The red carpet on Oscar night couldn’t hold a candle to the air of excitement and pride at Thursday night’s launch of the book, Navasota is Beautiful, The Story of a Texas Railroad Town. Written by Rebecca Dias and illustrated by Dias and fellow resident artist Apinya Srikhwanthong, the book is a tribute to their experiences in Navasota as a result of their participation in the Navasota Artist in Residence program (AIR) and depicts moments in Navasota’s colorful history.
In addition to the illustrations by Dias and Srikhwanthong, the 68-page book includes artwork by Navasota artists Leon Collins, Russell Cushman, Michael Lawrence, Doug Powell and David Woods.
At Thursday’s launch, Dias and Srikhwanthong were greeted by a nonstop stream of “fans” who purchased autographed books and other artwork and gave hugs and words of support and encouragement. Navasota is Beautiful touched the hearts of many who live here, and that generosity is evidenced by the many local sponsors credited in the book.
Dias and Srikhwanthong will soon join a long list of Navasota AIR alumni who’ve made the Horlock House Art Gallery and History Museum their home, thanks to the 5-year partnership between the City of Navasota and the Arts Council of the Brazos Valley. While the program’s purpose is to give the gift of time and opportunity to residents to hone their craft, through Navasota is Beautiful, Dias and Srikhwanthong have given back through a gift that will be enjoyed by generations to come.