LONGVIEW, Texas (KLTV) - It’s kind of a big deal, according to those at the Longview Museum of Fine Arts. The American Watercolor Society 153 International Exhibition features some of the best users of the medium in the world, and if it comes back in the next few years, it may be in a different building in Longview.
LMFA Executive Director Tiffany Jehorek is pretty excited about the American Watercolor Society Exhibit.
“It’s a juried exhibition. I think there were 1200 artists submit works, and then I think 140 are chosen, and then 40 are chosen to go on the traveling exhibition. The show was to open up in, I think, April, and as we all know COVID happened. So it didn’t open in person. It opened virtually on line,” Jehorek said.
In fact, Jehorek said the exhibit was only slated for six or seven locations, but:
“It’s only getting to go to three, and Longview is one of those three,” Jehorek said.
There’s a wide contrast in artistic styles.
“There’s abstracts, there’s landscapes, there’s portraiture; It’s amazing what watercolorists can create,” Jehorek said.
And the building in which the art is hanging is due for a remodel, and Jehorek said the price tag may approach $1 million.
“So then three months ago the owners of the old Regions Bank building approached us and said, okay, that’s a lot of money you’re thinking about spending here, why don’t you look over here,” Jehorek said.
So, she and the board have been, and the idea of purchasing the building is growing on them.
“So it’s 44,000 sq. ft. over there, it’s 15,000 sq. ft. here,” Jehorek said.
But it would be a big change, and big changes would be made to the old bank. And the building itself, well it:
“Has a presence that I really think can set the Longview Museum of Fine Arts apart and make us a tourist destination,” Jehorek said.
Although she said she still occasionally hears this from visitors:
“Oh, I didn’t know there was an art museum,” Jehorek said.
She said if they make the move to a large marble building in the middle of downtown, people would know.
The move has not been finalized, but if it is, LMFA would purchase the building. Meanwhile, the American Watercolor Society exhibition is on display through November 28.