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Cabinet Oak Project turning LBJ park history into art; show and auction in fall 2022

The Cabinet Oak in front of the Texas White House

The Texas White House at Lyndon B. Johnson Ranch in Stonewall, where President Johnson sometimes conducted business. The sprawling Cabinet Oak can be seen on the left. Photo by Lauren Gerson

A call for artist entries has gone out for the Cabinet Oak Project, the Friends of the Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park recently announced. A juried art show, art auction, and celebration take place in the fall of 2022 and are centered around the Cabinet Oak, a sprawling live oak tree adjacent to the Texas White House on LBJ Ranch in Stonewall. 

Estimated to be about 300 years old, the tree is rooted in history, from Native American tribes and German settlers to meetings between President Johnson and his cabinet, world leaders, and celebrities, according to a Friends group media release.

After a large branch from the Cabinet Oak fell in 2019, the Friends group started planning a fundraising event to preserve the tree’s legacy and support park programs. 

President LBJ at the Texas White House
President Lyndon B. Johnson (center) and members of the press beneath the Cabinet Oak on July 8, 1967. Photo by Mike Geissinger from LBJ Presidential Library collection

For the Cabinet Oak Project, artists are invited to submit a proposal to work with a piece of the historic oak, reimagine its rich heritage, and bring it into the future in their own vision. Artists will be selected based on the uniqueness and quality of their previous work, not on any specific theme or subject. Katie Robinson Edwards, the executive director and curator of the UMLAUF Sculpture Garden + Museum in Austin, will serve as the juror and select invited artists to participate. Best of Show receives a $1,000 honorarium. Recipients of the three Juror’s Awards will each get $300 honorariums.

“Artists from any location are invited to apply,” said Mark Smith, owner of Mark Smith Studio Gallery in Johnson City and an advisor to the project, along with Kevin Tully, co-director of A Smith Gallery in Johnson City. “It is our hope that the artists chosen will represent a wide range of artistic practices, genres, techniques, and media.”

Art pieces from the Cabinet Oak Project will be auctioned and proceeds will support the work of the Friends of LBJ National Historical Park. Funds will directly benefit programs at the park, including restoration of the historic Texas White House, establishment of an artist-in-residence program, and development of new educational programs. Sponsorships are available for the November 2022 auction and celebration with details to be announced later.

Interested artists may visit cabinetoak.art or email cabinetoak2022@gmail.com for more information.

Founded in 2007, the Friends of Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park group provides ongoing support for park programs, restoration efforts, and recreational events. Visit friendsoflbjnationalpark.org for more information.

editor@thepicayune.com