Representing both regional and international artists, the gallery displays paintings in acrylics, oil, pastels, and watercolor by Nancy Bandy, Bob Barrera, Steve Beckman, Larry Charles, Al Eisenberg, Alberto Godoy, Marcus Mann, Chu Okoli, Elizabeth Payne, Alice Vickers, and Michael Windburg. Also displayed are pen and ink drawings and reproductions by Roy Cavarretta, Gene Grant, Valentia Kisseleva, and Yan Lee. Photographers Larry Bozka, Gisela Floto, Art and Ofi Juarez, and Mieko Mahi have work on display. Sculptors James Phillips and Danny Stephens are represented, and Roy and Blanche Cavarretta exhibit samples of their gourd art. There is pottery by Cherri Fryer. The gallery’s diverse collection of mediums and styles is the striking bold elements against the rustic reclaimed furnishings, also for sale.About Larry Bozka:
AARON RISKE, Mixed-Media Artist
To see Aaron’s work is in one word: awe. His work is powerful and beautiful to experience in person. A handsome docent at a local Gallery, and the assistant treasurer of a non-profit organization, Aaron sees and shares what most people can’t see. His art works are in mixed media and collage. He says he always liked art because it brings out the best in him and it’s okay he’s different. His self-portraits shares a different story of who he is. To know Aaron, it’s easy to see a happy, confident man, and yet to see his artworks show a different story of who he is. A story of accepting his life God has given. He paints each of his operations he has had since birth. One of the most famous pain artists is Mexican painter Frida Kahlo, who has had lifelong suffering from a trolley accident. Aaron was born with spina bifda, and he makes every effort to not let it be his life, yet it’s in his art, his point of view, his life, his joys, his pain is brought to life.
MARIKA BORDES, Artist, Author, & Sculptor
Marika’s sculptures range from inches to fourteen feet and are easily recognizable. Her imagery is breathtaking due to the dream-like quality of her eye and skillful hands. Marika has been in the forefront of public art, and a driving force behind the creation of the Seguin Commission of the Arts. She was born in Haiti and grew up in Canada. Having lost her mother at three years old, she is inspired to depict mother and child to show the bond and separation that the future holds. Her has been shown on television and throughout the world. She is the author of “Marika The Path of a Sculptor”.
LARRY BOZKA, Wildlife Photographer
Larry Bozka, a fifth generation Texan, is best known for his work as an outdoor writer and photographer for Texas Parks & Wildlife magazine. Bozka has over 130 state and national awards to his credit and specializes in covering the Texas Coast, partly through his blog, and CoastalAnglers.com. At the 50th annual conference of the Texas Outdoor writers Association in College Station, Bozka was honored with the L.A. Wilke Lifetime Achievement Award. There is no way his bio can be written on this small card. He’s an amazing and likeable man to all that know him. He considers Lavaca County his home.
BLANCHE AND ROY CAVARRETTA, Award-Winning Gourd Artists
Roy Cavarretta didn’t discover Lavaca County, Lavaca County discovered Roy Cavarretta. Roy Cavarretta is Lavaca County’s most cherished artist for his very masculine complex original designs in his gourd art and pen and ink landmark drawings. His work has been featured in Texas Monthly, Texas Highways, Southwest Art, Texas Farm & Home, and Western Art & Architecture. Roy lives in Lavaca County and shares a studio with his wife, Blanche, a an award-winning gourd artist as well. Blanche is recognized for her bright colors and soft detail that bring delight to any room. They tour together to showcase their works of art.
LINDA CEJKA, Contemporary Artist and Instructor
A keen eye for color and mosaic designs – Artist Instructor Linda Cejka has made use of talent by teaching craft classes and sharing her skills. Cejka has a Bachelors in Arts in Literature from the University of Texas and a Masters of Business Administration from Our Lady of the Lake University working in educational travel and plan trips for school groups going to visit Washington, D.C. and New York City. “ I like to travel and visit new places and am always taking photos of everything around me. And whenever possible I find time to paint old furniture, sew pillows, create cards and work on paintings. Linda is now teaching “follow along” painting classes at Hallet Oak Gallery. I enjoy reading books on crafting and have made scented soaps using essential oils, potpourris with dried flowers and decorative wreaths for every holiday. I am looking forward to sharing my interest in art and the joy that working on crafts can give. Working in Houston most of her career, she recently is residing in and Schulenburg, Texas and working from her home office.
ALBERTO GODOY, Painter
Born in 1960 in Havana, Cuba, Alberto Godoy is one of Houston’s most sought after Latino artists. His paintings reflect the fusion of cultural, aesthetic, and historical values in his life. Elements of time, memory, imagination and the international language of humor are his signature. He paints feet large because he says “feet are symbolic to self-esteem, meaning have your feet on the ground, know who you are, know where you are going in life.” He can be found painting at all times in his studio in Houston. Whether his work is commissioned or non-commissioned it is recognizable for his choice of shapes and colors. Not just his Cuban good looks but his dedication to his art and pursuing what he thinks is important make meeting Alberto a true joy. He makes art his living and his way of life.
