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Artists say farewell to their haven in Cuero

Camille Doty

By Camille Doty
Jan. 21, 2012 at 9:04 p.m.
Updated Jan. 21, 2012 at 7:22 p.m.

Fletcher Clark smiles at the crowd during a break in a song on Saturday at Courtyard Gallery in Cuero. Clark played as part of an event that included  music, authors, their books and displayed artwork on the gallery's last day.

CUERO - The sound of the warm guitar melted away the chills on a winter day in the Crossroads.

Friends and family set the light-hearted mood, sharing laughter and treats. It was hard to tell Saturday afternoon would be the last time music and art lovers would be able to meet at their safe haven - the Courtyard Gallery.

Patsy Moore has shared her literature and paintings with the gallery since its opening in 2006. The 72-year-old Thomaston resident will pine for the lofty building on 210 N. Esplanade St.

"It's not going to be the same without this gallery," she said.

Moore is one of 100 artists who have displayed their work in Kerry Rhotenberry's gallery. The 53-year-old mother of two said closing the building doors will open a host of new opportunities. She said she will transition into e-commerce.

"I'm looking forward to doing what we do on a broader scale," she said. Rhotenberry plans to update the organization's website, utilize social media, and update email lists to attract and retain new customers in her virtual gallery.

The concept of being versatile is not new for the Rockport native. "Whenever you're an artist, you have to market on more than one level," she said.

The bonds between the artists are deeply woven, like the canvas paintings on the wall.

"We're like family," said Lisa Kurtz, who draws inspiration from natural elements.

"I call it native recycling," she said jokingly.

Kurtz embraced her friend Sharon White, a faithful attendant.

"I walked around for hours looking at pictures," White said. "You've got everything here."

A Westhoff resident, White tried to bid farewell to the gallery, her hands pointed to the sky, "I'm going to miss this place," she said.

Moore said her appreciation goes beyond the physical space. She values Rhotenberry's sweet and helpful nature.

Moore, the great-grandmother of seven, said she would rather say, "See you later" than goodbye.

"I'm hoping the gallery opens again," she said.

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