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EXTRA! EXTRA! C

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Read all about it

Turn to page 10 for the exclusive scoop!

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Contents Ticket to the Thicket

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If you see art in nature, this p is for you. If you don’t see art in nature, this p is really for you!

Follow the Law!

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But where is the law going? In Southeast Texas’ tumultuous past the right side was some mes on the wrong side and the wrong side looked alright. What’s a law abiding ci zen to do?

Billboard

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We put our calendar in the middle so it’s easy to tear out and keep handy!

Hearts for the Arts

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It’s me to recognize our outstanding ci zens and organiza ons again! Join us at Beau Reve in Port Arthur for our annual ceremony.

Off Ramp • Spring/Summer 2017 • www.setxac.org

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The silent mo on of the dragony over the water, the tap-tap-tap of the woodpecker exploring for grubs, the quiet, rustling whisper of the wind in the trees; nowhere here doth urban babble intrude! Here amidst the stands of cypress and evergreen is nature pris ne, untouched by the hand of man (the leafy hand of salvinia is another story...). Why, such a loca on could only exist dozens, nay, hundreds of miles from civiliza- what's that you say? Like, a mile? As in, just one? Oh.

Yeah, like 25 feet from the bridge - BAM! - nature. Whodathunkit?


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Well this is awkward. Here I was ready to sell you a tale of high adventure into the remote wilderness. A meandering pilgrimage down the rippling river Neches into the flickering shadow of verdurous stands of cypress and evergreen, there to let the reserved companionship of nature gently interfere with your cell phone signal and free you from the hovering watchfulness of your smart device overlord and probably the NSA. That's hard to do when you imagine you could s ll see the highway if you climbed the nearest tree. BUT! On further reflec on, this is a large part of the allure. There's no need to pack food for a week and parachute into a blank spot on the map to find fron ers yet untamed; they're in our backyard. So what is this fantas c place just beyond the I-10 off ramp? It's the Big Thicket Na onal Preserve.

Off Ramp • Spring/Summer 2017 • www.setxac.org

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The Big Thicket Na onal Preserve is a federally designated area of the much larger Big Thicket region, which has no exact boundaries but covers anywhere from 2 to 3.5 million acres in East Texas. The Preserve itself was recently measured at 112,501 acres. Its greatest value is in the massive number of different species of plants, animals and fungus, which prompted the Na onal Park Service to set it aside as the first park whose primary purpose is protec on of biodiversity. Sprawling across seven coun es, the Thicket hosts creatures and plants hailing from swamps, forests, plains and the arid southwest all in one con guous area.

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Beau ful, Impenetrable

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The Preserve owes its existence to the Big Thicket Associa on (BTA), established about a decade before the park received official designa on. BTA's mission is the preservaon of the Big Thicket and its diverse inhabitants through direct ac on and public educaon. Though the Associa on's ac vi es are myriad, the one we'll highlight here is their Neches River Adventure, a boat ride out of Riverfront Park down the Neches into the southern por on of the Big Thicket just a few hundred yards north of I-10 in Beaumont.

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BTA Execu ve Director Bruce Walker likes to emphasize the ecotourism value of the excursion. As the tour guide on these trips, Walker introduces visitors to the various species which call the thicket home, expounds on the history of the region, and discusses the BTA's efforts at preserva on as the boat dri s deeper into the winding backwater while ravine-like walls of tree and brush rise on either side. He points out the effec veness of conserva on in part by contrast between city and thicket; the last leg of the tour loops around Beaumont Harbor, where instead of trees brobdignagian tankers and military transport ships squat along the bank and at the piers. Overhead a train some mes roars across the water. The visual character is striking enough, but it's the closeness of the two that really drives home the idea that, given the will to see it through, conserva on can be successful anywhere. Yellow Crowned Night Heron is a pre y cool name.


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Now if you're wondering why an ecotourism expedion is being featured in an arts/humani es tourism magazine, I've got two words for you: Wildlife. Art. That's right! Previous edi ons of Off Ramp have covered the importance of wildlife art to this area. Many of the most prolific and successful ar sts that hail from the lands of the Big Thicket have been influenced by the sights and sounds of nature, never far from a Southeast Texan even when they live in a city.

