We crawled across Texas in our little car staying in tiny towns at hotels with words in their names like “deluxe” and “legend.” The last two nights we planned to stay in Marathon, TX, a tiny dot on the map. In a town with a population of 500, we guessed there wouldn’t be much to do – but Marathon did have the historic Gage Hotel – and that was appealing.
As we barreled down the road, Marathon eventually appeared on the horizon and looked to us like an oasis in the desert. The Gage Hotel has an old, historic charm. At check-in, the hotel clerk mentioned that we could attend lectures on art, sponsored by the Gage, across the street. Really? That appealed to us!
Our old life in Virginia had allowed us to visit art museums and galleries, mostly free. Lectures at the Smithsonian Museums were regular events for us. Since we started this four-month road trip, art has rarely showed up, and our new life has been mostly enjoying the outdoors. Now good fortune visited us in Marathon with a gallery show and lectures on the topic of Texas art. Our timing was accidental but very welcome.
We strolled over a dusty road, crossed railroad tracks, and found the old Richey Brothers Building to see the exhibit. Bill Reeves, of William Reeves Fine Art LLC, Houston, gave us a warm welcome. We took a few minutes to view the show that he had put together: “The Regionalist Legacy in Contemporary Texas Art: A Fine Arts Rendezvous in the Big Bend” – and the show exceeded our expectations.
Laura Huckaby, of the San Angelo Museum of Fine Arts, gave the afternoon lecture. As she began, it was apparent that a number of artists were present whose works were displayed. Between her thought-provoking presentation and the artists adding further commentary on their pieces, we came away with an even greater appreciation of the works displayed. Texas art, yes; but, also, these paintings and photographs would be fine art anywhere in the world.
Marathon should be proud. The art and lecture were absolutely first-rate.