Thursday, July 31, 2014

Art Campers Rejuvinate Art Alley in San Angelo

Once the summer started I thought I was going to have a little more time to spend on a few photo story ideas rolling around in my brain, make a few contacts, and do some general daily reporting.

Nope.

My new position as photo editor has kept me in the office and off the streets for the last few months due to having to work on some niche products that the Standard-Times produces. I don't want to complain to much because I do like my new position, but I really miss being out on daily assignments. So, when the opportunity came about for me to shoot an assignment this week, I jumped at the chance. I had assigned one of my fellow photographers, Michelle Gaitan, to shoot some photos of local youth participating in the San Angelo Museum of Fine Art summer camp as they painted new designs in an alley called Art Alley. I decided to tag along to get out of the office for some fresh air, camera in hand.

Michelle and I arrived early to get a look at the kids' work done the day before. The museum and art education director Rebekah Coleman do great work promoting the arts to local students. They offer year-round camps and hands-on activities that everyone can get into. This week, campers were involved in a program called Art Outside the Box and had an opportunity not only to learn, but to contribute to San Angelo's local public art scene.

After about 15 minutes of wandering around, we could hear the sound of about 20 kids approaching from around the corner. After a few instructions from Ms. Coleman, the campers set to work painting colorful figures on opposite walls tucked into the alley. The figures the kids were painting were images celebrating the work of New York City artist and activist Keith Haring. "Haring's murals are about unity and working together," Ms. Coleman said in an interview with reporter Andy Atterbury. "That's what Art Alley is - a big community work of art."

The Art Alley started started nearly a decade ago when a group of local art teachers got together and were allowed use of one of the old abandoned buildings as a studio. The group eventually became known as Art in Uncommon Places. Today, two of the teachers, Sue Rainey and Julie Raymond, still keep the collective going and have put up several large-scale art pieces around the city. "These kids coming to contribute show that public art is still evolving; it still has life," Raymond said.

The work that the San Angelo Museum of Fine Art does through their many family and kid-oriented programs has been nothing but beneficial for this community. And Ms. Coleman is an invaluable asset to this community's art education. "Art education is my life's work and I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world," Ms. Coleman said as she collected used paintbrushes and emptied paint into their respective cans. "It's nice to know that our programs have an impact on the community and people want to continue to get involved."

Friday, July 25, 2014

San Angelo Colts: Where Did The Fans Go?

Two weeks ago, the Standard-Times Sports department put together a nice three-day series covering our local professional baseball team, the San Angelo Colts, and their apparent decline in popularity over their 15-year history. The formation of the team was announced in 1999 and a fancy new stadium was built much to the excitement of Concho Valley citizens.

On opening day, the stadium was packed to the rafters with an overflow crowd of 4800 spectators looking for something to do during the hot summer months. Over the next 10 seasons the Colts' popularity held firm and in 2012 the team still averaged 2000 fans per game. But the 2013 season saw a rapid decline in attendance with an average of just over 1000 spectators per game. The 2014 season saw yet another decline in attendance, fewer than 440 fans per night, prompting the team owner to declare bankruptcy. So this begged the question, "Where did the fans go?"

To read about the history of the San Angelo Colts, check out these stories written by our crack team of Sports reporters and take a look at the newspaper clips from the series.

"San Angelo Colts timeline: 1999-2014" - by Paul Harris http://www.gosanangelo.com/sports/san-angelo-colts/colts_timeline_22206092

"Where did the Fans go?" - by Carlos Silva, Jr. http://www.gosanangelo.com/news/local-news/where-did-the-fans-go_87487642

"Colts players grateful for community support" - by Carlos Silva, Jr. http://www.gosanangelo.com/sports/san-angelo-colts/colts-players-grateful-for-community-support_44173274

"Colts file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy" - by Paul Harris http://www.gosanangelo.com/news/colts-baseball-club-files-bankruptcy-but-team

"Colts debt register above $1M" - by Carlos Siva, Jr. http://www.gosanangelo.com/business/colts-debt-registers-above-1m

"For the Colts, it's about survival strategy" - by Paul Harris http://www.gosanangelo.com/sports/san-angelo-colts/survival-strategy_14670007

"Unclear how bankruptcy will affect relationship with ASU" - by Carlos Silva, Jr. http://www.gosanangelo.com/news/local-news/its-unclear-how-teams-bankruptcy-will-affect-its-relationship-with-asu_44196613

"San Angelo Colts: Best seat in town" - by Charles Bryce http://www.gosanangelo.com/news/local-news/best-seat-in-town_71364373