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In January 2016 the Big Thicket Preserve was featured in the Na onal Geographic ar cle “8 Gorgeous Na onal Parks You've Never Heard Of.” Well, you’ve heard of it now, and the Neches River Adventure is a golden opportunity for ar sts of all disciplines to take photographs, sketch, or just soak in inspira on deep into some of the densest forest in Texas without all the hours of crawling through the brambles. Besides the public tours, the boat can be chartered for private excursions with few limits on me or distance. Regardless of whether you're an ar st or not, it's a relaxing cruise into the Texas wildwoods. For more informa on, contact the Big Thicket Associa on via their website, BigThicket.org, or by phone (409) 790-5399.

Passengers move to the forward deck during one of the tour stops.

Walker inspects the boat a er passengers disembark.

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HC SVNT DRACONES (gators).

Spring brings a great deal of color to the Thicket.

Off Ramp • Spring/Summer 2017 • www.setxac.org

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YOU CAN

MAKE IT ILLEGAL BUT YOU CAN’T MAKE IT

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NEW ORLEANS MAYOR MARTIN BEHRMAN

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BETTING

BOOZE &

BROTHELS A SPECIAL EXHIBITION BY THE MUSEUM OF THE GULF COAST

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It’s an old war - one of the oldest - of the armaments of the state against the desires of its citizens, each side possessing its own motivations and ideas of what the proper balance of freedom versus safety should be.

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This conflict has played out in every civil society since the beginning of time. Betting, Booze & Brothels is an exhibition that tracks the battle as it raged in Southeast Texas and Southern Louisiana - the law, the lawless, and how there was rarely any clear line separating the two!

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This exhibition opens in May 2017. Visit MuseumoftheGulfCoast.org for exact dates and times.

Inspired by the book, Be ng, Booze, and Brothels: Vice, Corrupon, and Jus ce in Jefferson County Texas from Spindletop to the James Commission by Laura O’Toole and Wanda Landry, this exhibit will cover a broader range (between Houston and New Orleans) to illustrate just how common “unsavory” behavior really is. Anywhere you find a group of free people you’ll find someone doing dirty deeds, possibly even done dirt cheap. Off Ramp • Spring/Summer 2017 • www.setxac.org

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BILLBOARD ON THE STAGE THEATRE, FILM, DANCE, MUSIC

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God of Carnage The Red Velvet Cake War Harold Pinter Collection The Ugly Duckling Rock the Presidents Russell Fontana and Still Cruisin’ The Best of Byrd Into The Woods Xanadu All Shook Up Concert Band and Wind Ensemble Faculty Recital: Brain Shook & Tim Dueppen Barefoot In The Park The Illusionists On the Beautiful Blue Danube 42nd Street Guys and Dolls Beaumont‘s Own Night & Day Orchestra Lights! Camera! Math! Symphonie Fantastique Greater Tuna Faculty Brass Quintet Recital Theatre for Young Audiences Steel Magnolias Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters ONCE Concert Band and Wind Ensemble Dance Unleashed: Spring Dance Concert The Odd Couple Lamar Brass Festival Remains to Be Seen Senior Thesis Exhibition Spring Choir Concert Fun For Funds Monty Python’s Spamalot July 4th Concert

Betty Greenberg Center, Beaumont Orange Community Playhouse, Orange Lamar Studio Theatre, Beaumont Lutcher Theater, Orange Lutcher Theater, Orange Betty Greenberg Center, Beaumont Julie Rogers Theater, Beaumont Lutcher Theater, Orange Betty Greenberg Center, Beaumont Port Arthur Little Theater, Port Arthur Nederland High School, Nederland Rothwell Recital Hall, Beaumont Lutcher Theater, Orange Lutcher Theater, Orange Julie Rogers Theater, Beaumont Lutcher Theater, Orange Orange Community Playhouse, Orange Betty Greenberg Center, Beaumont Lutcher Theater, Orange Julie Rogers Theater, Beaumont Lutcher Theater, Orange Rothwell Recital Hall, Beaumont Lamar University Theatre, Beaumont Betty Greenberg Center, Beaumont Lutcher Theater, Orange Lutcher Theater, Orange Silsbee High School, Silsbee Lamar University Theatre, Beaumont Silsbee Little Theater, Silsbee Lamar University, Beaumont Port Arthur Little Theater, Port Arthur Dishman Art Museum, Beaumont Dishman Art Museum, Beaumont Orange Community Playhouse, Orange Betty Greenberg Center, Beaumont Julie Rogers Theater, Beaumont

