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Museum hosts art show & sale at Old Jail

Special to the Courier

Pictured: Artist Lauri McLean puts the finishing touches on a pastel. She will hold a solo show this Saturday at the historic jail on 12th Street.

This close-up shows the vibrant colors of a Lauri McLean's rendering of a rista - a harbinger of Christmas in the southwest.

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to spend the day in a real Old West Jailhouse? Here's your chance to step back into time and see an authentic cellblock while enjoying beautiful art.
Join the administrators, trustees, staff and volunteers with the Frontier Times Museum for their first annual art show and sale. The solo show will feature the works of local artist, Lauri McLean. The art show will be held from 3:30 pm to 6:30 pm Saturday, Oct. 25, in Bandera County's first jailhouse. Located on 12th Street behind the Western Trail Antiques Mall, the limestone building makes an interesting venue for McLean's contemporary and colorful artwork.
Designed by famed architect, Alfred Giles, the historic jail was built in 1881. The jail features two front offices for the sheriff and deputies and a large limestone cell block where graffiti sketched into the walls and floors by inmates can still be seen.
"The building itself is one of Bandera County's architectural treasures. We're so happy the county commissioners gave us permission to use the building to promote local art and to show the community how historic buildings can be transformed into cultural venues," said museum director Rebecca Norton. She added, "The old building makes a wonderful contrast to Lauri's more impressionistic works and the sheriff and deputy offices are natural galleries."
McLean has worked in oils and pastels since the early 1970s with an emphasis on still life and landscapes. She has personally selected several pastels for the show and sale. All proceeds raised from the sale will benefit the Frontier Times Museum. There will also be jewelry, notecards, and other gifts for sale, making this a great opportunity to do some early Christmas shopping.
McLean is approaching the show with mixed emotions. "In all the years I've been painting, I've never before sold one of my works. I've always just given them away to family and friends," she said in an earlier interview. "I think I'm going to feel like I'm selling my children!"
A donation of $10 is suggested for admission and wine and light refreshments will be served. For more information, call the museum at 830-796-3864.
And, art patrons are asked to keep an open mind. "They may even come across an Old West sheriff patrolling the jail," Norton said. "Or perhaps a haunt, but that usually doesn't occur to 2 am."