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Remembering Jim Guidry Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership
Galveston County
Galveston Arts Center
News Release
Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Galveston Arts Center to Receive GHF’s Sally B. Wallace Award
for Historical Preservation

Galveston Arts Center (GAC) is proud to be included among the recipients of the Galveston Historical Foundation’s Sally B. Wallace Award for Historical Preservation for the continued stewardship of our 1878 First National Bank Building. Operations Manager Bryan Garcia will accept the award for GAC at the 2017 awards ceremony scheduled Saturday, October 14, 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. at the 1904 GH&H Depot, 3304 Market Street. 

GAC’s home, built in 1878 in the Italianate style, replaced an earlier wooden structure built in the 1860s and destroyed by fire. The current neoclassic structure boasts a cast-iron façade and fluted Corinthian columns, all of which have been cared for and preserved by GAC.

Purchased in the 1960’s, the Junior League of Galveston County donated the building in 1968 as an arts education center. From 1971 to 1986 Galveston Arts Center, under the Galveston County Cultural Arts Council, Inc., grew to offer quality programs in the form of exhibitions, art education and public festivals for all the Galveston County area. In 1986, Galveston Arts Center became a separate non-profit organization. GAC developed into the only visual arts organization in Galveston with a permanent location, rotating exhibition schedule, full-time staff and free admission at all times. 

Having sustained severe damage in 2008 from Hurricane Ike, GAC temporarily relocated to Market Street and began a capital campaign to help restore the building. With help from members, Galveston neighbors, art lovers throughout Texas, a devoted Board of Directors, and funding from institutions such as the Moody Foundation, Brown Foundation, and the Harris and Eliza Kempner Fund, GAC was able to move back in to its 2127 Strand Street location seven years later. On November 15, 2007, GAC held a Coming Home Gala featuring Texas artists Francesca Fuchs, Arielle Masson, and local artist Janet Hassinger.

On the inside, the building still holds two bank vaults, the original marble from the bank counters, an original chandelier, and a replica of the original mosaic tile work, along with other preserved details and unique aspects of design. Instrumental to these features was Galveston Architect David Watson, Doug McLean of McLean Metal Works, and contractor Rismiller Construction. Built by the community, for the community, GAC is honored to accept this award and fully invests in being continued stewards of a part of Galveston’s and Texas’s architectural history.

According to the Galveston Historical Foundation, the Sally B. Wallace Preservation Awards recognize outstanding projects and craftspeople involved in the preservation, restoration, and enhancement of Galveston County’s historic buildings and neighborhoods. GAC is honored to be one of three recipients for this award, along with the 1871 Congregation B’nai Israel Temple, and the 1930 Sexton Office in Old City Cemetery.

GAC is the organizer of ArtWalk, which takes place every six weeks in downtown Galveston. The ArtWalk brochure, which lists participating venues, hours, information, and map can be downloaded at


The galleries and the ArtWorks Museum Store are open to the public Tuesday through Thursday from 11:00 AM to 5:00 PM, Friday and Saturday from 11:00 AM – 6:00 PM and Sunday from 12:00 to 5:00 PM. Admission is free at all times.

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