GENE GRANT, Portrait artist
Gene Grant, a self-taught artist, using minimum materials, always carries a notebook to create pencil sketches of beautiful portraits. Grant’s work is inspired by Boris Vallejo, a Peruvian painter whose work has graced the covers of science fiction paperbacks. Gene Grant enjoys and challenges himself in capturing facial features, especially the eyes. He is available for commissioned works. Grant is a fourth generation South Central Texan who lives in Lavaca County. His great-grandfather helped construct the Lavaca County Courthouse.
GISELA FLOTO, Photographer
Gisela Floto’s central themes are man, nature and the environment and ever more portraits of the worlds of women. She started working as a photojournalist in London and Paris. Between 1989 and 1991 she worked for various magazines including Time, Gourmet, and Country, type and Architektur & Wohnen. Her work Brigitte has taken her to Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Fiji and Tonga. From 1991 followed projects in conceptual photography: Garden Theme in Spain, Austria and Germany, report about a German biologist in Vietnam (Savior of Gold monkey), a social project in Mali and a formed therefrom calendar, Minenräumerin Vera Bohle in Bosnia, and aerial photography in Pakistan, Syria and Germany. From 1993 to 1995 she was exhibition manager for the Museum of Photography at the Museum of Arts and Crafts in Hamburg. From 1995 till 2005 she lectured in photojournalism at the University of Hamburg, Department of Journalism. Since then she has worked as a freelance photographer and lives in Hamburg.
CHERRI FRYER, Pottery Artist
Cherri Fryer, artist and potter, creates a magnitude of beautiful pottery all by hand. Cherri wears many hats as a Petroleum Landman, an artist, and creator of Hallettsville Market Days, but what keeps her going is working with her hands and molding clay into utilitarian art. Clients travel to Lavaca County from other areas to collect that art. With her unique perspective of being both an artist and the operator of Market Days, Cherri says that the artists and vendors for the event have become like family. Cherri also works on marketing and advertising for Fiddler’s Frolic and is a resident of Lavaca County.
FARRAH RENE JERNIGAN, Art Photographer
Born and raised in Hallettsville, Farrah now lives in Ezzell. She graduated from the University of Houston – Victoria with a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics. She is an experienced classroom educator and ambassador for technology in local schools. Her analytical background serves her well in accentuating strong shapes and intricate textures in the subjects she photographs. In her youth, Farrah found the art of Ansel Adams stunning. Inspired by his beautiful lines and black and white contrasts, she captures moments of tranquility and shares that natural beauty in her photographs. Her images highlight distinctive features of the architecture and artifacts she photographs. Her landscapes reveal the lines, curves and fractals created by nature’s Great Mathematician.
ART JUAREZ, Historical Photographer
Art Juarez enjoys working with horses and in the field. A self-taught photographer, Art appears in many “come and get it” re-enactments. He lives with his wife, Ofi, also a photographer, in Lavaca County.
Ofi Juarez is a self-taught photographer with a keen interest in art. She has won many awards for her imagery on historical re-enactments. Her husband, who participates in the enactments, appears in many of her photographs. Ofi has an eye for animals, landscapes, and historical events. She resides with her husband in Lavaca County.
YAN LEE, Pen & Ink Artist
Yan Lee holds a PhD. in Geophysics from Texas A&M University, but has devoted his entire professional life to his abiding love – trees. As aself-taught artist, he has searched out and immortalized over 50 famous and historic trees in Texas with his exquisite pen and ink portraits. Included in this select group are two of Hallettsville’s trees – the Hallet Oak and the Hanging Tree. Both are located in City Park. Mr. Lee brought the Hallet Oak to the attention of the art world after a chance meeting at the City Park with another art lover, Doris Zumwalt, who cared for the gardens beneath the tree for many years. After learning of the tree’s historic link with the original Hallet log cabin, Mr. Lee decided that the beautiful 250+ year’old tree also belonged in his portfolio.Mr. Lee was born in Kalima, a village in northeast China, and lives with his wife, Lu, in Spring, Texas. He is now expanding his portfolio to include historic trees in other states.
MARCUS MAN, Contemporary Artist
Renowned contemporary artist Marcus Mann works can be seen on display at the Houston’s prestigious Lyric Center. Known for his sporting and outdoor images, Mann’s classical training is apparent in everything he produces. He was educated at the University of Houston School of Fine Art, and he draws on a broad range of style and genre while maintaining an exclusive style. Mann has resisted the temptation to relocate to a more traditional center of art such as New York or Paris. He wants to make whatever contribution he can to Houston’s ever expanding cultural center and to the state that he loves.
