Downtown art exhibit shows off local talent

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By ANTHONY FLORES

The Stubblefield building located in downtown Liberty Hill is one of the oldest buildings in the community. Built in 1871, the structure is a monument to the history of Liberty Hill.

The building was at one time the studio of the late sculptor Mel Fowler, who brought the International Sculpture Symposium to Liberty Hill in 1976.

“This building has rich ties to the arts in Liberty Hill. I think the City Council didn’t know what they wanted to do with it,” said City Events Coordinator Katie Amsler. “They knew they wanted to tie it into the arts in some way.”

Recently renovated, the historic building serves as a museum and cultural center for the community.

“We knew we wanted to make this into the visitors center, but I also wanted to include the arts. So, we decided to make it a revolving art exhibition,” she said. “I bring in a different artist or group every month or every other month, depending on what we have going on.”

Amsler hopes that this exhibit can show the citizens the talent that can be found in their own local community.

“We have a lot of talent in Liberty Hill, and with the ties to the arts that we have here already, I wanted a place where local artists can show their work,” she said. “Not only Liberty Hill but Williamson County because there’s a lot of artists in the county. We have a lot of people who love art, and we want to give them a place where they can walk around and see what Liberty Hill has to offer.”

Currently on display are pieces provided by the Williamson County Art Guild. Wes Odell, an artist of the guild specializing in photography, was inspired by his time in the military and his family’s history in the armed forces.

“I wanted to preserve Veterans Memorial Park and show it to people,” he said. “I have quite a few military-oriented pictures, like the Cavalry of Fort Hood. My family has had a lot of military on both sides, and we tend to relate to the military.”

While visiting the Stubblefield Building during a previous art exhibit, Odell found himself drawn to Veterans Memorial Park across the street.

“I was out there at a reception for the previous exhibiter, and I knew my work would be up the next time around,” Odell said. “It was still light, and I saw where it was going to be, and I thought the local Liberty Hill people would appreciate a photo of the park. I thought it was a nice image of a vibrant town.”

As a photographer, Odell’s goal is to bring a different perspective to the everyday things that people might take for granted.

“We as artists like to show our work and have people see what we’ve seen,” said Odell. “A lot of times, you drive past the park, but do you see it as an outsider or an artist? It can sometimes give the local person a different appreciation for what you have in your front yard.”

The current exhibit will be on view until July 14. The Stubblefield Visitors Center is open to the public 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday.

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