Old Chicken Farm Art Center in San Angelo, TX

April 28, 2011 at 11:46 am EST
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In San Angelo, even an old chicken farm is a place where a vibrant artistic community can flourish.

The Chicken Farm Art Center was founded in 1971 as a place for artists to live and work.

Today, the 3-acre complex is a premier San Angelo attraction that includes 15 artist studios, two art galleries, a bed & breakfast, and a gourmet restaurant.

The collective often hosts open houses with live music, kids events and more.

Artists-in-residence works in mediums ranging from paint and pottery to stone, mosaics, fabric and other unique materials.

Some are painters who grew up in the area and have carved out a niche here. Others are potters who visited from elsewhere and decided to pull up stakes and relocate.

“I was invited to show at the art museum back in 2001 and had never really heard of the museum or the town,” says Linda Gossett, whose work includes functional and whimsical bowls, platters and other pieces. “It was a wonderful experience for me and spoke to the possibilities of my career a little differently.”

Three years ago, it wasn’t enough anymore just to come to town every April and hang out with the potters. Gossett sold her Dallas home and scored a living space and studio at the Old Chicken Farm, where she’s been ever since.

“I lowered my cost of living, focused on the work and found a new trajectory,” she says. “The people here are very open to looking at what I’m doing, and people are coming into town. I think San Angelo could be the next big thing.”

Painter Michelle Cuevas never strayed from the city and has become increasingly visible through her portrait work.

“Growing up in San Angelo, I wasn’t quite aware of how the arts community was growing with me,” Cuevas says. “As I got into becoming an artist and taking lessons from teachers, I was introduced to some venues, clubs and people who were doing art in the community. From there came the arts center and the Chicken Farm, and a whole new world opened up.”

Learn more on the arts scene in San Angelo, TX.

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