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LOCALS LOVE US: Highland Arts Guild adds color to the community

Highland Arts Guild

Instructor Peggy Cain (right) gives some advice to Ann Sadler, who was working on a landscape painting during a Feb. 17 class at the Highland Arts Gallery. Cain teaches classes at the gallery, as do other artists, as a way to help people learn an art or improve their craft. Go to for more information. Staff photos by Daniel Clifton


MARBLE FALLS — Norma Fraser sits back, cocks her head to the right and studies her painting. A few bluebonnets anchor the foreground as the rest of the artwork rolls out behind, revealing a portion of Lake Travis near Double Horn Creek.

She adds a little more color to a grassy area sliding down an embankment toward the water.

“Painting is something I always wanted to do but never quite had the time to,” she said. Then, six years ago, a personal tragedy interrupted her life. Her daughter died of cancer. In response, she picked up a paintbrush and sat down at an easel. But beautiful paintings didn’t just happen. She had to learn how to paint.

That’s where the Highland Arts Guild came in. The guild holds regular classes, courses and workshops in painting, drawing and other art at its gallery, 318 Main St. Fraser plugged herself into some classes and found the artist that had been waiting to come out.

Highland Arts Guild
Even though she’s been painting for 15 years, Joan Stinson relishes the chance to learn more about her art. One place she regularly stops and takes classes at is the Highland Arts Gallery, 318 Main St. in Marble Falls.

“It took a while to get comfortable with it, but it’s been great,” she said.

Fraser credits the guild for providing her and others a place to learn art and exhibit it.

“If the (guild) hadn’t been here, we probably wouldn’t have classes,” she said as she worked on her painting.

Fraser and three other women were working on their paintings under the tutelage of instructor Peggy Cain during a class Feb. 17. Cain or another instructor typically teaches every Tuesday. The guild offers classes throughout the year as a way for people to learn art and grow as artists.

“I know if we didn’t have the guild, there wouldn’t be as many of us painting here in the community,” Fraser said.

Cain, who has been a member of the guild for 40 years, is teaching an oil painting class on this day. She has witnessed many people who started by taking beginners classes through the guild grow into wonderful artists. Many of them proudly exhibit their work on the walls of the gallery.

“One of the reasons the guild is here is to encourage people to learn,” Cain said. The guild’s gallery also offers members a place sell their work. Before the guild had the gallery, the organization held two shows a year. For many members, this was the only time they could exhibit their work. The gallery changed all that.

“This gives us a place to show our work and a place to offer classes and workshops,” Cain said.

And just about every week, the guild offers some type of class or workshop.

Joan Stinson was working on a landscape featuring Cow Creek at the class. She started painting 15 years ago with classes from an artist in Austin. She’s studied under a few others and said Cain is among one of the best she’s worked with.

Like Fraser, Stinson said the Highland Arts Guild and Gallery is more than a place people can come and look at paintings (though she encourages folks to stop in and do just that.)

“I still paint at home, but I come up here once a week,” she said. “I enjoy learning, and this is a place I can do that.”

For all of these reasons and more, The Picayune readers and KBEY 103.9 FM Radio Picayune listeners selected the Highland Arts Guild and Gallery the 2015 Locals Love Us favorite Marble Falls-area art gallery. Flip through the next two sections of this edition to see more winners.

Go to for more on the guild, upcoming events and classes.