I woke up today and realized that the end of the school year has passed. It’s June, the official beginning of my Summer break as an art teacher. Usually, the end of the year is full of hugs, tears, and trying desperately to get my students to take home their things. I typically am consumed with cleaning messes, trying to decide if I should throw away unclaimed and unnamed art, and organizing my classroom for the next year. Today I woke up and was shocked by the idea that my students wouldn’t be back, my seniors are graduating next weekend and we have ended their high school experience uneventfully.

Teaching online was challenging. Not because it was more work, it was actually strangely relaxed and hands-off for the most part. What was challenging was knowing my kids (I’m speaking about my students here, as I always am when I refer to my kids) were missing prom, their friends, and yes, even some of their teachers. I did my best to make them feel loved, feel like they have a purpose, and make them feel connected. Even still, I saw a lot of sadness in their work.

I want to commemorate our missed months. We did not release a May event calendar because, well there were no physical events. I want to take time in this post to congratulate our friends who graduated from Graduate School, Undergraduate programs, and high school. If I miss anyone, please send me an email and I’ll do my best to share their stories.

If you are not an artist, you may not understand the significance of missing an exhibition. These students have worked for years towards theses final exhibitions. They have spent countless hours honing their craft, problem-solving, and developing their work to their highest level of skill. Missing a physical exhibition is a true loss of their moment to shine and a focused moment to verbalize their ideas which are usually left to the viewer’s interpretation of a didactic on a wall or their imagination.

Our friends at the University of Texas at Tyler graduated with their final MFA thesis exhibitions but were unable to have physical shows. Each one of these artists is incredibly talented and are some of the most skilled visual storytellers I’ve seen. UT Tyler has created an online exhibition available, links below. Please take the time to read their exhibition thesis statements to get a sense of their intentions with their work.

John Miranda

Pan Dulce in the Sauce

View the exhibition here:

Laminda Miller


View the exhibition here:

Nora Schreiber


View the exhibition here:

See videos of the installations here:

Jessica Sanders

Attach | Manipulate | Respond

View the exhibition here:


UT Tyler also had a group of excellent BFA students graduate this semester as well, were also unable to exhibit physically.

Artists exhibited: Lidia Alvidrez, Willow Lanchester, Katherine Emmel, Maggie Pierce, Grace Richardson, Payton Poole, Justin Witherspoon, Teresa Young

View full exhibition:

Some incredible artists from our high schools have graduated as well. Some of our own (Mrs. Taylor and I's) from Chapel Hill High School are featured below.

*If you are an art teacher, high school or otherwise, and you feel like your graduating students need a shout out, please feel free to share your students' work with me via email and I will update this post.

Now that Texas is lessening restrictions on gatherings and public spaces, a few places are now open with some restrictions.

Tyler Museum of Art

Now open with free admission until further notice.

Currently, they are featuring

  • 16th Annual High School Art Exhibition until June 7th

  • Lone Star Impressions II, Prints by Flatbed Press until July 5th

Please be sure to follow health protocol, available here:

Longview Museum of Fine Arts

  • East Texas Artists until June 27th

  • Sign up for their summer classes:

Longview String Quartet

Longview Arboretum and Nature center “The Roots Concert Series” is doing socially distanced outdoor concerts for your healthful enjoyment.

etx creatives

We are still planning on hosting our summer workshop series, but we have decided to follow suit and have them online. This year, the workshops will be FREE to the public, however, will have limited seating in the online class. If you are interested in teaching a workshop, the link is below. And yes, it is a paid gig! Please let us pay you to teach our community something awesome. Sign up here and stay tuned to sign up:

We are continuing our Podcast series with the help of Toginet Radio, but while we record new episodes, please check out the podcast here:

How can you give back?

Help us bridge tough times by supporting your local creatives, the actual creatives that make up our community. There has never been a better time to have a new logo designed, order a print, or even have a poet draft you a sonnet. Many of us work either in creative fields or in industries affected by this pandemic (think about how many servers also act, write, or paint). We love you and now is the time to show you love us. I've compiled a list of locals (and growing) who are in our network. Feel free to contact them. Share your love and if you're fortunate enough to be employed through this, give back to those who make our area beautiful.

Support local artists:

Buy print or commission an original work of art. Artists need your help right now more than ever.

Local creative businesses to support:

This is a running list, I've missed so many amazing people. If you have someone you'd like me to add to these lists, please send me an email. Those featured here are members of our etx creatives online community. If you haven't joined our community yet, you can find it here.

April is here! As the weather warms up and spring flowers bloom, many East Texans are at home due to COVID-19 mandates. While not all of our fellow East Texans are ordered to “shelter in place,” etx creatives is aware of the likelihood that most will not be able to visit their favorite cultural destinations in person. Cultural hubs from art museums to theaters and concert venues have temporarily shut their doors to the public. Leaving countless creatives in East Texas without work or an opportunity to reach the public. However, some creatives have moved to a virtual presence and etx creatives encourages you to seek them out!

