Temple College professor is the “voice of passion” behind the Central Texas Art Competition


TEMPLE, Texas – There is a unique opportunity to see the innovative and inspiring work of young local artists from across the Central Texas area at Temple College.

The 42nd Annual Central Texas Art Competition and Exhibition is taking place at the Temple College Visual Arts Gallery through December 2, and the competition winners were announced earlier this month.

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Temple College

The free event is part of a relentless effort to provide student artists in the central Texas area a chance to create and enjoy local art. This year’s competition, sponsored by Altrusa International of Temple and the Temple South Rotary Club, is coordinated by the Visual Arts Department at Temple College.

The 42nd Annual Central Texas Art Competition was conceived over four decades ago by Temple College art professor Michael Donahue.

“When I came to Temple College, we didn’t have a visual arts scholarship,” Donahue said. “There were scholarships in music and theater.

While the sponsors of the Central Texas Art Competition have changed over the years, one constant has been Professor Donahue.

There is something in life that you have to see to believe. As Donahue discusses her work with the contest, the cascade of colorful photos surrounding her catches the eye.


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A photo of Professor Donahue (right) and Hollywood movie star Robert Duvall (left) hanging in Donahue’s office

“I have been a film extra in films,” said Professor Donahue, pointing to the frames of a film set on one side of the wall.

“I was in that Willie Nelson movie,” he says, pointing to another image.


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Close-up of a photo Professor Donahue (left) hung on his office wall with movie star Patrick Swayze (right) on a film set.

“Here I am with Robert Duvall,” Donahue said, pointing to another photo.

On another wall, another cascade of images, and a different hat. Again, the images are more scenic and the dress more consistent.

“I am a park warden every year at Little Bighorn National Park,” Donahue said. “Custer’s last fight.”

Almost as if we were walking through a timeline of events, from the extra film to the park ranger, then we come to the art teacher as Donahue gestures into the gallery where this year’s entries.

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The 42nd Annual Central Texas Art Competition and Exhibition runs through November 2 at Temple College

“It’s so nice to be back with the students in the classroom.”

Here, students tell a story of innovation, inspiration and culture.

“We currently have around 140 pieces hanging in the series,” he said.

The creative efforts of central Texas created by students from six area colleges and universities and 34 high schools are reinforced by the originality and quality of each piece on display.

“On the one hand, we have all the high school work,” Donahue points to a winning artwork created by a Georgetown High School student.

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Temple College art teacher Michael Donahue talks about his appreciation for an entry from Georgetown High School students.

“These high school kids are amazing. Like, it’s a song. It’s called Alley Cats,” Donahue explained.

“I would love to recruit her to come to Temple College.”

From sculptures, paintings and photographs, the uniqueness of the entrances on display becomes more apparent with each step.

“I was amazed by his name Silver,” Donahue said, smiling, walking towards another. “And that’s oil paint and beeswax on a sheet.”


Temple College

Entries for the 42nd Annual Central Texas Art Competition and Exhibition at Temple College

The public can attend the 42nd Annual Central Texas Art Competition Exhibit at the Temple College Visual Arts Gallery for free until December 2.

For more information on this year’s competition, click on this link.


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