The goal is to attract visitors through the installation of significant art projects, the restoration of the “old” railroad bridge, and create a vibrant outdoor “living room” in the Park for everyone to enjoy. – Richard H. Collins
Art on the River is a component of The Jefferson Restoration and Arts Project, a multi-year reinvestment to bring art to Jefferson and restore historical features. Through revitalizing the charms of yesterday, The Jefferson Restoration and Arts Project will draw tourists, create a renewed sense of community, instill the values of lifelong learning, and foster a creative partnership with renowned artists. The project is underwritten by and directed under the leadership of Richard H. Collins with the help of Lucy Buchannan, a national art consultant.
Mrs. Buchanan will orchestrate a multi-stepped process of creating the new community living room by:
1) Inviting two internationally known artists, a husband-and-wife team, to create a major sculpture to be placed in the grand circle in the Park with unveiling in June 2019 as part of an on-going Artists-in-Residence program;
2) Promoting arts and education for adults and students by engaging the public in the Artists in Residence Program building on the mission of the Collins Academy;
3) Adding additional sculptures including a large bronze stag, a stagecoach with horses, and a pterodactyl;
4) Restoration and development of Union Missionary Baptist Church as a Living Heritage Center; and
5) Renovation and lighting of the historic railroad trestle and sculptures in the Park.
Surrounded by these new art projects, restaurants, antique shops, and a rich history, the revitalized parts of Jefferson will serve as an inviting “living room” for East Texas, and it will become a magnet for tourists, new residents, and businesses.