Local artists Caroline Dechert and Julie Robinson began planning an art exhibit for the Kerr Arts and Cultural Center more than two years ago, but had to delay their plans due to COVID.
“We’ve been art friends as well as personal friends for five or six years,” Dechert said, “because Julie taught my grandson when he was in kindergarten at Holy Cross Lutheran.”
They started taking art classes together at KACC on their Thursday “Open Studio Day” and later decided to share their art with the community at an art exhibit that kicked off Saturday with a reception of ‘opening.
Dechert has 31 paintings in the exhibition and Robinson has 40 paintings on site.
“Julie does cityscapes and landscapes and has street scenes of Kerrville, Fredericksburg, and Comfort for her collection,” Dechert said, “and I have landscapes in the Kerrville area.”
Dechert said she and her husband Jerry, both retired teachers, have hiked the Kerrville River Trail for the past two years during COVID and grabbed a camera to snap photos along the way.
“I have tons of reference photos that I took on our physical walks,” she said, “so most of my paintings are Hill Country elements like Louise Hays Park, the Guadalupe River and some of the Willow City bluebonnets.”
Dechert also encouraged anyone in the community interested in art to join the Open Studio Day group on Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at KACC.
“For $5, anyone can participate,” she says, “and there’s a lot of ‘artistic camaraderie’ in our group. We have people who use all mediums including pastels, watercolour, oil, acrylic and collage in the group. »
Dechert majored in art in college and learned through workshops. She has been painting for 24 years, but Robinson is self-taught.
Robinson painted many of her pictures during her time as her late husband’s primary caregiver. Dechert said Robinson sometimes painted over some of her canvases because she could not afford new canvases.
Dechert retired from teaching in 1998. She taught special education at Tivy for 11 years, where she and her husband met, then taught two more years at Hays Consolidated after Jerry retired. They moved to Canyon Lake for several years but returned to Kerrville to be closer to family.
She began her artistic career by painting portraits of her family members for the first ten years. Her works also include landscapes of the Canyon Lake and Gulf Coast area of Texas where she grew up, as well as the Cloudcroft, NM area. Currently his work is also exhibited in an art gallery in Port Aransas.
Robinson recently went to work for Kerr County as an assistant county clerk.
The show will run until July 9 and will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. All of the paintings will be available for purchase, as well as they also have prints and maps.