MIEKO MAHI, Industrial Photographer
Art in the Oil Patch, the photography of Mieko Mahi. Most people don’t associate art with the oil and gas industry. But once you’ve seen the dramatic work of Mieko Mahi, one of the world’s leading petroleum photographers, you might think otherwise. Commissioned by energy magazines and leading oil and gas firms, Mieko travels the world to photograph onshore and offshore drilling rigs, barges, pipelines, and oil refineries. Over the years, Mieko’s work has become increasingly artistic. She enjoys drawing on her art education, to capture the hidden beauty of the oil and gas industry. She juxtaposes the marvels of engineering against the natural world, often finding angles, lighting, and color to achieve an alluring image. “I don’t take pictures,” she likes to say. “I create them. The energy business is so global, I think bringing a touch of art to it is long overdue.” Her latest project involves black-and-white portraiture of the petroleum industry’s top 100 leaders and icons. Based near Houston, living on a ranch in Hallettsville. Mieko’s award-winning photographs have been published hundreds of times on the covers and inside of industry trade publications. Her work also appears in annual reports and corporate brochures. Some of her most striking images hang in maritime museum exhibits and the offices of energy companies in the U.S., Middle East, and Europe. “Mieko’s petroleum images portray the beauty of industrial imaging and appeals to all of our visitors,” says Phil Barnes, Curator, Texas Maritime Museum in Rockport, Texas.
CHU OKOLI, Contemporary and Realism Oil Painter
Chu Okoli, accomplished master classical and contemporary painter, represnted the united States in 2015 at the international art fair in Florence, Italy. He has a studio in New York and Houston. In a relentless pursuit to give visual meaning to unusual ideas in fine art, artist Chu constantly experiments with a vast array of materials. The result is a rare collection and a ground-breaking approach to a body of work created out of love; and with an eye to posterity.
Chu teaches painting ongoing in Houston and is available to teach painting in Hallettsville for a special workshop.
ELIZABETH PAYNE, Artist
Elizabeth Payne received her BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute and her MA from Hunter College, New York, New York.
Elizabeth’s colorful mosaic works are mesmerizing and will bring to life any room. She works in acrylic or mixed media on landscapes and figurative studies. Her work has exhibited in galleries and museums across the United States from the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York to the McNay Art Museum in San Antonio. Her paintings are in private and public collections including the Art Museum of South Texas in Corpus Christi. Elizabeth lives near Yoakum, Texas.
JAMES PHILIPS, Wood Carver Artist
Long-time Galveston Bay area resident and sculptor James “Jim” Phillips is a self-taught chainsaw-wielding artist who gives credit to his mother’s inspiration and his innate talent for carving. When his practice sculptures were stolen, he figured it was time to pursue carving full time. In 2008, Hurricane Ike wiped out many of the trees in Galveston; he reclaimed them as art and became famous across Texas for his tree sculptures. The Hallettsville community raised $10,000 for Jim to carve two bison from the deceased 250 year old Hallet Oak tree. As Jim worked day after day on the sculpture, townspeople visited, and now he is part of the community. He can always call Lavaca County home, because people here grew to love him.
AARON RISKE, Mixed Media Artist
Born with Spina Bifida, Aaron Riske’s story is one of accepting what God has given. Like the famous Mexican painter Frida Kahlo, who incorporated her lifelong suffering from a trolley accident into her work, Aaron’s art reflects his life. His artworks are filled with his beautiful and powerful vision of strength and medical advancements. He has a mission to find joy in life by helping others. Aaron is a devoted assistant treasurer and docent at the Hallet Oak Gallery. He, also, is a volunteer at the Gaslight Theatre in Shiner, and Leo Welder Theatre in Victoria. Aaron says art brings out the best in him and to be the best he can be. Aaron was nominated to be among the top three Citizens of the Year by the City of Hallettsville in 2017. The same year, Governor Greg Abbot anointed Aaron Riske as an honorary Admiral in the Texas Navy for assisting in the preservation of the history, boundaries, water resources, and defense of the State.
ALICE VICKERS, Mixed Media Artist
Alice Vickers grew up in Galveston and was always interested in sketching & painting from a very early age. She attended Sam Houston State Teachers College and studied Art & Business. Throughout her 33 yr. career with Exxon Company, USA she exhibited in many juried shows and won many awards.Alice’s paintings in either watercolor, acrylics, colored pencils or pastels are described as imaginative & very colorful. Alice has always been enchanted by intense color and at times completely ignores local color to express an emotion or mood. Most of Alice’s paintings are abstract and she has “no desire to be a slave to reality”. Alice and her husband Bob, moved from Houston and now live in the Svetin area. Alice is on the Board and is a founder of Hallet Oak Foundation.
MICHAEL WINDBERG, Classical Realism Oil Painter
A classical realism painter, Michael Windberg is a master of light, color, and shadow. Taught by his father Dalhart Windberg, Michael has 25 years of experience as a working artist. Michael also has run galleries in Georgetown and elsewhere. A living book on art, Michael currently shares his talent and extensive knowledge with an oil painting class every Tuesday evening here at the Hallet Oak Gallery. The Hallet Oak Gallery is proud to have Michael living in Lavaca County and teaching, and Texas is a better place for having him here!