(American, B. 1940)
Manuel Garza has made his vocation the painting of Central Texas Landscapes. Born in the Hill country, his parents were migrant farm workers. He traveled all over Texas and as far north as Michigan with his family, working along side them in the fields.
It was while picking cotton, digging potatoes, and other produce, that he developed a love of the land and the beauty it brings forth. His mother, who loved craftwork, noted his sketching on rest periods and encouraged her son to stay in school, learn, and do something with his talents. He became the only high school graduate in his family.
He is a self-taught artist. His only formal training was with Charles Normann at the Texas School of fine arts in 1966-68. There he frequently visited museums, studying the works of Porfirio Salinas, Robert Wood, and other western artists.
Although he paints in his studio, his works are influenced by his many long hikes where he often stops to capture the scenery both with photographs and sketches. He strives to depict Central Texas as it really is, Bluebonnet and autumn scenes being some of his favorites.
Today his work can be found in the collections of John Connally, LBJ and Lady Bird Johnson, Dolph Briscoe, and many other noted Western Art Collectors. His works are exhibited all over Texas.