Contemporary Texas


Since the Tyler Museum of Art opened its doors in 1971, Texas art has been a critical component in its exhibition programming. As a direct result, the TMA has played a vital role in the contemporary Texas art scene over the past four decades.

The next major exhibition in the TMA’s busy summer and fall season will highlight the Museum’s milestones in building its Permanent Collection – while celebrating its achievements in cultivating the talents and reputations of some of the state’s most noteworthy artists of the modern era.

Contemporary Texas: Selections from the Permanent Collection opens to the public Sunday, Aug. 3 and continues through Nov. 30 in the TMA’s North Gallery. Admission is free.

The exhibition, organized by TMA marketing and special events coordinator Caleb Bell, highlights close to 30 of the most notable works the Museum has acquired since the 1970s – representing a cross-section of artists across a broad range of media who have made a significant impact on the contemporary Texas art scene, many of whom have been featured in previous TMA exhibitions.

“This exhibition offers a rare opportunity to view some of the most celebrated works from the TMA’s Permanent Collection together in a single exhibition, offering a glimpse into the Museum’s rich history and its indelible place in the Texas art scene over the past few decades,” Bell said.

Acclaimed artists represented in Contemporary Texas include photographer Skeet McAuley (focus of the 1980 TMA exhibition Barriers), painter William B. Montgomery (the subject of TMA shows in 1988 and 2009), multi-media artist Lance Letscher (2005) and sculptor James Surls, who held his first solo museum exhibition at the TMA in 1974. Vernon Fisher, MANUAL, Sam Gummelt and Al Souza are just a few of the additional Texas luminaries in the spotlight for this exhibition.

Several of the artists whose works are represented in Contemporary Texas will be the focus of the 2014 Fall Lecture Series coinciding with the exhibition. Three Sunday afternoon programs are in the works:

• Sept. 14: MANUAL (Ed Hill and Suzanne Bloom)
• Oct. 19: Martin Delabano
• Nov. 16: William B. Montgomery

All Fall Lecture Series programs will begin at 2 p.m. at the TMA. Admission is free, but seating is limited. For reservations, call (903) 595-1001.

Sponsorship for Contemporary Texas is provided by The Byars Foundation, Collectors’ Circle Platinum; and Sheryl Rogers Palmer, Collectors’ Circle Gold.

The TMA, accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, is located at 1300 S. Mahon Ave. across from Wagstaff Gymnasium on the Tyler Junior College main campus. Regular hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, and 1-5 p.m. Sunday; the Museum is closed Mondays and most major holidays. The TMA is supported by its Members and TJC. For information, call (903) 595-1001 or visit