News & Press Releases
For Immediate Release

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Monday, May 15th, 2006
"It's All Relative" Exhibition Opens May 10, 2006
Contact:           Pam Fulcher Rockport Center for the Arts 361-729-5519 May 15, 2006

For Immediate Release


ROCKPORT, TX --  “It’s All Relative” a mixed-media exhibit featuring the works of mother and son artists Evelyn and Michael Atkinson, husband and wife artists Nanci and Al Barnes, and Edie and Finis Collins is on display at the Rockport Center for the Arts through June 10.  Residents of Fulton, Texas, the Atkinsons enjoyed successful careers in architecture until turning to painting full-time.  Both graduated from the Architectural School of Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas.

While teaching, Michael found that he enjoyed the design and painting aspects more than the technical points. 

In 1974, he took a summer off in California to paint.  When he returned, he decided to follow his passion and began painting full time.  Primarily self taught, Atkinson focuses on watercolors, which he notes, permits spontaneity and freedom and can be made to do things on its own – texture, density of color, variation of light and dark.  For the past five years he has taught special workshops at the Art Center.

Evelyn waited another 10 years before completely devoting herself to painting. 

Utilizing transparent watercolor, pencil, pen and ink she has amassed an impressive portfolio and numerous awards.  She has been recognized by Who’s Who in the South and Southwest and was named one of the Foremost Women of the 20th Century.  She was the 1999 poster artist for the Rockport Art Festival.


A ceramic artist, Nanci Barnes has studied at the University of Texas the Dallas Museum of Fine Arts, and at Peter King Architectural Art. 

Her work is in numerous private collections, as well as being included in the City of Corpus Christi Public Art Program and the Corpus Christi Art Museum.  She has been featured in “Architectural Ceramics for the Studio Potter.”

Water and wildlife are the binding factors in all of Al Barnes’ paintings. 

While the main source for inspiration may be the Caribbean, he is equally at home in the coastal marshes of South Texas.  His work is appreciated by art enthusiasts and sportsmen alike.

Barnes has been National Ducks Unlimited Waterfowl Artist of the Year, two times Texas State Ducks Unlimited Artist of the Year and Coastal Conservation Association Stamp four times. 

His work is hung extensively in private and corporate collections around the world including the National Wildlife Museum and The American Museum of Fly Fishing.

San Antonio residents Edie and Finis Collins are active members of local and state watercolor societies. 

They love to travel and paint together having visited over a dozen countries in Europe and more than 40 states.

While Edie is relatively new to painting, her work demonstrates a remarkable natural talent. 

In 1992 she was selected for a cultural exchange workshop in Russia with Zoltan Szabo, a nationally known watercolorist.  Among her honors are awards from the Western Federation of Watercolor Societies, San Antonio Watercolor Group, Coppini Academy of Fine Arts, and the New Braunfels Art League.  Her paintings hang in numerous private and corporate collections.

Finis’ passion for art was both his vocation and avocation. 

After an Honorable Discharge from the Air Force, he joined The Pitluk Advertising Company of San Antonio in 1953 as an art (more)

director and remained there until his retirement in 1988. 

His work on behalf of clients garnered hundreds of local, state-wide and national awards.  One of his pieces, designed more than 25 years ago and still in use today, is the logo for the NBA champion San Antonio Spurs.

Even while working in the commercial sector, Finis devoted his spare time to painting and teaching. 

He has been at art instructor at Trinity University, the San Antonio Craft Center, the San Antonio Art Institute and the Jewish Community Center.  He is also a founding member of The Watercolor Gang, a small group of artists, including Ivan McDougal and Clay McGaughy, who are considered one of the oldest and finest Plein Air painting groups in America.  As a result of his many awards and achievements in fine art, he has the honor of wearing the Prestigious Texas Watercolor Society Purple Sagebrush pin.

A non-profit organization, the Rockport Center for the Arts is dedicated to providing an environment that nurtures the expression and appreciation of art for residents and tourists alike. For more information on the “It’s All Relative” exhibit and the Center’s offerings, please call 361-729-5519.