Thru Feb 11 Feb 2 - 12 Feb 9 - 12 Feb 10 Feb 17 Feb 17 - 18 Feb 18 Feb 21 - 22 Feb 24 - Mar 11 Feb 24 - Mar 12 Feb 27 Feb 28 March 3 March 10 March 11 March 16 - 17 Mar 23 – Apr 2 March 24 - 25 March 27 April 1 April 4 April 6 April 6 - 9 April 7 - 22 April 10 April 15 April 21 April 21 - 23 April 21 - May 6 April 27 - 29 April 28 - May 7 April 28 - May 21 April 30 May 2017 May 12 - 27 July 4

Dishman Art Museum, Beaumont W.H. Stark House, Orange

Thru March 3 Thru March 11

ON THE WALL VISUAL ARTS AND EXHIBITIONS Intrusions of Grace Preserving the Past 16 Off Ramp • Spring/Summer 2017 • www.setxac.org


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David Aylsworth: Either/And Steve Murphy: It’s All Come Down to This Artwork by Lana Portner in Café Arts Electricity Protégé 31st Annual High School Art Competition & Exhibition World War I Jose Arpa: A Spanish Impressionist in Texas Branding the American West Artwork by Alison Gaspard in AMSET Café Arts Betting, Booze, and Brothels Sherry Owens Selections from the Permanent Collection

Art Museum of Southeast Texas, Beaumont Art Museum of Southeast Texas, Beaumont Art Museum of Southeast Texas, Beaumont Museum of the Gulf Coast, Port Arthur Art Museum of Southeast Texas, Beaumont W.H. Stark House, Orange Art Museum of Southeast Texas, Beaumont Stark Museum of Art, Orange Art Museum of Southeast Texas, Beaumont Museum of the Gulf Coast, Port Arthur Art Museum of Southeast Texas, Beaumont Art Museum of Southeast Texas, Beaumont

Dec 10 - Feb 26 Dec 10 - Feb 26 Jan 19 - Mar 26 Feb 4 - Apr 29 Feb 21 - Mar 26 April 8 Mar 11 - May 28 Mar 11 - Sept 9 Mar 30 - May 21 May 2017 June 10 - Sep 3 June 10 - Sep 3

ON THE AVENUE OPEN HOUSES, FESTIVALS, WORKSHOPS, CHILDREN’S ACTIVITIES

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Winter Family Arts Day Hearts for the Arts Heritage Happy Hour AMSET Mardi Pardi Jazz and Percussion Festival Doodle Days Le Grand Bal Chamber House Lawn Party 21st Annual Go for the Gold Party and Reverse Drawing CREATE! Workshop 1920s Day Family Day Cajun Heritage Fest John Jay French Easter Egg Hunt Heritage Happy Hour Mother’s Day Spring Family Arts Day CREATE! Workshop Doodle Days Summer ArtVentures Creative Kids Camp Studio Art Workshop: Oil Painting Part 1 Heritage Happy Hour Doodle Days Studio Art Workshop: Oil Painting Part 2 Doodle Days Studio Art Workshop: Oil Painting Part 3 Summer Art Quest: Teen Workshop Doodle Days Summer Art Quest Camp Lookinback Session One Doodle Days Summer Art Quest Camp Lookinback Session Two Summer Nights at the Museum Summer Family Arts Day

Art Museum of Southeast Texas, Beaumont Beau Reve, Port Arthur Spindletop-Glady City Museum, Beaumont Art Museum of Southeast Texas, Beaumont Lamar University Theatre, Beaumont Stark Museum of Art, Orange Montagne Center, Beaumont Chambers House Museum, Beaumont Art Museum of Southeast Texas, Beaumont Stark Museum of Art, Orange W.H. Stark House, Orange Stark Museum of Art, Orange Carl Parker Center, Port Arthur John Jay French Museum, Beaumont Magnolia Cemetery, Beaumont W.H. Stark House, Orange Art Museum of Southeast Texas, Beaumont Stark Museum of Art, Orange Stark Museum of Art, Orange Art Museum of Southeast Texas, Beaumont Stark Museum of Art, Orange Clifton Steamboat Museum, Beaumont Stark Museum of Art, Orange Stark Museum of Art, Orange Stark Museum of Art, Orange Stark Museum of Art, Orange Stark Museum of Art, Orange Stark Museum of Art, Orange Stark Museum of Art, Orange John Jay French Museum, Beaumont Stark Museum of Art, Orange Stark Museum of Art, Orange John Jay French Museum, Beaumont Stark Museum of Art, Orange Art Museum of Southeast Texas, Beaumont

