We decided to make our first day in Austin a cultural one and started by visiting the State Capital. On entering, a tour was just starting so we decided to join it.
The first room we entered, featured the portraits of the past governors and the guide explained that after leaving office, a new portrait would be added and all the others would be moved up on all the floors. This seemed a mammoth task.
Next, we entered the two government rooms to see where the delegates met. These were both very impressive in different ways as were the explanations of how the system works.
As we looked around, there were several paintings and I decided to photograph the one of Davy Crockett and the battle of the Alamo, as we would be visiting that area next. On another note, the large picture of the Alamo and the one on the other side of the door, took the artist 40 years to complete. I'm not sure I would have had that much patience and dedication.
After leaving the Capitol, we decided to visit some of the art galleries shown on our map. Finding our first one, we opened the door and entered. To the surprise of the owners, we had walked into their living room!
Although to be fair, their home was listed as a gallery even though we found out that you could see the work by invitation only.
After apologising, the owner was good enough to let us look at his collection, based on the American West, and these were very impressive. He was very knowledgeable and it was fascinating to hear the history of some of the pieces.
Moving on, we found the People's Gallery based in the City Hall. It was good to see that the Cultural Arts Department sponsored an exhibition showcasing the work of local artists. !!4 artists were selected from over 350 entries and 1.300 pieces of work were on display.
There was a wide range of work showing the diversity of artistic endeavours in the area and the range of superb talent around.
The City Hall was a working building and the artwork was used to enhance the environment, as well as giving publicity to the artists. An idea that other public buildings in our country, with a little foresight. could well do.
On leaving, it was humbling to see the memorial to all the public servants, who lost their lives or were killed in the line of duty. These were represented by carvings done by a retired Police Captain John N. Vasquez.