Posted: 9/20/22

Legacy Retrospective of Famed Laredo Artist Julie S. Watson Now Open at TAMIU


Julie S. Watson
Laredo Artist Julie S. Watson  

An exuberant retrospective collection demonstrating the late Laredo artist Julie Shaifer Watson's  love for Texas and México is now available for viewing in the Sue and Radcliffe Killam Library Gallery.

An opening reception was held  Thursday, September 22, 2022 with Watson’s family members in attendance.  The retrospective includes 16 works for viewing.

TAMIU president Dr. Pablo Arenaz said the University is honored to host the collection.

“This legacy collection of Watson’s work is the largest retrospective of her work since her passing in 2008.  The series of massive canvases feature her brilliant use of bold colors to capture the Texas borderland, México, and the Texas Coast.   We are truly honored to be able to share them once again in this setting with our University community and the community at large,” said Dr. Arenaz. 

Watson’s distinctive, ebullient style earned her multiple awards including Artist of the Year 1992 Hill Country Art Foundation, Corpus Christi Art Center Best of Exhibit 1983, 1986, 1987, 1992; Laredo Art League 1st place 1986, 1987; Finalist, Art Magazine National Juried Landscape Competition and the McAllen Tip of Texas Best of Show. Her works remain aggressively sought after and grace art lovers’ collections, homes, and businesses everywhere.

A descendant of Laredo founders Don Tomás Sánchez and John Z. Leyendecker, she created and enjoyed a life as colorful as her acclaimed paintings.  The granddaughter of Peter P. Leyendecker and daughter of Julia Leyendecker Shaifer and Colonel Edward Shaifer, she graduated from Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Indiana, receiving degrees in English Literature and Journalism.

While a fledgling reporter at The Laredo Times, she met Horace Edward Watson, Jr. They married in 1949. Her love for Laredo was long measured in service and support for the Laredo Art League, Laredo Center for the Arts, and the Washington’s Birthday Celebration. She and Horace were proud to portray Martha and George in 1977.

TAMIU vice president for advancement Rosanne Palacios noted that this collection extends the Watson family legacy at the University.

“The Watsons have long championed art here at the University, through donations that have supported the creation of the Helen Richter Watson Gallery, ongoing student scholarships and the provision of teaching resources, and art collections by peer artists.  We’re excited to have Julie Watson’s retrospective join the family history here,” Palacios said. 

For additional information, contact the TAMIU Office of Public Relations, Marketing and Information Services at prmis@tamiu.edu, phone 956.326.2180 or click on tamiu.edu

For more on supporting the fine and performing arts at TAMIU, contact Palacios at 956.326.2178 or by email at rosanne.palacios@tamiu.edu

University information is also shared on tamiu.edu and via its social media channels on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube.

Related Link: The Helen Richter Watson Gallery

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