Bastrop Fine Arts Guild's Lost Pines Art Center Receives Prestigious National Grant

Jul 20, 2015, 11:00 ET from Bastrop Fine Arts Guild

BASTROP, Texas, July 20, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Karol Rice, Bastrop Fine Arts Guild Lost Pines Art Center & Reflective Sculpture Garden Project Director and Board member, announces Bastrop has been awarded a National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) 2015 Our Town grant. NEA's Chairman Jane Chu announced 69 Our Town awards totaling almost $5 million through the program's fifth year of funding. The Bastrop Fine Arts Guild's Lost Pines Art Center & Reflective Sculpture Garden will receive $75,000 toward completion of the design and construction of the Art Center.

The award of this grant will help transform Bastrop's 100-year-old Powell Cotton Seed Mill site into the Lost Pines Art Center & Reflective Sculpture Garden, providing a working and educational space for artists and residents and a unique venue for artists, residents, students and art lovers to gather and explore their creative possibilities. The Center will serve as a distinctive tourist destination and a catalyst for future business development along the Chestnut corridor and a major economic development project supporting Bastrop's rapidly growing creative economy.

Plans include 4,000 square feet of state-of-the-art exhibit space – enough to house major traveling exhibits; 1,000 to 2,000 square feet of classroom space; the opportunity to observe and learn from artists at work; outdoor sculpture gardens; studio silos – for pottery, sculpture and art glass; and an artist-in-residence loft and studio.

"The Lost Pines Art Center project demonstrates the best in creative community development and work that will have a valuable impact on its community," said Chairman Chu. "Through Our Town funding, arts organizations like the Bastrop Fine Arts Guild continue to spark vitality that support neighborhoods and public spaces, enhancing a sense of place for residents and visitors alike." 

"The importance of receiving a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts cannot be measured in dollars alone," said Rice. "The significance of the projects that have received these grants has been felt in communities large and small across this nation. That our Art Center has been deemed worthy of this assistance is most humbling and, of course, extremely exciting. With each of these contributions to the project we are one step closer to breaking ground on what we all believe will be a jewel in the crown of Bastrop's cultural community."

"On behalf the City Council, the City of Bastrop and the Lost Pines area, we are so pleased with this wonderful, national recognition of our art community's dedication and hard work to transform a city landmark into a vibrant, exciting place for the arts," said Mayor Ken Kesselus. "Along with grants and major donations already received from ArtPlace America, the Great American Insurance Company, the Bastrop Economic Development Corp., the City of Bastrop, Collins Foundation, Shield-Ayers Foundation and the Texas Historical Foundation, the Lost Pines Art Center is about to become a reality. We encourage everyone to join in making this project come to life by adding their support. This is so good for the future of our city, the County and Central Texas area. We look forward to both the significant economic and cultural impact the Lost Pines Art Center & Reflective Sculpture Garden will have on our community."

Jeanette Condray, Finance Director and Board Member, who also has been involved with the project for over five years said, "We have looked forward to our vision becoming a reality. Not only will the Lost Pines Art Center & Reflective Sculpture Garden be an inspiration to artists and visitors, it will also serve as a teaching and learning center for the arts, and an example of green building and sustainable design with emphasis on environmental features. We are very honored to have received this grant from the National Endowment of the Arts."

The Our Town grant program supports creative placemaking projects that help to transform communities into lively, beautiful, and resilient places with the arts at their core. Since the program's inception in 2011 and including these projects, the NEA will have awarded 325 Our Town grants totaling almost $26 million in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia.

For a complete listing of projects recommended for Our Town grant support, please visit the NEA web site at Project descriptions, grants listed by state and by project type, and resources are available as well. The NEA's online resource, Exploring Our Town, features case studies of more than 70 Our Town projects along with lessons learned and other resources. Twitter #NEAOurTown15

For more information on the Lost Pines Art Center & Reflective Sculpture Garden, contact Karol Rice, Project Director, Bastrop Fine Arts Guild, 815 Main Street, Bastrop, TX, 78602, or call 512-321-8955.

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SOURCE Bastrop Fine Arts Guild