Proud of East Texas: AC Gentry - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Proud of East Texas: AC Gentry

By Joan Hallmark - bio | email

When Tyler's own fine artists are honored in may at the Rose Garden, A.C. Gentry will be recognized not only for his painting talent, but also for his preservation of our area's history.

A.C. Gentry has been sketching and painting East Texas since he was a five year old riding around the country with his father and uncle, who were civil highway engineers. East Texas was mostly rural back then and old barns and farmhouses held a special appeal for Gentry.

Gentry says he wishes now he had known more about the people who lived in the homes he painted. Most of them are gone now, along with their houses.

While Gentry was sketching and painting East Texas over a three quarters of a century time span, he was recording an area and way of life that has, for the most part, disappeared.

In addition to farming, Gentry's sketchbooks bring to life the colorful oil boom days.

When Gentry was growing up, the "big" city of Tyler had only about 18,000 residents, kids lined up for pieces of ice at the city's icehouse, and the railroad was the lifeblood of East Texas

And all along the way Gentry was sketching those exciting times and places. As time went by Gentry began turning his sketches into oil paintings, until he discovered the challenge of water colors.

Gentry used to travel widely for art shows all over the U.S. And for painting trips to England and France.. At the age of 84 he stays closer to home now in the same house he's lived in since 1930.

One of the few memories Gentry hasn't painted was years ago in Dallas when people lined up for his charactetures at a convention.

That was only a few years before the "I love Lucy" TV show hit the air and made the couple a sensation

A.C. Gentry may describe his art as "pleasing" but to the many collectors who admire his art and even the state of Texas who selected him "Texas State Artist"," pleasing" is an understatement for this artist who has not only amazed our eyes but also recorded our history.

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