Art and Museums
RICHARD D LATHAM CULTURAL DISTRICT
206 Main St., Smithville TX 78957
Smithville’s Richard D. Latham Cultural District and Visitors Information Center is located in scenic Central Texas, just a short journey from Austin, Houston, San Antonio and Dallas. Sitting on the banks of the beautiful Colorado River, Smithville received this prestigious designation because, within the one mile radius that encompasses our city limits, Smithville boasts a great number of important works of art and culture as well as many significant historical sites.
The town has 10 stages and venues for theatrical productions and live music. Art is an initiative of "the possibility of public art, both indoor and outdoor, such as murals, sculptures and other art mediums, grace the town.There are three art galleries in town, plus a bronze foundry, and an artist's haven at the Mary Nichols Art Center. There are two museums in town, one with the history of the town and one to celebrate the town's rail history.
Come explore the art and culture of Smithville. www.smithvilleculturaldistrict.com
ART - Mary Nichols Arts Center
Burleson, Smithville TX 78957
Intersection of Loop 230 at Burleson
This wonderful historic building at 301 Burleson has come back to life and is open once again for art classes and workshops. The Art Gallery is open to the public Friday/Sunday 1-4 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Special exhibits and receptions are held. The Art Center features local artists and encourages creativity in children. The center is home to the Lost Pines Artisans Alliance and hosts a variety of shows throughout the year.
LOST PINES ARTISANS ALLIANCE
The LPAA, a 501(c)(3), is a group of local Central Texas artists that have joined together to promote the arts and each others artistic endeavors. They gather in Smithville to promote a sense of community and can be found online at www.lostpinesartisansalliance.org or at their Facebook page: Lost Pines Artisans Alliance
MUSEUM - Railroad Museum & Depot
100 NW 1st St., Smithville TX 78957
At the intersection of NW 1st St. and Main St.
Smithville was once a major passenger hub on the Missouri-Kansas-Texas (M-K-T) railroad until the mid 1950s and was the location of a major turnaround for the rail lines where trains could be rotated to a different rail line and train cars were repaired. Filled with items from the grand railroad past of Smithville, the museum also has replicas of the first railroad depot in Smithville. There are items from the MKT days and Union Pacific.
The Museum is adjacent to the Chamber Office & Visitors Center and is usually open Monday through Friday from 1 to 5 p.m. If the chamber office is open, the museum is available to tour. Please call first 512-237-2313. Admission is free. See website.
And, a train depot to the right of the building was restored and shows a glimpse of a time long past.
LANDMARK - West End Park
718 Gazley St.
Now a historic landmark, West End Park was owned by I.T. Harper during the days of segregation, and was one of the stops on the Chitlin’ Circuit Blues Review, one of only a few remaining around the country, and Negro Baseball League.
Celebrities that have played at West End Park include BB King, T-Bone Walker, Grey Ghost, Satchel Paige, Sonny Rhodes, Hannibal Lokumbe, Jimmy Vaughn, Ruby Jane, Peterson Brothers, Blues Boy Hubbard and Hosea Hargrove.
Photos of past performers, the city, World War II pilots and planes, and Negro Baseball League players are on display inside the building.
No longer an operational bar, the site is available as an event venue. Open by appointment only.
THEATER - Playhouse Smithville
110 Main St., Smithville TX 78957
This community black-box theater performs 10 plays/musicals a year of all genres with community actors and singers. Known for its audience participation and original scripts by john daniels jr. though well-known productions are also performed, the theater regularly brings in audiences around the state.
Playhouse Smithville was named Smithville's 2013 Business of the Year.
Limited seating. Season tickets are available. For information and tickets, www.playhousesmithville.com
MUSEUM - Smithville Heritage House & Museum
602 Main St. Smithville TX 78957
Containing artifacts and photos from Smithville’s early days, the Smithville Heritage Museum is itself a piece of history. Built in 1908, the Victorian structure was donated to the Smithville Heritage Society. The second story contains exhibits that are furnished with memorabilia that reflect early life in the community. The first floor also has memorabilia, but the back room is used for meetings.
In the backyard, a climate-controlled building keeps the archives of books and photos. Members of the Historical Society usually can be found archiving information on Tuesdays from 10-11:30 a.m. in the backyard building. Tours are available by appointment.
PICTORAL OF SMITHVILLE
InAuthors David Herrington and Carol Snyder sign their book "Smithville - Images of America" 2008, David Herrington and Carol Snyder spent the better part of the year compiling photos and articles from the archives for the paperback series "Images of America" for Smithville Texas. This indepth book, along with the related postcard set, is for sale at the Heritage House and Museum, and in some of the area retails stores. All proceeds from books bought from the Heritage Society are donated to the Society and Museum.
For more information, contact Carol Snyder at firstname.lastname@example.org.