By THERESA VASQUEZ
Special to the Parade
Local artists have a new place to display their artwork after the closing of the Purple Parrot in Port Isabel.
The Laguna Madre Art Gallery co-op had a soft opening on Feb. 8 after a few months of planning and securing the lease (of the once Purple Parrott) at 406 Maxan St. in Port Isabel’s Lighthouse Square.
Virginia Eggert, Financial Coordinator for the LMAG, said, “The Purple Parrot closed in November;we started working on this a couple a months ago, accomplished the lease contract mid-January, and organized artist participation/space for the organization all in a very short time.”
The LMAG co-op is funded through: participating artists’ fees, and local groups. Eggert said, “The Laguna Madre Arts Foundation is our second largest financial contributor behind the El Paseo Art Foundation, the largest financial contributor in our co-op.”
Patron traffic has been steady for the week-old art gallery, and as Voncille Zama, President of the LMAG co-op shared, “It has been busy here today. It’s a beautiful day, even on the cloudy days last week we had a good crowd.”
The new gallery measure 90’x20’ and is made up of 16 artist areas which measure 12’x4;’ the designated areas will display art from 15 single artists, and one area is reserved for the Laguna Madre Arts League (in which six artists will share that space). The artists that were chosen to display at the LMAG co-op were required to commit to a one-year contract, submit a startup fee and work certain days at the gallery as well.
“It is very important that we have someone here, sitting for the gallery, and as 1/3 of our artists are Winter Texans, they have preference to work as much as possible before they leave-it breaks down to three times per month for each artist,” explained Zama. The artists vary in locale from Brownsville to Raymondville, Port Isabel and South Padre Island.
The non-profit art gallery has a grand opening scheduled for March 5 complete with a ribbon cutting, refreshments, and more. They also have ideas for workshops, poetry readings, and small concert gatherings in the future. The hours of operation are Wednesday-Saturday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday noon to 4 p.m.
The gallery is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. “We may have to reconsider since our neighbor tells us that business is brisk on Mondays and Tuesdays,” Eggert joked.
For more information on the Laguna Madre Art Gallery, call Zama at (956) 943-2397 or Eggert at (956) 266-2205.