Public Art at the new City Center

On March 25th, the City of Georgetown celebrated the grand opening of two City buildings that are part of a civic campus for City government offices. Known as City Center, the new civic campus includes City Hall and Council and Court buildings as well as the existing Georgetown Public Library that opened in 2007, the Historic Light and Water Works office building, and a public parking lot on Eighth Street.

The great news for Arts and Culture in Georgetown is that the new City Center has integrated pieces of public art into the architectural design of the spaces!

The Municipal Court features a mosaic tile mural titled El Árbol (The Tree) by J. Muzacz. The El Árbol mosaic mural was inspired by a well-known vista from the Jim Hogg Campground at Lake Georgetown.The 50,000 unique glass pieces represent the diversity of Georgetown and were sourced from suppliers all over the country – of Italian, Chinese and Mexican origin. The tiles were then hand-placed over a three-month period and installed using trade techniques. The wall above the transaction window of the Municipal Court exhibits a printed reproduction of original acrylic paintings by artist, Kevin Greer, and titled DayScape Wonder.

The City Hall rotunda features a mural by Mike McConnell and was created using vector graphics and printed on vinyl. The artwork, Bluhole Park, was inspired by photos taken of the San Gabriel River. The curved gallery wall of the lobby will exhibit quarterly rotating artwork by local artists and students. The inaugural exhibition features work by beloved Georgetown artist, Carol Light. Seven framed 12×12 paper collages complete the impressive installation of her work. If you are a local artist and would like to be considered for nomination to this invitational program, please send a digital portfolio and resume to

Sculpture Tour map is live!

After a great collaboration between the City’s Geographic Information System (GIS) and Arts and Culture departments, we are pleased to present an interactive map of this year’s Sculpture Tour.

Navigate the pieces by clicking the images at the bottom of the map or by clicking the numbers on the map itself.

To view the Sculpture Tour Map, please click here.

Call for proposals for events occurring April-September 2019

The call for grant proposals for events occurring April-September 2019 is now closed. Applicants will be notified once the Arts and Culture Board has reviewed all of the proposals.

The Georgetown Arts and Culture Board invites grant proposals for art, music, theatre, and cultural heritage events or projects twice each year. Nonprofit organizations, schools, informal arts and culture organizations, and individual artists who are creating public art or an event open to the public are eligible to apply. Grants awarded last year averaged $1,400.

Please note individuals and organizations are only eligible for one Arts and Culture grant per calendar year.

The grant proposal form will be live at 12:01 am on December 1, 2018 and will close at midnight on December 31, 2018. Click here to go to the form:

Grant Proposal Form

Some of the information requested on the form will be:

  • Contact information for primary contact for proposal who is readily available to answer questions about the proposal
  • Event or project title
  • Purpose and description of the event or project
  • Date, location, admission charge, and anticipated attendance
  • Size and demographic makeup of past audiences or participants
  • Amount being requested and total budget, including other anticipated funding sources (e.g., donations, ticket sales, other grants)

Special consideration will be given for events or projects that meet one or more of these criteria:

  • Are free and open to the public
  • Include outreach to populations that are traditionally underrepresented
  • Have a cultural tourism or economic impact (e.g., events that may attract people who also attend other arts & culture venues or events, stay overnight, shop, or dine in Georgetown)

Organizations or individuals that receive funding will be required to follow up by:

  • Recognizing the City of Georgetown Arts and Culture Board in their advertising and programs
  • Submitting a one-page report to the Arts and Culture Board with a description of the use of grant funds and copies of event promotion materials

If you have questions, please call or email Lawren Weiss at 512-930-3552 or

City of Georgetown 2017-2018 Sculpture Tour Call for Entries and Application

Blue Healer by Faith Schexnayder is a 2016 Sculpture Tour piece on Main Street.

Please see 2018-2019 information here:

NOW OPEN June 1-Aug. 1, 2018

**This call closed Sept. 1, 2017. Thank you to all the sculptors who submitted pieces for consideration!

The Arts & Culture Board’s decisions will be made and communicated to you by Sept. 30.**

The City of Georgetown has issued a call for entries for its annual Sculpture Tour, a juried year-long outdoor exhibit in the bustling Georgetown Cultural District.

Sculpture Tour applications will be accepted May 1 – Sept. 1. Each sculptor may submit up to three sculptures for consideration. Please provide two or three photographs of each piece, showing different angles.

From the applications submitted by the deadline, the City of Georgetown Arts & Culture Board will select the nine 2017-18 Sculpture Tour pieces. All applicants will be notified of the board’s decisions by Sept. 30.

Sculptures will be installed by appointment in early November 2017 and remain on display through October 2018. Delivery is the artist’s responsibility; installation will be done by City of Georgetown Parks and Recreation staff working with the artist.

