You better deliver when you're hosting a reception for an artist whose lineage descends from one of the great Texas party hosts of all time.
On Saturday, that's what the Museum of Western Art faced when Becky Crouch Patterson's collection of works debuted at the Kerrville museum, and the party was a good one. Crouch Patterson is the daughter of Hondo Crouch — the famed originator of Luckenbach's good times.
View more photos from the big MOWA party: https://thekerrcountyleadphotography.zenfoliosite.com/zg/becky-crouch-pattersons-mowa-reception
Hondo Crouch lived a larger-than-life life, dying from a heart attack at 59 in 1976. His children took his lessons to heart, including a passion for art and storytelling.
"He was a Texas folk hero and that means you're loved by a lot of people forever," Crouch Patterson said.
Crouch Patterson's artwork is driven by story, faith and color — it's abundant in all of her work. It's also steeped in Texas history, but it's also something of an outlier for MOWA.
"It's different," said Darrell Beauchamp, MOWA's executive director. "It's a departure in a lot of ways. We tend to favor Cowboys, Indians, Saloon Girls, Mountaineers, things like that."
In the collection, Crouch Patterson's liturgical tapestries — those found in churches — command one wing of the museum. Her original oil paintings, handmade scarves and clothing, and Hondo and Luckenbach memorabilia are in another wing.
Crouch Patterson's family history isn't one of just Luckenbach but of the pioneers who persevered to carve out a life in the rugged Hill Country. She can claim descendency from the Stielers, the Schreiners and many more of those pioneering families.
As Beauchamp pointed out, MOWA's initial intent was on Cowboys — one that still lives through the museum today. However, Beauchamp has sought a broader interpretation of the West. For Crouch Patterson, history points to wrangling sheep and goats, rather than steers. It's the story of Kerr County and the Hill Country — fortunes made from mohair.
"Cherishing a sense of place," is how Crouch Patterson explained it. The work celebrates people — of all sorts. She sings in Spanish and has a close connection and love of Mexico in her work.
"And you know, she's never been one to sell herself short, but I'm going to add that this is the evangelist of Luckenbach," Beauchamp said. "This is the person who has for the past 46 years, since her father's passing in 1976, and her family have kept Luckenbach as a thing."
What makes Crouch Patterson's work impressive is the scale and, in some cases, the anonymity. Early in her career, James Avery commissioned her to make tapestries for his company's retail stores — those tapestries hung behind the cash registers.
"Our parents were friends, and he'd say, just do something to go with his rug and do something to match this and he made my wedding rings," Crouch Patterson said of her friendship with Avery.
Of course, Luckenbach's story is music, including Waylon Jenning's famous "Luckenbach, Texas (Back to the Basics of Love)." It's a revered place for millions because of Jennings, accompanied by Willie Nelson, simple words — "Out in Luckenbach, Texas, ain't nobody feelin' no pain."
And with Crouch Patterson, it's clear the work celebrating music, art and love is still something worthy of singing.
"We want everybody to come to see the great work, the great, you know, folk art and fine art of Becky Crouch Patterson," Beauchamp said.
Watch our interview with Becky Crouch Patterson