Feb 11 Feb 12 Feb 16 Feb 24 March 3 - 4 March 14 - 17 March 25 March 25 March 30 April 1 April 8 April 8 April 12 April 15 April 20 May 13 May 20 May 20 June 9 June 12 - July 21 June 13 June 15 June 16 June 20 June 23 June 27 June 27 July 7 July 11 - 13 July 11 -14 July 14 July 18-20 July 18 - 21 July 21 Aug 12

For the latest events go to www.setxsocialcenter.com or www.setxac.org. Stay intrigued friends! Off Ramp • Spring/Summer 2017 • www.setxac.org

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Ye Olde Community Theater C

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Beaumont Community Players Orange Community Players

Port Arthur Little Theater

God of Carnage January 27 - February 11

The Red Velvet Cake War February 2 - 12

All Shook Up February 24 - March 12

Russell Fontana and S ll Cruisin’ February 17 - 18

Guys and Dolls March 23 – April 2

Remains to be Seen April 28 - May 7

Xanadu February 24 - March 11

Fun For Funds May

PALT.org

Beaumont‘s Own Night & Day Orchestra March 24 - 25

OrangeCommunityPlayers.com

Lamar University Theater

Silsbee Little Theater

Harold Pinter Collec on February 9 - 12

The Odd Couple April 21 - May 6

Theatre for Young Audiences April 6 - 9

Steel Magnolias April 7 - 22 Monty Python’s Spamalot May 12 - 27

Lamar.edu

BeaumontCommunityPlayers.com

Off Ramp • Spring/Summer 2017 • www.setxac.org

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confirmed by the adults they later became. Ellen Walker Rienstra and Judith Walker Linsley are sisters with undergraduate and graduate degrees from Lamar University; Rienstra in English and Linsley in Spanish and history. Rienstra is a contract historian for the Nelda C. and H. J. Lutcher Stark Founda on. She has co-authored several books including A Pride of Kin. As a talented violinist, she loves music and wrote the play My Music, My Love in collaboraon with Edward Schneider about the life of Johannes Brahms. The Lamar music department presented a staged reading of the play last October. Linsley is Curator of Research and Interpreta on for the McFaddinWard House. She has been a history instructor at Lamar University, a newspaper columnist and editor of The Texas Gulf Historical and Biographical Record. Jo Ann S les taught history at Lamar University for more than thirty years before re ring as an associate professor emeritus. A master teacher, she received many awards and was named a Piper Professor in 1981. She is also a recipient of the Life me Achievement Award from the Texas Oral History Associa on. S les has worked with state and local history associa ons and as an independent author and researcher. These three women are long overdue the recogni on they’ve earned for their efforts to preserve the history of Southeast Texas. SETAC is pleased to award them for their Outstanding Achievement in the Humani es. Outstanding Media Support of the Arts and Humani es Penny LeLeaux C

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Penny LeLeux was born and raised in Orange County. Her roots run deep. She lives on land that has been in her family for over 150 years. In 2014 she began ‘What’s Happening Orange County?’ a Web site and Facebook page promo ng the fun and posi ve aspects of Orange County with a calendar of events, fundraisers, educa onal opportunies and more. She also helps promote Golden Triangle businesses with a business directory on the site at octx.info. She launched a sister site, The Hub-Outside the OC in 2016. It promotes events from Lake Charles, to Galveston and beyond. Penny brought Na onal Dance Day to Orange County in 2014, partnering with the Orange Conven on and Visitors Bureau. It was a huge success with over 300 in a endance with just three and a half short weeks of prepara on me from incep on to comple on. The celebraon of dance consisted of performances by local dance groups, audience par cipa on with line dances, and the development of the official Na onal Dance Day choreography. Her goal is to con nue to do everything possible to promote Orange County and the Golden Triangle in a posi ve light, promo ng fun, the arts, and entertainment. SETAC appreciates her love and commitment to her community and would like to recognize Penny LeLeux for her Outstanding Media Support of the Arts and Humani es. Outstanding Life Time Achievement in the Arts Rex and Ruth Goode Award Bonnie Cokinos This Beaumont grand dame profoundly influenced genera ons of young children who were drawn to her graceful, disciplined, and refined manner. She loved the art of dance and ins lled in her students that same love and indefa gable strength. We at SETAC will always remember her novel presenta ons at each grant review. O en arriving with a pair of Cinderella mice in tutus, she would deliver an eloquent poem in what may have seemed an a empt to charm panelists but was actually her way of expressing gra tude for the support she had already earned. Her love and devo on to every child that walked through the door of her studio was absorbed and 22 Off Ramp • Spring/Summer 2017 • www.setxac.org