Strength by Julio Sanchez de Alba was a piece in the 2010 Sculpture Tour in front of the Georgetown Public Library.

No honoraria will be paid; instead, all nine sculptures selected for this year’s Sculpture Tour will receive a cash prize based on judging that will take place in November by the City of Georgetown Arts & Culture Board. Checks will be mailed in December. Awards will be:

$1,500 First Prize (one will be awarded)
$750 Second Prize (one will be awarded)
$500 Honorable Mention (seven will be awarded)

Artists will be required to sign a Sculpture Tour contract, which includes a 25 percent commission to the City on any sculpture sold during the exhibit. Once installed, sculptures are covered for theft or damage by City insurance.

The online application form is below. Or if you prefer you can print the City of Georgetown Sculpture Tour Application and then email or mail the form and images.

If you have any questions about the application or the selection process, please call Dana Hendrix at 512-930-3624.

Georgetown Arts & Culture Board Awards Grants to Local Organizations

At its November 2016 meeting, the City of Georgetown Arts & Culture Board approved $20,000 in grants to local nonprofit organizations and schools. The grants will help fund local art, music, theatre, and cultural heritage events or projects in Georgetown.

The amounts and projects funded in this grant cycle are:

Festival of the Arts, for support of the 2017 festival: $3,000
Georgetown Cultural Citizen Memorial Association: $1,000
Georgetown High School Theatre Dept. Booster Club for Thespian Festival scholarships: $2,000
Georgetown Symphony Society for support of the 2016-2017 season: $3,000
Georgetown Palace Theatre to help fund inclusion shows: $3,000
Senior University for technical equipment for lectures: $1,500
SU Native organization for support of 2017 Powwow: $1,500
Williamson County Symphony Orchestra for funding two Georgetown concerts: $3,000
Williamson Museum for an interactive exhibit: $2,000

Funds are for events in Georgetown taking place in Georgetown between December 1, 2016 and September 30, 2017.

For more information about the work of the City of Georgetown Arts & Culture Board, visit

Carol Light

Carol Light and Mayor Dale Ross at the Nov. 8, 2016 City Council Meeting
Carol Light and Mayor Dale Ross at the Nov. 8, 2016 City Council Meeting

Carol Light’s contributions to arts and culture in Georgetown were recognized Nov. 8, 2016  in a proclamation at a City Council meeting that acknowledged her career and lifetime of service to the arts.

Mayor Dale Ross remarked on Light’s contribution as an artist at the meeting. “Carol Light is a very talented artist and a wonderful representative for Georgetown’s strong arts community. She has helped to build the art community here over the decades through her teaching and encouragement of other artists, and she has enriched life in Georgetown by sharing the inspiring body of work she has created in her 45+ years in Georgetown as a professional artist. She is a person who inspires creativity and joy through the arts,” said Mayor Ross.

In 2015, Light was selected as one of just a handful of local artists commissioned to create artwork to be exhibited in the Sheraton Georgetown Hotel and Conference Center, which opened in July. Light collaborated with Sue Bishop Spahn on a 14-foot-long painting called “Grazing the Fault” that hangs now behind the reception desk in the upscale hotel. (See page B1 of the July 31, 2016 Williamson County Sun for a profile and a picture of “Grazing the Fault.”)

Light’s art has been exhibited internationally, and has won awards in a number of juried shows. Her work was carried by Spicewood Gallery and Design Studio in Austin, and by Hill Design + Gallery in Georgetown. She works primarily in watercolor and mixed media.

In her studio

Light, 86, says, “I am still making art, mostly mixed media lately. I work on paper and canvas, and I love handmade papers and collage. It’s so much fun to be in the creative process—it’s a different world. It transports you like books and reading do, but putting color down on paper is a special joy for me.”

Light is a third-generation floral designer who worked as a young woman in Austin for the family business, Belding Flowers, which served the needs of customers like Lyndon Baines Johnson and John Connally. She worked as a floral designer until 1976. When asked how she was first inspired to take up art, she said, “We were not taught much art in high school, but my parents owned the retail flower shop in the Driskill Hotel in Austin, and you learn a lot of design in the floral industry.”

In addition to that on-the-job training, Light attended Tarleton College in Stephenville, Texas and also The University of Texas at Austin. She left college in order to study art more intensively, and she took summer courses at Louisiana Tech University in Rustin, Louisiana.

Light and her husband and sons moved to Georgetown in 1969, into a house she still occupies. She works in a studio on the property that was rebuilt from the remains of a barn with a sweeping view of the countryside.

