The Longview Museum of Fine Arts has drawn East Texas artists into Longview’s 150th birthday celebration.

The museum called on East Texas artists to create art based on historic structures listed as Texas Registered Landmarks. The Longview 150 Sesquicentennial Art Exhibit originally was supposed to open on April 11, but it’s now set for May 12, depending on the continued effects of COVID-19, said LMFA Executive Director Tiffany Jehorek.

“One of our board members, Allen McReynolds, who is a history buff, decided to do this exhibit,” Jehorek said. “This is a nice way to have landmarks honored and a way to talk about history and art and to recognize East Texas artists which do so much for the community. These artists donate paintings during the year for much needed projects and give back for our community.”

This exhibition is underwritten by grants from the city of Longview’s Cultural Arts Commission and The Summerlee Foundation.

LMFA is curating 69 original works created on paper and canvas showcasing commercial, residential and public landmarks within Longview’s city limits. The art captures the city’s history as told through the built environment.

Frank Herbert is one of the artists who participated in the project. He said that as a 36-year resident of Longview, he is proud to be part of the project. He selected the Lewis-Bivins House as his project. The house at 208 E. College St. was built in 1885. Herbert said it is located between the old Nicholson Memorial Library and the Kilgore College Longview Center.

“I’m an artist and I took an interpretation from my regular painting to do this project. I just wanted to be a part of the local art community and get in on the project,” Herbert said.

Herbert said he photographed the house on both a sunny day and a rainy day and ended up creating a painting of the rainy, gray day, when the house looked spooky.

“It is an old Queen Anne style and it’s kind of run down — I hate to say it. There were some screens that were loose and one was leaning against the porch. The rainy day was the most interesting because of the geometry, the shapes and the lighting.”

The only bit of color in his painting is a piece of red fabric that was hanging on the mailbox.

“This was an interesting side project and I’m pleased that I did it whether it gets exhibited or not,” he said. “I think it was cool to document something in our town of Longview.”

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