SETAC would like to recognize Bonnie Cokinos for her lifelong support of the arts and humani es by awarding her with the Rex and Ruth Goode Award for 2016. Promising New Program in the Arts and Humani es Texas Ar sts Museum This organiza on demonstrated its ingenuity and resourcefulness by developing a whole new approach to community arts centers through their mission. This past year the Concept Gallery was introduced to the public with their more than 30 member ar sts showing work throughout the year. Every three months, a new display of work is hung and a new recep on is presented free to the public. They also feature three new ar sts in the quarterly newsle er with biographies and images of their work. Their mission to promote public interest in the arts and to support and encourage local ar sts through the Concept Gallery program impressed members of the SETAC board. For these reasons, SETAC would like to recognize the Texas Ar sts Museum for delivering a Promising New Program in the Arts and Humani es. Outstanding Educator in the Arts and Humani es Henrie a Haynes Henrie a “Rhe a” Haynes is a theatre arts teacher at Memorial High School in Port Arthur. Her theatre credits include Dreamgirls, For Color Girls, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, The WIZ, Porgy & Bess, Fences, Grease, Secrets, Miss Evers’ Boys, In mate Apparel, Medea, A Raisin in the Sun, Amen Corner, Before It hits Home, and A Lesson Before Dying. Mrs. Haynes also taught theatre in Hardin Jefferson with directorial creden als including An gone, West Side Story, Grease, Into the Woods, The Boys Next Door, Aladdin, Black Elk Speaks, The Runner Stumbles, The Golden Boy, Steel Magnolias, Bu erflies, Beauty and the Beast, Lady Precious Stream, The effect of Gamma Rays on Man in the Moon Marigolds, The Freeway, Mrs. McThing, The Outsiders, and Charley & Company. SETAC appreciates the love and commitment devoted to teaching theatre by Henrie a Haynes and would like to recognize her as the Outstanding Educator in the Arts and Humani es. Crea ve and Collabora ve Community Outreach Symphony of Southeast Texas Since 1953 the Symphony of Southeast Texas' mission (at that me the Beaumont Symphony Orchestra) has been to advance the apprecia on of symphonic music and to provide opportuni es to local musicians student and professional alike. Last year‘s Symphony schedule was par cularly unique and full of collabora ons both local and interna onal. The Cirque de la Symphonie put world class cirque performers on the stage to create fantas c imagery to accompany the music. The “Pops” concert series, which turns pop culture into symphonic composi ons, featured mul talented tenor Connor Bogart O’Brien. Finally the Symphony offered special concerts locally including their free July 4th concert in partnership with the city of Beaumont and an outdoor show at Shangri La Botanical Gardens in Orange. For their innova ve and entertaining approach to music and for their diverse programming, SETAC presents the Symphony of Southeast Texas with the Crea ve and Collabora ve Community Outreach Award.


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Carl A. Parker Multipurpose Center 1800 Lakeshore Dr Port Arthur, TX 77640

CA

JU FE N A PO S H R TI ER T V I A A TA R L TH IN G E U R

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Gates open at Noon Tickets: $10 To purchase tickets or for more information:

CajunHeritageFest.com 409-835-2787


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Jamie Bergeron & The Kickin' Cajuns

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Travis Matte & The Kingpins

Jo-El Sonnier

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Lori Vrba Butterfly House, 2015 Assembled photographs, found objects and vintage phone cabinet

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Intrusions of Grace

A Visual Response to the Writings of Flannery O'Connor Anne Berry & Lori Vrba

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Anne Berry See No Evil n.d., gelatin silver print

The Dishman Art Museum January 6 - March 3 Opening Reception: January 20 28 Off Ramp • Spring/Summer 2017 • www.setxac.org


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Maynard Dixon (1875-1946), Mesas in Shadow, 1926, oil on canvas, 30 1/4 x 40 inches, Brigham Young University Museum of Art, gift of Herald R. Clark, 1937.

This exhibition presents a unique examination of twentieth-century images of the American West as seen through the eyes of the members of the Taos Society of Artists, the California based artist Maynard Dixon, and films of the era.

712 Green Avenue, Orange, TX 77630 • 409.886.2787 • starkmuseum.org

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Off Ramp Spring/Summer 2017  

Impenetrable forests, implacable lawmen, and irascible rascals! Oh the humanity(ies)! What in the (art) world is going on in Southeast Texas...

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