Artisan Column by Jen Rubinowitz | 9/11/11

This year has certainly flown by. With all the negative world news, the drought and wildfires in Texas, and the ongoing economic challenges we all face, one could argue it seems frivolous to focus on art and cultural activities in our little corner of the world. But I would argue that it's the creative force and artistic energy around us that can lift the spirit and position us to actually tackle the tough issues we deal with day to day.

It's 9/11 as I write this. We all share horrible memories about that day. Yet, artists and musicians reacted in the best way they knew how and their work reflects the emotion of that time. Their exhibits and performances gave others an outlet to work through their grief and allowed space to move on. The New York City memorial site itself exhibits a fabulous artistic design to honor those we lost. The shrines scattered throughout New York all have an artistic element that enables expression in a way that words simply cannot.

The Rialto Theater is finalizing plans to celebrate the seventy-fourth anniversary of the building's grand opening this fall. On dark days, I wonder if we're really making a difference to people in the region and if the ongoing struggle to make ends meet is worth it. Then I remember the woman in her eighties who talked so eloquently about walking to the Rialto during the blackouts of World War II and the happy memories she had of going to movies that gave her some time away from the stresses of the day. It gave her room to cope and inspiration that better times were possible. So, as you deal with your own stresses this week, please take some space for art and respite. There are so many local organizations and galleries that can give you calm from the storm and peace in the midst of chaos. And that, as they say in the Mastercard commercials, is priceless.

Artisan Events:

  • Fridays & Saturdays through September 17, 7:30 p.m. - "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee" Harbor Playhouse. Admission: $6-$16
  • Saturday, September 17, 4:30 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. - "Kronke/Gritte/Grappe" Exhibit. Gallery Talk and Opening Reception. Rockport Center for the Arts. Admission: Free.
  • Fridays & Saturdays through September 24, 7:30 p.m. - "Harvey" Live on Stage. The Rialto Theater. Admission: $12.
  • Fridays, September 23 - October 31, 7:30 p.m. - "Rocky Horror Show" The Aurora Arts Theatre. Admission: $15.
  • Saturdays, September 24 - October 31, 7:00 p.m. & 11 p.m. - "Rocky Horror Show" The Aurora Arts Theatre. Admission: $15.
  • Sunday, September 25, 2:00 p.m. - "Harvey." Final Matinee. The Rialto Theater. Admission: $12.
  • Saturday, October 1, 7:30 p.m. - "Ben Livingston and the That's What She Said! Band" in concert. Rialto Theater. Admission: $12.
  • Daily through October 2 - "Isle of Man" Exhibit. Art Center for the Islands. Admission: Free.
  • Friday, October 7, 5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. - First Friday Reception: "Island Treasures" Group Show. Art Center for the Islands. Admission: Free.
  • Saturday, October 22, 5:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. - "Shorelines" Exhibit Opening Reception. Rockport Center for the Arts. Admission: Free.
  • Daily through October 25 - "Moods" Exhibit by Gary Hansen and Jackie Anderson. Rialto Theater. Admission: Free.

Jen Rubinowitz is a member of the Board of Directors of the Rialto Theater, an IRS 501(c)(3) charitable organization fostering art and education through visual art, music and live stage productions in the historic movie theater in downtown Aransas Pass. Her day job is in real estate at Coldwell Banker The Ron Brown Company. If you have someone you'd like to spotlight in this column, drop her a line at