A recent work in collage

In 1980, she became an art instructor and she continued to teach art until 1996. “Most artists,” she said, “have to supplement their income. Artists are trying to say something in a nonverbal way….while you are practicing and working on those creative goals, you have to support yourself, so I took up teaching—then I found out what a joy it was. I ended up travelling and teaching all over the state. It was so inspiring to teach other artists and see them develop.”

In June, her farm was the site for a “Curated Picnic” for creatives organized by Light with graphic designer and artist Nick Ramos, owner of Georgetown graphic design firm Graphismo. Ramos says, “Carol is a pioneer, an inspiration, a true guiding light. The never-ending desire to learn keeps her young. She has mentored endless numbers of artists, citizens, and children in our community. She was there at the beginning of the Williamson County Art Guild. Her words, kindness, talent, and smile are a source of energy that will inspire anyone that crosses her path.”

In addition to her teaching, Light has worked in other ways to foster local creativity. She has a history of involvement in local arts groups, having served as president of the Williamson County Art Guild and judging art exhibits, as well, including the 2012 Art Hop, a statewide competitive exhibit hosted by the Georgetown Art Center.


Awards Announced in Texas Society of Sculptors 9th Annual Summer Show

The Texas Society of Sculptors has announced the award winners in their ninth annual summer show, which is hosted by the Georgetown Public Library and funded by sponsorship from the City of Georgetown Arts & Culture Board. Seventy pieces were entered in this year’s exhibit, which will remain in the library until September 23.

The current exhibit can be viewed all the hours the library is open: Monday-Thursday 9 a.m. – 8 p.m., Friday 9 a.m. – 6 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., Sunday noon – 5 p.m.

The Georgetown Arts and Culture Board donated $1,800 for cash awards.

Christina Rudofsky, staff member with Round Rock Arts, was the exhibition awards juror for this year’s competition. Awards, which were announced at the artist reception July 17 in the library, are listed below.

John Mark Luke and Thunderbirds, 2016 First Place Award

Thunderbirds by John Mark Luke (mixed media; natural tree branches, eps styrofoam, steel)

Lady News by Vera Smiley Second Place Award

Lady News by Vera Smiley (red paperclay, acrylic paint, collage, epoxy, wood)


Fast Break by Michael Synatzske Third Place Award

Fast Break by Michael Synatzske (bronze)


System by Jonathan Sanders Honorable Mention Award–Mixed Media

System by Jonathan Sanders (steel, concrete, tar, found object)


The Gift by Dan Pogue Honorable Mention Award–Metal

The Gift by Dan Pogue (bronze)


Seven Sisters by Bob Ragan Honorable Mention Award–Stone

Seven Sisters by Bob Ragan (Florence white limestone)


Librarians’ Choice

Thunderbirds by John Mark Luke (mixed media; natural tree branches, eps styrofoam, steel)

The library staff makes the choice for one of the awards each year. This sculpture, which also took first place in the overall competition and is pictured above, captured the library staff’s imagination.


Sculpture Demonstrations Sept. 17

Sculpture demonstrations will be held on Saturday, Sept. 17 from 1-3 pm in the library Lobby. The demonstrations are a come-and-go event, free and open to the public. Participating sculptors will be:

Frank Maglio (metal and stone)
Dar Richardson (clay)
Joe Kenney (bronze)
Mary Griffin (bronze)
Bill Stuewe (wood)

For more information, call the Georgetown Public Library at (512) 930-3551. The library is at 402 W. Eighth Street, Georgetown, Texas.

Red Poppy Art on the Square April 4-May 5

Blood of Heroes by Jen RoseAttendees at Georgetown’s 2016 Red Poppy Festival April 22-24 will also enjoy an outdoor art installation of thousands of deep red ceramic poppies by artist Jen Rose. The poppies will blanket the west lawn of the Williamson County Courthouse in Georgetown’s downtown Square. The piece, entitled “Blood of Heroes Never Dies,” commemorates Texas World War I veterans and it will be on display from April 4 through May 5.

Individual poppies will be available for purchase for $10 apiece at the Visitor Center, 103 W. Seventh Street on the Square. Proceeds will benefit Puppies Behind Bars, a nonprofit organization that provides service dogs for combat veterans returning home from Iraq and Afghanistan who have suffered a physical injury, including traumatic brain injury or post-traumatic stress disorder.

“Blood of Heroes Never Dies” was a collaboration between artist Jen Rose and Clive Siegle, a history faculty member; both teach at Richland College. The original installation included 5,171 ceramic red poppies installed on the campus of Richland College for Veterans Day 2015 as reminders of the 5,171 veterans from Texas who died in World War I. The Georgetown installation will include about 4,000 poppies “planted” by volunteers.