Do you have a favorite local band, museum or dance instructor? Seek them out online! Several local art museums and solo musicians have made their presence known virtually. Please share your findings with etx creatives on our Facebook, Instagram , or our Website so others may benefit.

Also please consider visiting Creative Capitol’s website ‘s list of national online arts events. Etx creatives hopes that resources like this will inspire you to contemplate similar opportunities in your community. What events are listed that you would like offered in East Texas? What steps do we take to ensure our local art and cultural district's presence traditionally or virtually?

Continue to check back with us each month. As we grow so will the list of events. Together we can make East Texas a fine arts district to rival any metropolitan area!

Would you like an event featured on Your etx creatives Monthly Planner? Fill out this

simple form to let us know:

  • Julia Dailey

Being a creative sometimes…well actually most of the time…means thinking outside of the box. When Fine Art students were polled at a local university, their primary concern centered around showing or exhibiting their art. Thinking generally art is exhibited in galleries or museums, business lobbies or courtyards, pop-up shows and exhibitions or at local colleges and cafes. What are some out-of-the-box locations? Whether you are a fine artist, musician, writer or freelance creative how can you reach a new audience? How can you engage the outlying East Texan and spark a new artistic minded conversation with them?

Etx creatives came up with a few ideas, but we would love to hear from you! Share your ideas with other creatives in East Texas. What have you tried? Did it work? If not, what are some of your ideas? Will you regroup and try again?

Public transportation. I know what you’re thinking…. “It’s East Texas! What public transportation!?!?” Tyler and Longview have a bus system, and many of our bigger city artists get exposure by displaying prints or digital work in city buses, cabs or on roadways. Also consider your local City Chamber’s Office or Municipal building.

A Shopping Center. Whether it is the Broadway Square Mall in Tyler, The Longview Mall, the Lufkin Mall or any mall or shopping center in East Texas, malls provide excellent exposure. If you’re an artist, you can submit a proposal to have your work displayed. If you’re a musician, you can ask to play your music to gain public awareness and put yourself in front of new people. Some venues even allow writers or poets to display vinyl excerpts of their work on walls and windows.

Other Venuses to consider: Churches, University or College Galleries and Spaces, Libraries, Bookstores, Beauty Salons, Architecture Firms, Interior Design Businesses, Law Offices, Convention and Event Centers, Airports and Private Clubs.

Where have you displayed your art? Have you ever played music or recited your work in an unconventional place? Where? Even if it was not in a progressive way, where in East Texas have you had success reaching a new audience? Let us know!

Please consider reaching out to us on our website:, Facebook:, or Instagram:!

Your etx creatives Monthly Planner: March!


PLAN AHEAD! Apr 25, 2020

Northeast Texas Writers’ Organization

2020 Time to Write Conference

The Jeffersonian Institute, Jefferson, Texas

PLAN AHEAD! May 2, 2020

3rd Annual Festival of Books

Winnsboro, Texas

PLAN AHEAD! June 12, 2020

East Texas Writing Festival

LeTourneau University Longview, Texas

PLAN AHEAD! July 18, 2020

15th Annual Summer Writing Conference

Tyler Junior College – West Campus Tyler, Texas


Mar 14, 2020

Live & Local: Jazz Connection

Fresh by Brookshires, Tyler, Texas

Mar 21, 2020

Piney Woods Music & Arts Festival

Crockett, Texas

Mar 26, 2020

Old-Time Music and Dulcimer Festival

Museum for East Texas Culture, Palestine, Texas

Mar 28, 2020

9th Annual Mudbugs & Music

Longview Exhibition Center, Longview, Texas


Mar 21, 2020

Dancing with Dinos

Naranjo Museum Spring Gala, Lufkin, Texas

Mar 27, 2020

Puttin’ on the Ritz Square & Round Dance Festival

Henderson Civic Center, Henderson, Texas


May 01, 2020

Rose City Steppers 2020 Linedance Workshop

The Meeting Place, Tyler, Texas


March 12, 2020

Talking Tales

Tyler Public Library, Tyler, Texas

Mar 27, 2020

9 to 5 The Musical

Historic Texas Theatre, Palestine, Texas

Fine Art:

Mar 5 – April 7, 2020

Caldwell Arts Academy Student Exhibition

Gallery Main Street, Downtown Tyler, Texas

March, 2020

Linda Lucas Hardy Solo Exhibit

Winnsboro Center of the Arts, Winnsboro,Texas


April 11, 2020

Van Go Art Fair

Van, Texas

Creative – Fun – Informative:

Mar 6, 2020

Outside the Box Small Business Fair

WorkHub, Tyler, Texas

Mar 7, 2020

Small Quilts, Big Impact – Speaker Donna Mikesch

March 2020 Meeting Tyler Public Library, Tyler, Texas

Mar 21, 2020

Creativity: Building Brain Connections

Champions for Children of Smith, Tyler, Texas

Continue to check back with us each month. As we grow so will the list of events we come in contact with. Together we can make East Texas a fine arts district to rival any metropolitan area.

Would you like an event featured on Your etx creatives Monthly Planner? Fill out this simple form to let us know:

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