Brownwood Art Center boasts new look with grand reopening

Steve Nash
Brownwood Bulletin
Brownwood Art Association
Craig Seger, the Brownwood Art Association's Artist of the Year for 2021, is pictured with Sharon Cook, vice president of membership for the assocation.
Jim Blake, who was named the Brownwood Art Association's Photographer of the Year for 2020, is pictured near a display of his photos at the Brownwood Art Center.

Jim Blake, who is the Brownwood Art Photographer of the Year for 2020, didn’t become overly philosophical about his craft at the grand reopening of the Brownwood Art Center Thursday evening.

“I’ve been doing it since I was 10 or 12. It’s just fun,” Blake said in the remodeled Art Center at 215 Fisk.

Sharon Cook, vice president of membership for the Brownwood Art Association, presented awards to Blake and Craig Seger, who is the art association’s Artist of the Year for 2021.

The recognitions of Blake and Seger were among the activities at the Art Center’s reopening, which gave visitors a chance to see the building’s new look, enjoy refreshments and wine-tasting and gaze at the Blake’s and Seger’s framed photos.

“A lot of people don’t feel photography is artistic, but I use my camera and my lenses to create these images that are here on the wall,” Seger said.

COVID forced the Art Center to close in tMarch 2020. Last fall, the center was able to be open “periodically,” Cook said. “Still, we had a surprise in February.”

The surprise was in the form of burst water pipes in the February freeze, which flooded the building, and much of the interior had to be redone. The remodeling was made possible by donations from members of the community.

Features of the remodeling include new flooring, freshly painted walls and new LED lighting. Some walls were removed to create more space for additional rooms, Cook said.

The center had a soft opening during the July Jam festival and is ready to resume a full slate of activities,