Live Oak Art Center History

The Live Oak Art Club was formed in 1954. The original members held meetings in the kitchen of the Live Oak Hotel, giving the group its name.  In 1986, through the generosity of Emma Hay, the Live Oak Art Club purchased the Brunson Building and it became the home of the Live Oak Art Center. 

With funds from The Wade Family Foundation, the Live Oak Art Center restored the Brunson Saloon and Whiskey Warehouse in 2016. In 2017, The Wade Family Foundation also provided funding to refurbish both the upstairs and downstairs galleries as well as build out The Courtyard Wine Bar.  

Over the years, the Live Oak Art Center has proudly offered classes, workshops, summer camps, and art exhibitions for all those who live in or visit Columbus, TX. Celebrating and promoting the arts and showcasing inspiring artists are important parts of our past, present, and future. 

Brunson Building History

Charles Brunson, an 1845 German immigrant, was initially a stage coach driver in Columbus.  In 1867 he established the Brunson Saloon on the Courthouse Square. In 1891 built the Brunson Building and Whiskey Warehouse a block north from its original location. 

In those violent times, only law officers were allowed to carry guns. Locals often stashed their weapons at their favorite saloon to avoid having them confiscated while in town. Several shootings took place in and around the Brunson Saloon, including the deaths of Sam Reese and Larkin Hope, participants in the infamous Stafford-Townsend feud. The Brunson Saloon closed in 1919. After its closing, the Brunson Building was used for a number of different retail establishments until it became the Live Oak Art Center in 1986. 

The front of the building is decorated in Victorian style with four decorated steel columns and wooden Victorian style windows. The upper windows sit on a steel ledger course, which sits on the top of the columns under the brick lintel. The windows are framed by decorative brick pilasters and are capped with decorative metal caps. The wood window frames are arched at the top and sitting on a brick string course and ledger course.

 

Courtney Wied, Gallery Director


A native to Colorado County, Courtney graduated from Columbus High School in 2005 and pursued a B.A. in English and History degree from Texas A&M University, graduating in 2009.

After college, Courtney traveled extensively and lived all over the world. These experiences taught her to be more open-minded and flexible. “I’ve experienced so many different, beautiful cultures and I love working with people,” said Courtney. “I’d like to bring the rest of the world to our little town. Travel broadens your horizons and pushes you past your comfort zone. I believe art can achieve the same thing.”

Courtney moved back to Columbus with her two children in April 2018. She appreciates the good people, friendly faces, and willingness of neighbors to lend a hand. She is grateful for being able to raise her children in a small, close-knit community. “It’s my home and I want it to be my kids’ home as well.”

When asked about her plans for the Live Oak Art Center, Courtney said, “I think LOAC has an exciting future and I love the direction we are heading. We have an amazing Board of Directors and wonderful members. Fostering the love of art and culture in young people will be a priority for me.”

Courtney plans to host more events that appeal to the community as a whole as well as trying to expand art classes and programming for adults. She brings extensive experience in nonprofits, public relations, and event planning and hopes to use her knowledge to reach more people in throughout Colorado County community and beyond. “Cultivating curiosity and imagination is important to the success of LOAC’s programs. If the programs we offer spark a new passion for art in just one person, I consider that a success."

In her spare time, Courtney enjoys playing with her children, writing, curling up with a cup of hot tea and a good book, antiquing, and killing perfectly good plants.

 

Board of Directors


Roger Wade

President


Kathleen Townzen

Vice President



Susan Glover

Treasurer


 

Suzanne Corbin

Member-at-Large


Dr. Debe Klesel

Member-at-Large


 

From our guests...



2020-2021 Members


Sustaining Members

Barbara Peterman

 

LOAC Benefactors

Rachel & Justen Clem

Betty & Todd Hovis

Eileen & Rick Rau

Marian & Curtiss Schonenberg

Ann & Greg West

LOAC Contributors

Melanie & Darrel Appelt

Shirley Barfield

Ann & Paige Butler

Suzanne & David Corbin

Amanda Danning & Jim Brasher

Colette & Bill Durbin

Carol & Kamel Girgis

Lori An & Robb Gobert

Tom Hancher, M.D.

Roxanne & Doak Hartley

Henneke Funeral Home

Melissa Houser

Paulina & Jim Kearney

Gaye Koenning & Aaron Joseph

Grace & Steve McCullough

Estelle & Ron Mostyn

Mary Anne & Bob Pickens

Bobbe Shapiro Nolan

Charlotte Tilotta & Sylvester Bedford

Gerald Tobola

Kathleen & Shalor Townzen

Sherry & Troy Tucker

Holly & John Waligura

Colleen Walker

 

Couple Membership

Marilyn & Pat Bodungen

Donna & Raymond Bubak

Linda & John Cates

Paula & Ernie Frnka

Susan & Gant Glover

Brigette Crawford & John Neese

Penny & Ron Nelson

Mr. & Mrs. Dan H. Norrison

Ann & Hank Parkhill

Marian & Chuck Rankin

Donna & Larry Solansky

Gary & Tess Swindle

Heather & William Vasser

Carol Weeks & Jerry Wilson

Evangeline & Elbert Whorton

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