I’ll be doing a brief three-part series on the culture of Fredericksburg, Texas, getting into the real nitty-gritty when the spring issue of Canadian World Traveller is released!
You think by now I would get used to be blowing away by new places but it really never gets old. Like many Yanks, I had plenty of predispositions about Texas in my head before I ever stepped foot in the state. Luckily, all these ideas were totally smashed by such a hospitable, humble group of people. Texans really are a rare breed – sure, they may not be hip to the latest song or fashion craze, but they exude such an inspiring humility and a smart, quiet, hard-working persona that is infectious and leaves me wanting to lead a simpler life.
This was most prevalent among all the insanely talented peopled I met at the wineries, locals shops, restaurants and art galleries. some people may poo poo at a full itinerary, but it gave me a rare chance to not only experience a new destination, but truly learn about the people behind the scenes that make it all come together.
My first introduction into the art scene of Fredericksburg was a small taste at four very different but all equally impressive galleries in town. For a town of only 10,000, they have one of the coolest and most eclectic art areas I’ve ever witness in the country.
Of course they have mostly realist, traditionally Western art, which I think can be best experienced at Whistle Pik Galleries. They have curated a collection that is both classic and contemporary, featuring notable talent such as G. Harvey and Robert Moore.
The Good Company had one of their resident artists, Omar Gaza, right in the front parlor, proudly displaying his intricate masterpieces of horses and cowboys. Further into the gallery features bold jewelry statement pieces and a few more abstract still lifes and landscapes.
Insight was open and airy with plenty of natural light to perfectly compliment the collection. They also had a basement floor with skylights that held more work from international artists.
At the end of the day, the Artisans at Rocky Hill really rolled out the red carpet for us. Featuring ten of their in-house artists, many from the area, this gallery had everything from grandfather clock sculptures, silk-dyed scarves, oil paintings, mosaics and plenty of take-home pieces.
They even made us homemade goodies and offered great Texan wine while we got to listen to their amazing stories. I love how some would mention how they were bankers or business owners then turned thier focus to art instead, following thier passions and talents. I wish I could name them all, but do check out their website and see for yourself all the great work these individuals are doing.
As much as I wish I could wax poetic all the amazing eats in Fredericksburg I was honored to sample, I’ll have to stick to the highlights for now.
Fried pickles at the Fredericksburg Brewpub. Amazing and a bit spicy!
Grilled Mahi Mahi at the Bejas Grill & Cantina
Part of our four (!) course lunch paired with Texas wine at the beautiful Woodrose Winery
Some indulgent chocolates I brought home from the Chocolat company downtown. They do specialize in liquor-filled sweets through, which I obviously grabbed a box of as well.
As the grand finale, an elegant dinner presented by the Fredericksburg Herb Farm. This rack of lamb wasn’t even my meal, I had the venison, but each presentation, and taste, was flawless.
The art is different than big city offerings like London, but it certainly had it’s own flavor to admire. I’m obviously stuffed and satisfied, literally and figuatively. Next post will dive into the music and culture scene of Fredericksburg, which got better and better everyday I was there. I’m not even a history buff, I usually find myself snoring through museums, but this place really did have some amazing hotspots that made it all come alive.
Have you ever visited somewhere and was surprised at what you found? Texas so far was definitely one of those places for me and I can’t wait to go back someday.