Houston, We Have An Experience

I just read the Opportunity Urbanist article on A Targeted Tourism Strategy for Houston. I agree with his idea and apparently so do a lot of people.

My 2 cents has to do with adding icing on the cake. Not just building something and hoping they will come but finding what it takes to create a full experience. For this I refer to the down-to-earth practical sense learned from my grandparents and mother. In making an inventory of what we have, why not take an inventory of where we already  have assets and investments, and boost those ‘new’ areas up even higher.

Nebletts Creek II

Lilibeth Andre, Nebletts Creek II, oil, 30x20

So what do I mean? Well, instead of building an attraction, as many areas have to do for lack of one, we can look around to where we already have tremendous natural attractions: environment and creative people.

Houston Wilderness published the Houston Atlas of Biodiversity that lists 10 different ecosystems within a short drive of Houston downtown. It’s an easy read about these assets.

People around the world are aware of these natural assets and come to pay them a visit. How do we make them welcome? Do we have eco-friendly lodging that is convenient and protective?  Do we offer green transportation options? Do we provide information on other activities they can enjoy while relaxing after a day counting our diversity of birds and trees?

How do we tell them about our tremendous amount of art museums, galleries, studios, ongoing shows, festivals and activities where they can, in another way, recreate their senses and enjoy a glass of local wine, beer or aguas frescas? We have a wide and varied amount of art production in town. From the contemporary to the classical and many genres in between. The art experience features the work of new and old up-and-coming artists yet to be discovered or those local jewels that have already been found at the national and international level but have yet to be ‘discovered’ by our visitors or those stars who have chosen to make Houston their home.

GB Heron

Lilibeth Andre, GB Heron, colored pencil, 9x12

Painters, sculptors, musicians, chefs, designers, writers, producers, performers, all locally grown, trained, skilled and educated because we have the talent to do so.

Many of the artists pay tribute to our cosmopolitan flavor infusing our daily living with a lagniappe of  culture and creativity brought to Houston from around the country and the world. And there are those who are inspired by our beautiful land, wildlife and people, along with the features of our daily living right here at home and offering mementos of an enjoyable visit.

So let us think about educating nature guides, art guides, hospitality and transportation entrepreneurs along with those providing the skills of a science, environmentally, and culturally rich destination because Houston, we have an experience to offer.

Protecting Your Art

Dawn by the pond

Lilibeth André, Dawn by the Pond, oil, 16x20

Each week I review the number of visitors to my online galleries. Admirers of my artwork live across the world. From Guanghou, China to Moscow; Ukraine; and Gonzales, Louisiana, art appreciators flock to see my latest and oldest postings. Some on quite a regular and continuous basis and far outnumbering the acquisitional transactions. Some favorite pieces are clearly and repeatedly marked. Again and again.

In some cases this activity, more than bulging up my ego, leaves me feeling inquisitive, vulnerable and somewhat used.

As a master artist I recognize that I not only posses the technical ability to draw and paint what I ‘see’. I can utilize my work tools to reproduce my thoughts defining my expressive signature in the artwork that I create. The main key is that I can generate these thoughts and images in the first place. I have the ability to see.

These generated visions, through my effort, then become art.

So once produced, how do I protect my art?

First of all, why do I create art? I create art to express an idea, a thought, a feeling. That is the mission I have for my work. I give it dimension on canvas, paper or board. I create it taking it from the conceptual space it lives in to the three-dimensional space we roam. Once this creature is produced, I want to share it so that others can experience it. I am in no way renouncing my rights to it as the creator and ultimate owner of that right.

The more people that become familiar with my expressive signature, the more I achieve to make my mark. If my work remains in hiding it does not fulfill it’s mission. So by presenting my work to a live audience, I take it on it’s way to reach more people. By placing it in my cybernetic galleries I broaden the virtual views by the online audience that can see it.

It is flattering to have people world-wide like and admire my work. It is not pleasing to have it taken,  copied or reproduced with disregard to the right of ownership I possess.  So how do  I cope with the culture of creative usurpation? It is difficult I must admit. The only comfort I can find is that enough people appreciate that I am the generator of these ideas and the producer of this art. And if the recognition of the right of ownership extends to cover the valued worth of my work then all justice should be in its perfect balance and I will be happy.

  • November 2011
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    © Lilibeth André and Art by Lilibeth André, 2009-2010. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this text, images or content without express and written permission Lilibeth André is strictly prohibited. For permission to license, exhibit or purchase any of the artwork, email info@lilibethandre.com. Links to this site may be made with full and clear accreditation to Lilibeth André and Art by Lilibeth André.