musical treat that should please anyone’s ears.

An ongoing feature of the 2017 Art Squared Art Market is the Kid’s Craft Table. Developed by a local arts educator, each month’s project will be a fun mini-lesson, teaching through creating on topics such as ecology, river stewardship, being a responsible citizen, and much more. This activity is free and open to kids of all ages.

The Art Squared Arts Market, sponsored by the San Marcos Art League, takes place on the second Saturday of each month, from March through December.

San Marcos Daily Record

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