From The Editor

Following the approval of our April issue in mid-March, I was ready to move forward—per usual. Content for May issue done, check. June issue—you’re on deck. Let’s get this started.

But my once-predictable, formulaic plans—like all of yours—slowly started to change as we moved into late March. As the COVID-19 pandemic ramped up, Galveston Monthly’s food-related features were postponed, interviews had to be rescheduled and almost every single Island event was cancelled or postponed. Once the dust settled from those disappointments, it was time to refocus and move forward with a new plan.

You may have noticed that we have gotten a little thinner this issue. Not me personally but the magazine is much thinner now - specifically 18 pages thinner than normal. Our plan is to slowly add the pages back over the next couple of issues as we all get back into a “new normal” as it’s being called now.

Despite the difficulties, Galveston Monthly’s mission has not changed. Always aiming to entertain and spark conversations, we will continue to deliver quality and insightful features to our readers. This magazine is full of what we do best—positive, uplifting stories about Galveston Island.

May2020Our cover this month is a painting titled “Island Time” by Robert Peterson. It’s a painting of our Galveston beach that is inviting to say the least. Robert, who is the owner of Vacation on Canvas gallery, has a masterful ability to capture the island environment with brilliant, vivid colors and precise detail.

Along with his original paintings, Robert offers reproductions of his artwork in canvas giclées, cards, paper prints, and one-of-a-kind ceramic tiles. His gallery is located downtown at the corner of Postoffice and 22nd Street. The gallery is now open. Call 409.974.4066 for more details.

We are with you and for you. Thank you for your support and understanding as, working together, we all do our best to get our island community through these challenging times.

Stay Safe and Close!

Right now, the breadth and scope of the challenges facing public health, let alone social and economic wellbeing, seem overwhelming. The coronavirus outbreak is the most serious crisis the world has faced in generations.

Life is now different. You know the devastation the spread of coronavirus has caused, not just to most businesses in general, but to all of our daily lives. First and foremost, I hope that you and your loved ones are staying safe in these uncertain times. Please be sure to heed the recommendations of staying socially distant and to check in with your neighbors who are the most vulnerable to this pandemic.

It’s no secret that the coronavirus is negatively impacting businesses, ours included. So along with our usual content we have assembled a handy guide for navigating both the physical and online resources available locally to help you through these uncertain times. Be sure to visit our website and follow our Facebook page to find the latest in businesses opening and services available on the Island.

With the help of so many Islanders, our community has banded together to meet this crisis. It’s inspiring to see businesses and everyday people pitching in and stepping up.

It’s also a time to support Galveston businesses and restaurants. Shop local has never meant more to our community.

Placeholder imageThe April cover is a new oil on canvas painting titled “Wind Riders” by artist and gallery owner René Wiley. She is the owner of René Wiley Gallery in downtown Galveston on Postoffice Street.

René has new oil paintings of floral arrangements as well as her new collection of “Iconic Galveston” cityscapes. Rachel Wiley-Janota has coastal inspired landscapes in mixed media, oils and gold leaf and Samantha Wiley has an impressive collection of oil portraits and is taking commission requests.

The gallery also has fabric mosaics by Brenda Bunten-Schloesser, reclaimed tree sculptures from James D. Phillips, wooden bowls by Dale Hooks, and glass sculptures by Bill Meek. They offer both originals and fine art prints, as well as discounts for previous collectors and interior designers.

Because of the current stay at home orders, René is encouraging those who want to view works from the gallery to go online to www.rachelwiley.com. The gallery is having a 20% off everything sale and free shipping. For more details call 713.725.8592.

Stay safe, and stay positive.

The Galveston Monthly staff is proud to be celebrating the magazine’s 11th year of delivering quality and insightful features about Galveston Island to our readers. Always aiming to entertain and spark conversations, we cannot express how appreciative we are for all of those who have contributed to making the magazine what it is today.

Our cover this month is a painting by David Foreman titled “’Current’ Dreams” that is part of a new exhibit of his work called Dimensional Values on display from March 7 thru April 11 at Third Coast Gallery, 2413 Mechanic. A self-taught artist, David is a newcomer to the Galveston arts scene and this is his first opportunity to showcase his works in Galveston.

David says the motivation behind creating this painting stems from him being a Pisces and his life-long attraction to aquatic life. While he loves animals in general, he has always been drawn to turtles, fish, and reptiles. Because this will be his first exhibition of his work on the Island, he felt a painting of sea turtles was appropriate to the setting. We couldn’t agree more.

Like layers of an onion being peeled back one by one, there is always more to be revealed about those who make Galveston their home. This month we highlight Joseph Grasso and his family who built one of the largest shrimp export businesses in the country during the 1930s to 1970s from their headquarters here in Galveston. In this issue we continue our series that focuses on island mansions and grand homes that have been demolished with a feature on one that may have had the most varied history on the island, evolving from the small cottage of a slave trader to the beautiful home of wealthy philanthropists, and eventually a gift to the community.

We also feature Part IV of our multi-part series on the history of the Galveston Fire Department. The Galveston Fire Department suffered the Great Storm of 1900 that struck on September 8, 1900, in much the same manner as the rest of the island city’s residents. After the waters receded and the winds calmed, the department did what it had to do: it mourned its losses and looked to the future. Of course, all of this Galveston history is merely an addition to our established seasonal features that cover the latest in wine, food, gardening, and the Galveston arts scene, as well as event calendars, local business happenings, and spotlights on what is going on around the Island.

Enjoy the Island and the spring weather!