History of The Art Center

The Chicken Farm Art Center – Sharing the Art Spirit since 1971

In 1971, the Chicken Farm Art Center was founded by Roger Allen, Richard Ramirez and Bill Rich. They envisioned transforming the grounds of an abandoned chicken farm into a vibrant place where artists can live and work.  Today, artists do live and work in the unique compound, which has grown and now includes two galleries, 15 studios, a bed-and-breakfast that invokes the feeling of Santa Fe, and The Silo House restaurant that offers a five course meal of fine dining with a casual ambiance.

While blessed with creativity and vision, the founders probably never imagined that their once-ramshackle chicken farm would become one of West Texas’ premier attractions.
For art lovers, the Art Center offers an eclectic mixture of imagination-stirring work. The Starkeeper Gallery features the ceramics of Roger Allen, and 15 artist’s studios feature the work of diverse artists representing diverse disciplines. In the studios, enthusiasts will find pottery, paintings, photography, copper wall sculptures, stone sculptures, mosaics, batiks, glass, fiber art work and creative and vintage clothing.

The Art Center is 3 acres and 8 buildings. Roger Allen and Pam Bladine operate the Chicken Farm Art Center. In 2000 the back half of the Art center was sold to Jerry and Susan Warnell who have The Inn at the Art Center and the Silo House Restaurant where Helen and Craig Keith of Homemade by Helen serve great cuisine. The Inn has 4 wonderful B/B rooms located in the center of a hub of artists. 

While the center has expanded over the past 45 plus years, one thing has remained constant: it is home to San Angelo’s art spirit. Sharing the Art Spirit is our motto.

First Saturdays are the perfect time to experience the art spirit. On the first Saturday of each month, the Art Center features the works of invited artists, the doors of the resident artists’ studios are open, the Chicken Pickers gather in a circle of local musicians, the blacksmiths and metal artists set up shop in the forge, and Kids get free clay. Painters, potters, stone and wood carvers, jewelry makers and other artists just do their thing and The Silo House Restaurant serves lunch.

In addition to First Saturdays, the Art Center puts on special events. In April, in conjunction with San Angelo Museum Fine Arts and Angelo State University, it co host San Angelo’s nationally recognized ceramics weekend. In October it is the location for the sculpture workshop, part of an annual event hosted by SAMFA.

In November, the Art Center is where those in the know go to soak up the creative vibe and buy one-of-a-kind handmade gifts during the Thanksgiving Open House. The Annual Thanksgiving Open House has many special visiting artists, 3 great days of music and lots of special activities. A great start to the holiday season.

Music has become a regular on 1st Saturdays and the Chicken Pickers also have a seasonal concert in the courtyard on the second Thursday each month at 6:30 when the weather is nice. Concert is free, bring a lawn chair and cooler and picnic or the restaurant does hamburgers for the evening. Music is special to our spirit and hope you will enjoy.

Year in-year out the Art Center is open 10 to 5 Tuesday through Saturday. Every month the 1st Saturday is a great time to visit. And the very best time to visit is Open House on the Friday, Saturday and Sunday following Thanksgiving. Come visit any time and you will discover a real treasure in San Angelo Texas.

1 comment:

  1. Hey Roger
    HAppy NEw Year ! Ariel and I are going national with our Animals and Artifacts Demo Duo at the Armory Art Center West PAlm Beach Florida. in January . We have arrived, & not too shabby ! MAybe you can come to DFW for a workshop sometime when is it possible ?

    Love and Hugs to you and yours,