First published: Summer 2001
In the United States, the popular, commercial, and critical interest in folk art and outsider art that has exploded in recent decades is very evident in places like Texas, especially in Houston and Dallas.
Although their state is vast in size, Texans have long harbored a strong, shared sense of cultural-regional identity; some of its common reference points include a first-hand familiarity with Spanish-American culture, due to the state’s proximity to Mexico; an abiding sense – part mythic, part real – of Texans’ rugged individualism; and a social manner that, while gracious and even intimate-feeling to visitors, seems to be rooted in a generations-old appreciation of cordiality and a deep respect for authority.
That last factor may have helped foster a self-conscious sense of community among Texans, from rural ranchers to big-city dwellers, in which, sociologically speaking, group members instinctively know and understand the ‘rules’ of public behavior and discourse, including commonly shared values that prevail in traditional contexts of artistic expression.
This is an article extract; read the full article in Raw Vision #35