Late Ann Crouch to be honored at First Friday Art Walk
By Chip Chandler — Digital Content Producer
The late Ann Crouch, who developed Amarillo's largest centralized community of artists, will be honored this week during the First Friday Art Walk.
Crouch, who died in January at age 84, created the Galleries at Sunset Center in 2005, started the monthly art walk and founded the Amarillo Art Institute.
"We wouldn't exist without her," said Rachel Flores, AAI's director. "We want people to get to remember her when they come to the Friday art walk, whether they knew her or not, because obviously they benefit from the work she did."
The walk, a free monthly event, runs from 5 to 9 p.m. Friday at the galleries, 3701 Plains Blvd.
Artists in the galleries and the institute have been asked to memorialize Crouch in some way in a new work.
"Some people are doing paintings based on photos of her ... and some people are just doing things that they know she loved," Flores said.
Crouch was born in Memphis, Tenn., and moved to Texas as a small child. She married husband C.W. Crouch, who preceded her in death in 2001, in 1947. Their son Butch, who also predeceased her, was born in 1948.
Active in oil and gas production, the family also founded Texas Carpet and developed other commercial properties.
In 2005, Crouch renovated the old Sunset Center shopping mall and transformed it into the Galleries. It's now the home to about 100 galleries as well as the Amarillo Art Institute and Panhandle Art Center. It attracts thousands of visitors monthly at the First Friday Art Walk.
Crouch was an accomplished artist herself and owner of the Sunset Art Gallery inside the center.
According to her obituary, Crouch won Golden Nail Awards in 2008 and 2014, was named as one of the 10 Most Prominent People in Southwest Art Magazine in 2013, and won the National Society of Daughters of the American Revolution’s Women In The Arts Recognition Award in 2014.