Feel something new in a small Texas city with a large love of art.
Artists and aficionados alike flock to San Angelo, Texas, to become inspired and to get creative. Here, you can have an authentic cowboy experience at a working ranch in the morning and immerse yourself in top-notch art and culture in the afternoon. The Governor recently designated San Angelo the Visual Arts Capital of Texas, and you’ll quickly understand why. Galleries line the historic streets of the downtown area, displaying fresh works from local artists, while museums provide a peek into history through stunning creations. San Angelo’s love of art spills onto the streets with open-air art museums, public installations and annual art competitions.
A City Covered in Art
An open-air art movement has been growing in San Angelo over the last couple of decades, bringing art outdoors and making it more accessible to locals and visitors. Art in Uncommon Places is a nonprofit organization at the forefront of extending public art throughout San Angelo, currently responsible for over 300 public art installations, including two free open-air museums showcasing local artists. Wander through Paintbrush Alley, a rejuvenated walkway in downtown San Angelo where more than 50 vibrant murals and symbols of Texas culture stretch along the backs of several businesses. When you finish there, head up the street to the Pop Art Museum, home to brightly colored pieces in the classic pop art style produced by over 35 local artists. QR codes can be found at many of the displays; scan these as you go to see more information about the artwork and become your own personal docent.
For more pieces commissioned by Art in Uncommon Places, enjoy the beautiful weather with a stroll along the San Angelo Riverwalk or the Red Arroyo Trail to view mosaics and sculptures, or roam through installations in City Park and the Concho Community Park as well.
One of more than 50 murals in Paintbrush Alley
Colorful Masterpieces New and Old
Take a break from the sun and explore the San Angelo Museum of Fine Arts, a must-see for any art lover. Located on the Concho River, directly across from downtown, this award-winning museum houses an always growing permanent collection and seasonal traveling exhibits. The permanent collection consists of paintings, ceramics, sculptures and other art pieces from Texas artists, as well as Mexican and Spanish Colonial art. Be amazed by traveling exhibitions from renowned institutions like the National Portrait Gallery, the Library of Congress and the Dallas Museum of Art. The museum’s large rooftop deck offers a sculpture park experience plus amazing city and river views. Check the online calendar for special educational programs and other events year-round.
Viewing a painting at the San Angelo Museum of Fine Arts
Unique Art Competition That’s a Breath of Fresh Air
Visit in October when a can’t-miss art contest takes over the entire city. A tradition established in the 1920s continues today as the annual EnPleinAir Texas painting competition. Artists from all over the country come to San Angelo and paint en plein air, a French phrase meaning “in the open air”. Watch as artists step outside and capture the sights of San Angelo’s historic streets and parks as they vie for top honors. Interact with the artists at numerous free events throughout the weeklong competition. Sign up for painting classes and workshops to create your own Texas masterpiece or wait until the winners are announced and purchase your favorite painting of the competition. Most EnPleinAir Texas events are family-friendly and free to the public.
Artist painting at a local park during EnPleinAir Texas
To get here, take a three-hour drive from international airports in either San Antonio or Fort Worth, Texas, or book a connecting flight to the San Angelo Regional Airport. Bus and train services also connect San Angelo to most major Texas cities.
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