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“The ABCs of the Rockport-Fulton Art Colony:  Artists & Their Inspiration” chronicles the history of the Aransas County art community for younger readers.  It includes images, subject matter and activities that encourage them to learn more about art, history, nature and science.   Topics including bird migration, protecting endangered species like sea turtles and redfish, and artist diversity are covered along with local art history.  The book also covers historic material such as the Native Americans, seafood industry, packing companies and restored houses and buildings.


The authors worked with local teachers and artists on the book, which was funded by the H-E-B Tournament of Champions. The book is a companion to “The Story of the Rockport-Fulton Art Colony:  How a Coastal Texas Town Became an Art Enclave,” to be published by Texas A&M University Press in November, 2021.  


Work from many colony artists is included in the book, along with historical photographs.  Artists include Evelyn Atkinson, Kay Barnebey, Al and Nanci Barnes, Susie Black, Shirley Blackman, Herb Booth, Dinah Bowman, Ed Boyd, Mimi Braniff, Charles Cosby, Jack Cowan, Jackson Ehrlich, Thom Evans, Shirley Farley, Larry Felder, Lisa Frederick, Pam Fulcher, Dick Haweley, Frances Iles, Teresa Justice, Elsa Mathews, Hal McCaskill, Simon Michael, Jesus Moroles, Maria Nesbit, Harold Phenix, Clementina and Ricardo Rivera, Barb Robinson, Russell, Jamie and John Speck, Buck Schiwetz, Kent Ullberg and Chance Yarbrough.


The Story of the Rockport-Fulton Art Colony: How a Coastal Texas Town Became an Art Enclave.

Kay Kronke Betz, Ph.D., and Vickie Moon Merchant, Ph.D., chronicle how Rockport-Fulton, whose economy was based on fishing, shrimping, and tourism, became a major regional center for the visual arts. Generously illustrated throughout with full-color images of boats, bays, and other hallmarks of this artistically rich community. This book is a visual and narrative treat for art lovers, conservationists, and historians alike.

The book is being published by TAMU Press. 

Book signings will be scheduled in Rockport-Fulton as soon as the book is released.


Savor the stories of the culinary traditions of our coastal county.  Walk down memory lane as you view photos and recipes from favorite restaurants. Learn the history of Aransas County from a unique perspective of Foodways. Editors of Foodways are Kay Betz and Vickie Merchant with contributions from Susie Bracht Black, Monica Burdette, MM Pack, Karey Swartwout and Terry Thompson-Anderson.

Price at the History Center $45. Add $5 for handling and postage.

"Doc's Herb Garden: A Guide to Useful Plants"  

Match garden plants in the guide to those in the garden. The guide illustrates plants in the garden and relates their value as herbs and as food for wildlife. Compiled by Pat Garland, Texas Master Naturalist. It honors “Doc” Bruhl, a pharmacist who used herbs in his popular “remedies.”  He also owned the house at one time.

It sells for $10 at the History Center. Add $5 for handling and postage.



Postcards offer a snapshot of times gone by. By the early 1900s Aransas County was a tourist destination. People came from all over to enjoy the bay and wrote home about their visits. Edited by Kam Wagert and Pam Stranahan.

Price $20. Handling and postage will be additional $5.

ARANSAS: The Life of a Texas Coastal County

Read this definitive history of Rockport-Fulton by William Allen and Sue Hastings Taylor.  One reviewer noted that the book “introduced me to a fascinating part of Texas…lively, readable and informative.”

Price at the History Center $35   Handling and postage will be additional $5.