TSA Board of Directors
TSA Board of Directors
President - Breanne Schwarz
Vice President - Robertus van der Wege
Secretary - Jessica Burnham-Hinton
Treasurer - Amy Stephens
Membership - Art Garcia
At Large Members:
Scott Shubin, Sam Watson, Marco Rubino, Kristen Penrod, Nan Martin
Early in May of 1983, when the azaleas made bright borders along Turtle Creek, when crates and cartons were being unpacked in the handsome new home of the Dallas Museum of Fine Art, when I.M. Pei had the plans for the Meyerson Symphony Hall on his drawing board, a group of Dallas artists got together and gave birth to the Texas Sculpture Association. The inspiration came from Patricia Meadows who suggested the forming of an association of sculptors to Morton Rachofsky. He got to work on the idea and sent out post cards to 100 people calling a meeting at D-Art Visual Center on May 17, 1983. Sixty people answered the call.
It was a heady meeting. Morton envisioned an organization where sculptors might connect and interact, where workshops on materials and techniques might be presented, an association which could sponsor exhibits and competitions and a venue for socializing with colleagues. A smaller group of people was selected from this meeting to work out the details of actually forming such an organization.
This core group of ten supporters met on June 22, 1983 to begin the task or incorporating into a formal association. A name was tentatively agreed on pending a review of names with the state. Samples of bylaws were reviewed from several arts organizations and a consensus was reached on the purpose and objectives of the association. George Tobolowsky, legal counsel, followed through with the writing of the bylaws and filed for articles of incorporation with the state. Also established at this meeting were the acting officers of the association. They were: Morton Rachofsky, president, Phyllis Carpenter, vice-president, Bobbie Griswold, secretary, and Sheila Sloan, treasurer.
The board met again on July 6 to look over the bylaws and make necessary revisions. It was decided to open the membership to anyone interested in the creation of sculpture and in promoting or patronizing sculptors. Dues were set at $15.00 for the remainder of 1983 and $25.00 annually thereafter. Since the name Texas Sculpture Association was available, George Tobolowsky was charged with securing it for the group.
A general meeting held on July 19 presented the larger membership with the draft of the bylaws and other decisions of the board for their approval. Also discussed were hopes for a membership show to be held at D-Art from April 26 to May 2, 1984 and plans for some exciting programs at future meetings.
The ensuing year was one of fervent activity for the fledgling group. Jerry Allen, Coordinator of the Dallas City Arts Program spoke on public art, pro and con. TSA hosted a dinner with James Surls, a renowned Texas sculptor who was in town for a workshop. Jeff Lendrum shared his expertise on photographing sculpture for portfolios. The mebership toured the DMA with curator Sue Graze and, later, the Shafer Art Foundry. They heard Barbara Murphy describe how an architectural firm incorporates art into its plans and Margaret Robinette speak on placing sculpture in landscape settings. Meetings were frequent and informative and the membership doubled and tripled.
A contest was held in September for the design of a logo for the TSA. Tom Livesay with the DMA was picked to be the sole juror. Ken Pugh, a local graphic artist, was the winner and designer of our present logo.
In 1984, Morton Rachofsky stepped down to devote himself to the Sculpture Symposium scheduled for March 1985 and was replaced by Keith Livingston as president.
On July 5, 1984, TSA's first major exhibition was held at the D-Art Visual Center, called Visions '84, the show was partially underwritten by a generous contribution from Raymond Nasher. Budgeting for the show was $3,740.00, not including awards. One hundred and fourteen works were submitted by 53 artists to be judged by David Furchgott of the International Sculpture Center. News releases went out to 23 magazines, 5 newspapers, 6 radio stations and 5 television stations. The Texas Sculpture Association was determined to signal its birth in Dallas with a thoroughly professional, praiseworthy show. Additional upstairs gallery space was made available for artists to rent concurrently with the exhibition for several successive one-man shows with individual openings.
By 1985, the Texas Sculpture Association had made enough of an impact in Dallas to be invited to stage a major national exhibition at the Plaza of the Americas Hotel. The hotel offered to provide the space, insurance, printing costs, posters, catalog and opening reception. A date in June 1986 was set and the membership went to work on Excellence '86.
Zealous activity filled the years that followed. Many avenues were explored to place sculptures in city parks, in the Museum of Fine Arts and to cultivate a climate for sculpture in the city of Dallas. Programs for TSA meetings explored publicizing one's work, relationships with galleries, the business of art, conversations with art critics, and demonstrations by venders.
|The succession of presidents of the organization was:|
Shelley Kolman Smith
The Excellence shows at the Plaza of the Americas continued with ever more entries and more polished presentations. "The caliber of our juries and the exposure our show gives to artists has begun to earn national recognition," commented Kathy O'Halleran in 1984. TSA had become a success story.
In ensuing years, the horizon broadened for TSA and the organization became socially and politically involved in goups such as DARE (Dallas Artists Research and Exhibition) in their advocacy for artists' interests, DMFA and in the founding of the MAC (McKinney Avenue Contemporary), NAAO (National Association of Arts Organizations) in combating censorship of creative works in the awarding of grants, S.O.S. (Save Outdoor Sculpture) in repairing and maintaining public works, HOPE (Honoring of People Everywhere) partnering with public schools to celebrate ethnic diversity, and ESAL (Emergency Artist Support League) to aid artists in financial distress. We have collaborated with the Texas Commission on the Arts in matters of mutual interests.
In 1989, the Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs, the Texas Commission on the Arts and TSA cooperated to place sculpture at the Bath House Cultural Center on White Rock Lake for one year. Entrants for the competition submitted work from all over Texas. Fifteen sculptures were chosen. This competiton was repeated the following year.
TSA has also helped with installations of sculptures at Connemara every year since 1981 when 72 acres were dedicated by Frances Williams (mother of Amy Monier) as a sculpture park to be managed by the Connemara Conservancy Foundation. Many TSA members have been exhibitors. > TSA arranged for the exhibition of works at the Quadrangle near downtown Dallas, where six to eight works were shown for six month periods from 1991 until the center came under new management. We have had pieces at the Dallas Garden Center in Fair Park for several years running and membership shows in the Northpark Mall.
The membership of the Texas Sculpture Association has been a source of pride. Several of our members have achieved national acclaim. Michael Pavlovsky created a memorial to Martin Luther King placed at the site of his assassination in Memphis, Tennessee. Bill Verhelst created the large fountain in the Exchange Park complex in Dallas. David Hickman has won many commissions for public artworks around Dallas, in the public library, for the Shakepeare Festival, and in other states in the U.S. Debbie Ballard, Frances Bagley, Sherry Owens, Sandi Stein, Art Shirer, Rowena Elkin, Eliseo Garcia and others have broken free of the city's confines to exhibit and place works in many cities and other parts of the world.
The Dallas community of art lovers and patrons has also recognized us. We were honored to be guests of Raymond Nasher in his home to browse among his impressive collection and wander in his private sculpture garden before the Nasher Museum was built. Likewise with Howard Rachofsky whose home is indeed a museum filled with exceptional pieces of art.
The Texas Sculpture Association has had moments of glory and times when the call for participation went unheeded. It is what the members make of it; a vital link for sculptors with each other and their public, a source of inofrmation in workshops and programs, an opportunity for recognition through shows, a gathering of like minded artists inspiring one another.
The Texas Sculpture Association belongs to you. Only with the personal investment of every one of its members can the organization serve you. Let us celebrate its impressive past and work to give it a significant future!