Upper Gallery

The Way of Water

On View through November 17, 2024

Water, it is essential to life. It flows, it trickles, it whips in wind, and it overwhelms in storms. The force and the presence of water is both necessary for life and overwhelming when driven in unexpectedly or with great force. Water is a mirror to the sky and a source of great depth in the oceans. Lakes and rivers flow, and increasingly do not.  This causes scarcity, which is a challenge for a planet full of inhabitants who rely on its availability.

Artists look to water and the creatures around it for their expressions of life. The City of Corpus Christi is known as the Sparkling City by the Sea. On any given day the Bay of Corpus Christi is alive with changing light conditions, currents, and activity. The works of art seen here include the impending threat of storms, the flooding aftermath and the proximity to humans and living creatures as a state of its presence.

Alexandre Hogue was an American artist who was a member of the Dallas Nine and painted between the 1930s through the 1980s. He was present during the Dust Bowl which impacted the American and Canadian prairie lands which eroded the land, destroyed vegetation’s ability to thrive displacing thousands from barren lands. Some regions experienced drought conditions for as long as eight years. Irrigation, 1931, by Hogue explores the geometry of the land in the Southwestern U.S. By creating a composition that is terraced we can see a whole layering of sky, mountain range, terraced land, cliffs, bottomland, and streams flowing through rocks. On the front of the picture, we see a series of handmade bricks, indicative of life and of living. The energy and ingenuity are made evident with vibrancy and detail of a brightly colored and changing landscape.

Mark Anderson is a printmaker and taught printmaking at Texas A&M-Kingsville, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, and Baylor University. He served as Chair of the Art Department at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi and for Baylor University, before retiring in 2023. In this monotype composed entirely of black ink on paper, the artist has created a halo-effect by palming the ink in a soft surfaced method by applying ink and dispersing it with the palm of his hand to evenly distribute the ink. Once he has the ground of the inked plate complete, he has used various tools, such as a cotton swab ( with the cotton removed) to incise line, as seen in the white border, removing all in, and applied forms such as land overlooking the Bay of Corpus Christi and the palm trees that provide an understanding of the breadth of the space seen next to water’s edge.

Ann  Stautberg’s hand-colored photograph has the size of what it might feel like to be next to the Cadillac. We can see what she saw and appreciate the up-close angle of the car, with its missing part and placement next to the banana trees. We have a sense of what she saw and recognize the tropical Texas Coastal vibe.

The works of art represent the artist’s interest in water as an element of beauty, mystery, and as places that teem with life. We are connected by water; as bodies that connect us across regions and provide adventure, play, sustenance and solace. Look closely and find the places that say something you respond to. Is a body of water with activity atop, below, around or within? What are the characteristics of the place that say something to your eye and how is it done? Is it reflecting light, absorbing light, dancing in light or turbulent? How has the artist used their art materials to capture your attention?

Accessibility Information

Photo Restriction: Photography allowed in the exhibition (no flash, no tripods)
Touch Restriction: Non-touch exhibition
Exhibition Language(s): English
Potential Challenges for Visitors With:

Other Notes:

For questions or more information, please contact: clayton.reuter@tamucc.edu