Henry Purl Compton (nicknamed Okra) helped Georgetown to become the Red Poppy Capital of Texas when his service as a Corporal in the Army during World War I ended and in 1919 poppy seeds he collected in northern France were planted in the yard of his mother’s home on Seventh Street in Georgetown.

The poppies installation on the Williamson County Courthouse lawn is on loan from the artist, Jen Rose. The display is co-sponsored by the City of Georgetown Arts and Culture, the City of Georgetown Convention and Visitors Bureau, Williamson County, and The Williamson Museum.

Georgetown Arts & Culture Board Awards Grants to Local Organizations

The City of Georgetown Arts & Culture Board approved just over $20,000 in grants to local nonprofit organizations and schools in November. The grants will help fund local art, music, theatre, and cultural heritage events or projects in Georgetown.

The amounts and projects funded in this grant cycle are:

Festival of the Arts for two Festival events (a film presentation and a concert): $2,280
Frost and Williams elementary schools for Learn to Draw assemblies with Mark Kistler: $2,230 and $1,508 respectively
Georgetown Art Works for expenses associated with the exhibit Working Colors – The Work of Henry Isaacs: $2,280
Georgetown Heritage Society for a fundraising event called The Amazing Heritage Quest: $1,520
Georgetown Symphony Society for assistance with its 2015-2016 season: $2,280
Georgetown High School Theatre Dept. for shelving and plays to create a play scripts library: $1,520
Handcrafts Unlimited for advertising/marketing: $1,140
Georgetown Palace Theatre to help fund inclusion shows: $2,280
Williamson County Symphony Orchestra for funding a pops concert: $2,280
Williamson Museum for Hispanic Heritage Month expenses: $760

Funds are for events in Georgetown occurring between December 1, 2015 and September 30, 2016.

For more information about the work of the City of Georgetown Arts & Culture Board, visit

Public Reception for Muralist Aug. 7 at Georgetown Art Center

Muralist Joe Magnano will be honored at a public reception on Friday, August 7, from 6-8 pm at the Georgetown Art Center. The public is invited, and the event is free of charge. The reception will mark the completion of Magnano’s mural, “Jumping Around,” on the alley side of the oldest building on the historic downtown Square, 711 S. Main Street. He began the mural in June working under a commission from the City’s Arts & Culture Board.

Magnano is a Waco-based fine artist who studied at the San Francisco Art Institute and the Artist Students League of New York City. The finished mural provides a piece of public art of interest to residents and visitors to the downtown. Magnano’s mural has a nature-and-wildlife theme with a bit of Texas mythology thrown in for fun, and is vibrant and playful. The mural features a Texas sunset, bluebonnets, bats, cacti, an armadillo, and three jackalopes that are perched on structures of the wall itself. To see photos of the wall and the developing mural, click here.

The Georgetown Art Center is at 816 South Main Street.

Artist Begins Mural on Oldest Building on the Square

Arts & CultureCity Hall

Mural July 16

Joseph Magnano has his work cut out for him. He will spend much of July attending to the back of the oldest building on the historic downtown square, 711 S. Main Street. He began work in June beautifying this uninspiring 23 x 15 foot wall, and has already made strides on the stucco surface, working under a commission from the City’s Arts & Culture Board.

Joseph Magnano at the mural site

Magnano, pictured at right at the mural site, is a Waco-based fine artist who studied at the San Francisco Art Institute and the Artist Students League of New York City. The mural will provide a piece of public art of interest to residents and visitors to the downtown. Magnano’s mural will have a nature-and-wildlife theme with a bit of Texas mythology thrown in for fun, and will be vibrant with color, full of life, inspirational to all ages; fun and playful.

Magnano’s proposal said, This mural is designed to … bring back memory of the simple beauty and expressions that are provided by nature and its wildlife. Nature tells its own story when it looks at us. It’s important to recognize how nature observes us as settlers and how that is ingrained into culture, heritage, preservation; which is relevant to Georgetown’s acknowledged agrarian beginnings.

Eric Lashley, Georgetown Public Library Director and staff liaison to the Arts & Culture Board, said, I am very excited about this project.  I hope it inspires other building owners to consider allowing the Arts and Culture Board to add additional murals to the downtown in the future.

Magnano working on the mural July 2, 2015Magnano working on the mural July 2, 2015 Mural July 16The mural, Jumping Around, on July 16, 2015. 711 S. Main Street before work on the mural began711 S. Main Street before work on the mural began

The City of Georgetown Arts and Culture Board issued the call for artist proposals for a mural to be located on the rear wall of 711 S. Main Street earlier this year. Nine proposals were submitted, and at its May meeting, with design approval from the building’s owner, the board selected Magnano’s submission. The target date for completion of the mural is August 1.