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The Arts in the Highland Lakes

Sculpture on Main in Marble Falls is a year-round outdoor art exhibit. Staff photo by Daniel Clifton

Art thrives in the Highland Lakes. If you have any doubt, walk down Main Street in Marble Falls and take note of the sculptures.

The pieces are part of Sculpture on Main, an outdoor art display that began in 2007. The sculptures are rotated in and out on a biennial basis with the next installment this fall. The nonprofit Highland Lakes Creative Arts accepts artist applications during its selection process.

The Sculpture on Main celebration typically takes place in November, but you can enjoy the sculptures throughout the year.

The Highland Lakes is fast becoming known as an arts destination, and Sculpture on Main is just one of the reasons why.

From Burnet to Llano, back to Marble Falls, and down to Johnson City, if you like art, you’ve come to the right spot.

Whether you’re looking for art galleries to browse or art shows to enjoy, there’s a little bit of everything. And don’t forget live music and theater.

So just how do you get into the Highland Lakes arts scene?

Well, start with some of the main art-centered events.

The Burnet Plein Air Competition and Art Festival is held in conjunction with Octoberfest. Staff photo by Daniel Clifton

Burnet gets things rolling in the fall with the annual Plein Air Competition and Art Festival held in conjunction with the city’s Octoberfest.

Plein art is just a fancy way of saying painting outdoors, and that’s just what you’ll find during the event. Artists fan out across Burnet and the surrounding area with their easels and paints to capture the essence and spirit of the place. A great thing about events such as the Plein Air Competition is, even though the artists are working on pieces for the competition, they always seem happy to visit with you.

It’s a great opportunity to chat with artists and learn about their work. If you’re an artist yourself and want to enter the event, go to

Western Trappings on the Llano celebrates all things Old West. Staff photos by Daniel Clifton

Western Trappings on the Llano also begins in October. The exhibit celebrates the art and “trappings” of the Western lifestyle and heritage and can be viewed for several weeks at the Llano County Historical Museum, 310 Bessemer Ave. in Llano.

While you’ll find amazing paintings of Westerns landscapes, portraits, and sculptures, you’ll also see saddles, intricate jewelry, silver spurs, and other items not always considered art.

But these pieces are art. Just examine the craftsmanship poured into a handmade saddle or set of spurs, and you’ll see why.

The Western Trappings on the Llano is one of the largest Western-themed art exhibits of its type in Texas. Artists from across the United States, Mexico, and Canada enter items in the show.

If you see something you like, well, check the price because it’s probably for sale.

The Dia de los Muertos party at Marta Stafford Fine Art in Marble Falls celebrates music, art, and culture. Staff photo by Daniel Clifton

Back in Marble Falls, new sculptures are unveiled in November.

Art enthusiasts and sculptors organized the first Sculpture on Main in 2007 to promote Marble Falls and the Highland Lakes as an arts destination. And it worked: More and more people make their way to the area to revel in the arts scene.

Sculpture on Main invites sculptors from across the area, state, and country to submit pieces for consideration and installment. Once accepted and installed, the sculptures stay for two years before the next call for entries.

If you’re exploring the Highland Lakes arts scene, don’t stop with these events. Visit its galleries (view listings to the right) or take part in a monthly art walk in Marble Falls, Llano, or Johnson City. A good resource is the local art guilds: Llano Fine Art Guild at; Highland Arts Guild at; and Buchanan Arts and Crafts on Facebook.

Other sources are the various galleries and artists. Some of our favorites are Marta Stafford Fine Art at (she throws an amazing Dia de los Muertos party in early November), Daniel Adams Fine Art Gallery at (he’s just an incredible artist), and Pogue Sculpture Gallery and Foundry at (he’s internationally renowned). If you’re looking for something a bit eclectic, check out Ralph Moresco’s West Shore Wind Spirals. His designs and kinetic sculptures will get the wheels in your brain turning, that’s for sure.

How’s that for an arts scene?

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