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In the early 1950s, Tyler Service League members realized East Texas children had no opportunity to experience works of art. “Picture Ladies” from the league started taking prints to area classrooms, and members eventually established the Tyler Museum of Art.

The museum officially opened its doors in 1971 and has been serving the community ever since. On April 29, 2022, the museum invites community members to celebrate more than 50 years playing a unique part in Texas arts history. As long-time TMA members, we at Brelsford Personnel want to honor the museum’s long-term commitment to inspiring, educating, challenging and stimulating generations of visitors.

Why TMA is So Worth Celebrating

Throughout the years, the museum has championed contemporary Texas artists and given a lot of now prominent artists their first shows. Over the years TMA has partnered with several nonprofits like the East Texas Symphony Orchestra, the Tyler Junior League, SPCA and other organizations that make Tyler such a great place to live and work. The museum offers lecture series, gallery talks, family days and more.

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First Museum Experiences for Elementary Schoolers

The Tyler Museum of Art offers school tour programs that expose students to fine arts outside the classroom. Children that would not otherwise experience visual arts firsthand are exposed at a very young age.

It’s incredible to watch children from all over the area, from a wide range of backgrounds when they step through the doors and recognize they have come to a very special place, and they’re about to have a one-of-a-kind experience. Their voices lower, their movements slow and their eyes grow round with expectation.

Schools get to tour the gallery with someone from the museum’s education department. Their guide meets them at their level, whether they’re in first grade or working on their college degree. For elementary and middle school visitors the tour often includes an art activity or component to bring things full circle and reinforce comprehensive learning.

“One great thing about being in Tyler,” said TMA Curator Caleb Bell, “Is that we’ve gotten to provide first museum experiences to so many people. A lot of people wouldn’t drive to Dallas or another larger metropolitan area. We’re able to bring in world-class exhibitions. For example, we just closed a Norman Rockwell show. We bring a lot of very well-known artists to the East Texas area.”

High School Art Exhibition

Every spring, the Tyler Museum of Art gives local high schoolers the opportunity to showcase their artwork in a full-scale, professionally curated museum exhibition. For the past 18 years, TMA has shown the work of East Texas seniors, with around 70 participating artists each year. This past year, the museum offered 86 works from schools across nine East Texas counties.

“At that point,” said Bell, “It’s not just about Tyler. It’s far-reaching. To be able to put artists’ work on display and connect with students, teachers and their families, and to provide a fine arts experience for them has been great.”

Family Day

Every second Saturday of the month, Tyler Museum of Art offers Family Day to Go. Parents looking to expose children to fine arts (and also keep them busy) can stop by and tour the gallery for free, then pick up a packet. Inside they’ll find art supplies and activities related to the exhibitions and permanent collection works the Museum owns.

How You Can Support the Tyler Museum of Art

Become a Member

Museum memberships provide a large part of the financial support for TMA programming. There are membership levels that fit any budget and provide benefits like these:

  • Free exhibition admission
  • Free or discounted admissions to hundreds of other museums across the U.S. and Canada
  • Advance notice of upcoming exhibitions
  • A 10% discount in the Museum Café and Gift Shop
  • Additional discounts on select program tickets, events and fundraisers

Find more information on becoming a member here.

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Attend Little Black Dress 2022

Tyler Museum of Art invites you to celebrate their Golden Anniversary at Little Black Dress – Tyler Museum of Art Celebrates 50 Years. The museum’s 50th-anniversary gala occurs on April 19 at Tyler’s Willow Brook Country Club.

You don’t need to be a member to attend, and you’re guaranteed a fun evening with food, music and drinks. When you buy a ticket, you’re also giving back to the community by helping bring in high-caliber exhibitions and funding education programs like the ones listed above.

Get your tickets online or call the museum at (903)595-1001. We look forward to seeing you there!