SOUTH PADRE ISLAND — For Deanna Powell, 27, the realm of art is something she’s always had interest in because she’s found the field to be captivating.
She didn’t expect or plan for her career path to lead her to where she is now, but she feels it makes perfect sense for her to have accepted her current role because of her interests and what she genuinely cares for.
This July, the Art Business Incubator South Padre Island (ABI SPI) welcomed Powell as its new program director.
ABI SPI sets out to help artists who have the desire to own and operate their own art-related business on the Island.
“I feel so grateful being that it’s on the Island and an inspirational place to work,” Powell said. “On top of that, it’s a nonprofit art gallery that is heavily focused on helping others as artists, people and business owners. That’s the dream.”
Powell is from Dallas and attended Texas A&M University where she majored in communication and minored in art and creative studies.
“All through my life, I’ve always appreciated art,” Powell said. “I’m not an artist, but that’s why this role is really perfect for me because it’s allowed me to be in the world of art as a supporting role.”
As program director, Powell said she takes care of behind the scenes duties, such as scheduling, financial tasks and contributing to social media platforms.
Powell said one of her main roles is coordinating ABI SPI’s monthly art fest, which is a pop-up festival for local artists from around the Valley.
“From what I’ve heard from the artists so far is that the best part about this program director role is they can come to me and ask for advice,” Powell said. “They get an objective point of view and from there, that allows themselves to grow as an artist or as a business person.”
The program currently has six resident artists.
Artwork created by the program’s artists can be found at ABI SPI and around the city in places, such as Yummies, F&B and local hotels.
“The artists here are incredible and are great at working together. They all have something unique to offer,” Powell said. “The art that they have created is really leaving a mark on South Padre Island.”
The program has a variety of workshops led by ABI SPI artists from drawing and collage-work to painting.
“They’re not only a great way for the artists to understand what it’s like to mingle with the community, but it’s also very fun to see families from all over the country come in here and get to learn a little bit about these artists and then in turn take something home with them that they created from these events and workshops,” Powell said. “That’s incredibly fun. I look forward to those.”
Powell said she’s incredibly grateful to be a part of ABI SPI and be able to take the gallery to new heights and accomplishments.
“In general, what I really want to see for this program over the next couple of years is just like what the artists did last year and this year — they keep raising the bar,” Powell said. “My hope is that with every single incoming class of art residents is that they can continue raising the bar, setting it higher and passing it the way they have been in previous years.”