KARNES COUNTY – Various ranches in Karnes County served as the inspiration for painting artists of the Coppini Academy of Fine Art (CAFA), who painted pristine and classic springtime landscapes in areas ranging from Runge to Panna Maria, for an artistic annual event known as “Paint the Town.” Paint the Town uses the medium of art to capture the beauty and history of a different Texas county each year.
On March 29, about 25 CAFA artists were in Karnes County to locally paint artwork that will be put on exhibit this upcoming weekend in Karnes City. The Paint the Town art project is meant to document, through painting and other forms of art, the vanishing small towns of South Texas.
“The Coppini Academy has an annual event called ‘Paint the Town’ where we go into neighboring towns and paint or sculpt the people, landscape, animals, buildings, etc. of an area,” said Janice Yow Hindes, a native Texan and past president of CAFA, and creator and chairperson of Paint the Town. “It celebrates the history and people of Karnes County in an enjoyable and memorable event, that brings old stories to the young and common pleasures to diverse personalities.”
The Coppini Academy of Fine Art has been around for 77 years and is based in San Antonio. The Academy was founded by Pompeo Luigi Coppini, an Italian artist and immigrant from who eventually made San Antonio his home. Coppini was a honored graduate of the Academia in his native Florence, Italy. Coppini’s commissioned monument artwork can be found in many Texas universities, the State Capitol, and other prominent locations throughout Texas.
Hindes states that Karnes County was a perfect setting and backdrop to inspire the artists to paint on canvas the rustic and natural beauty that they observed.
“I revel in seeing new country, meeting new people, hearing the histories, seeing artists doing good work and having a fun venue for displaying their talents,” said Hindes. “Paint the Town is the most fun event in art with which I have ever been involved. Each city we have visited has asked us to please come back. Karnes County put on some lovely adornments for our painters. The rain came just in time and the landscape was stellar.”
The completed Karnes County-inspired artwork will be on display this Sunday, April 13, at the Karnes County Show Barn located near Otto Kaiser Memorial Hospital on U.S. Highway 181 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., and will feature local, regional, and national artists. The event is free and open to the public and artwork will be offered for sale to the public and also be on display for the viewing enjoyment and celebration of the history and community of Karnes County. Karnes City’s very own Beverly Hedtke will be honored as a guest artist and will have artwork in the exhibition.
“The public is invited to enjoy the art and refreshments and all the old stories that will certainly surface in the presence of art representing the history of Karnes County,” said Hindes. “Art has always and will always be important. From ancient time to present, man has made art. He must make art. It is necessary to his mental and physical wellbeing. Art is part of us. We are art.”