Herzlich willkommen in Fredericksburg!
Fredericksburg, Texas, celebrates its German heritage through Oktoberfest. Oompah at its best. German music, food and drink, arts and crafts, children’s area and family fun.
OKTOBERFEST is a colorful, festive celebration of Fredericksburg, Texas’ German heritage. OKTOBERFEST has become an annual tradition around the world. OKTOBERFEST is a community event of family entertainment featuring two stages and two tents with continuous oompah music, art & crafts, Children’s fun area ~ Kinder Park, a German Bier Tent, and Oktoberfest Vineyard area, plus delicious food and drink … all weekend long!
Artist G. Harvey [Boot Ranch Member] shines light on the quiet times of long-gone eras
Gerald Harvey Jones might have remained a footnote in Texas art, a journeyman landscape painter making a living but not a reputation, if he hadn’t seen the light.
“A good painting begins and ends with a point of light,” says the painter better known as G. Harvey.
His turn-of-the-20th-century American cityscapes and Western vistas revealing the daily drudgery of the cowboy life — “I generally always have a horse in a picture,” he says — have been shaped by his intense study of other artists’ work and techniques early in his career.
While Norman Rockwell is a thematic touchstone — nostalgia is not a dirty word to the painter — perhaps an equally important influence is Édouard Leon Cortés. Known as “the Parisian Poet of Painting,” Cortés was leader of a small group of artists in the early 1900s that illuminated the “City of Light” in their street scenes with radiant brilliance.
“Harvey began to see his work in a broader sense than the Texas landscape in the ’70s,” says Tim Taylor of the Whistle Pik Galleries in Fredericksburg, which presents an exhibition of new paintings and bronzes by Harvey through September and holds a live auction on Friday.
“He was especially impressed with what the French boulevard painters were doing with light, and he wondered how he could do that with Western art. He played with it and really created a niche for himself.”
Rarified air circulates within that “niche.” Harvey’s résumé includes major exhibitions at the Smithsonian and the National Archives in Washington, D.C., and the Who’s Who of his collectors and admirers has included Lyndon Johnson, John Connally, Dolph Briscoe, Red McCombs, Lowry Mays and T. Boone Pickens.
“Margaret Thatcher had a G. Harvey that she hung at No. 10 Downing Street,” Taylor says.
McCombs, who owns several Harvey works, says the artist “has found a way to give us a snapshot of the way things were. And his paintings have such personality. I admire him for continuing to paint because his work is even more important now than it was 30 or 40 years ago, as we get further and further away from those days.”
This month’s exhibition and sale of new Harvey works — which has the reverberating force of a cattle stampede in the exclusive Western art world — is the first big Texas event since 1986, according to Taylor.
“This is the biggest thing that we’ve ever done,” says Taylor, who is not only Harvey’s art dealer, but his son-in-law. “It’s taken 15 years for things to line up for us to bring a show back to Texas. He had commitments to his galleries in Jackson Hole and Scottsdale, and he’s very loyal.”
Estimated auction prices on some of Harvey’s largest canvases, such as “Cowhands on the Avenue,” a smooth assimilation of the artist’s city and country instincts, run to $230,000.
It’s a long way from the $50 he was getting for a painting from Austin’s Country Store Gallery in the old days.
“They would then turn around and sell some of those for $600,” Harvey recalls. “I soon went on to greener pastures.”
Born in San Antonio, Harvey, who turns 77 in November, grew up in Corpus Christi, then went to high school in Kerrville. The son of an insurance man, he learned to hunt and fish early on — and to draw and sketch.
“I did a lot of drawing,” he says, “starting at (elementary) grade level.”
Harvey enrolled in accounting at college in Abilene, and that lasted all of one semester.
“I was attracted to the neatness and orderliness of it,” he says. “But when I got into it, I quickly realized that it wasn’t for me.”
So he switched to industrial arts, eventually graduating from North Texas State University, then migrated to Austin, where he taught at the University of Texas.
“It’s amazing what you get your degree in and what you do with the rest of your life,” says Harvey, who is grateful for a solid foundation in draftsmanship.
His wife, Pat, was another great influence on his artistic career.
“She actually went out and bought me my first set of oils,” he says.
By 1964, Harvey was making art full time; in 1966, he was commissioned by the White House to paint the birthplace and boyhood home of President Johnson.
Harvey modestly attributes his success to “a lot of happy accidents.”
“A painting develops a mind of its own,” he says. “You have to get your own mind out and let the painting take over.”
A genteel man in a yellow button-down and khakis with plenty of thick white hair and gold-rimmed glasses — he would not look out of place on the seniors golf tour — Harvey has lived and worked in Fredericksburg since 1985. He quietly, prolifically produces some 25 paintings a year.
As an artist, Harvey is not one for high drama; he notes that a Civil War series of paintings focused on such early-morning scenes as men gathered around a campfire drinking coffee, rather than “bodies lying in the fields.”
“I prefer quiet times,” he says. “I enjoy showing family unity and the closeness of people, their dreams.”
Harvey’s cowboys do not gallop breakneck across the plains, reins in their teeth, six-shooters blazing. Generally, they are looking after cattle.
“A cowboy working stock is genuine,” he says. “If you miss that, then you miss the whole point.”
Harvey is no cowboy himself, but he’s sketched and photographed hundreds of them over the years, notably at the historic — and gigantic — Spade Ranch in the Texas Panhandle.
“Integrity,” Harvey says immediately when asked what he admires about working cowboys. “Their word is their bond. They help each other out.”
Perhaps that’s what viewers respond to in Harvey’s work, that sense of moral character, of seeking the truth.
Harvey sits up a little straighter when he mentions his friend of 47 years, legendary Spade Ranch cowboy Bill McClellan.
“I’ve never seen a man as confident in himself or as simple with himself,” he says.
G. Harvey plans to attend a public reception from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday at Whistle Pik Galleries, 425 E. Main St., Fredericksburg. To inquire about participating in the auction of 13 Harvey paintings, call (800) 999-0820 or visit www.whistlepik.com for more information.
Fredericksburg Chamber of Commerce
August 16, 2010
The Fredericksburg Chamber of Commerce just completed an overhaul of their website. It has always been a great resource for both tourists and locals, but the recent updates take it to a new level.
Robert Duvall and Utopia Cast Celebrate Filming at Boot Ranch
Boot Ranch, Texas (August 13, 2010) – As filming of “Seven Days In Utopia” continues this week at Boot Ranch and other Gillespie County locations, Fredericksburg turned out Monday night at a reception to welcome the movie’s cast and crew to the Texas Hill Country.
“Seven Days In Utopia” is based on Dr. David L. Cook’s novel, “Golf’s Sacred Journey, Seven Days At The Links Of Utopia”.
Cook, a Fredericksburg resident, is a sports psychologist who wrote the story of a talented young golfer trying to earn his way onto the pro tour. When his first big opportunity turns into a public disaster, he seeks to escape the pressure and finds himself stranded in Utopia where an eccentric rancher forces him to question his past choices and his direction for the future.
The movie stars Lucas Black as the young golfer and Academy Award winner Robert Duvall as the rancher.
Cook, Black and Duvall were all present at Monday’s reception at Boot Ranch.
City Councilman Bjorn Kirchdorfer announced the presentation of a bronze bust of “Lonesome Dove” protagonist Augustus McCrae to Duvall who played the role in the 1989 made-for-television series.
Texas State Artist John Bennett, who sculpted the piece, was on hand for the presentation, along with his wife, Cathy.