Artistry In Action: Anita Diebel
Artist and gallery owner Anita Diebel is the most delightful, energetic, and talented octogenarian you may ever meet! Her gallery and working studio at 111 North Austin Street is warm, intimate, and bursting with gorgeous art everywhere. Anita hosts classes here as well as small receptions (with mimosas!).
Anita comes by her talent naturally. Her father, a chiropractor by day, was also a gifted painter and drew his inspiration from the nature around him. This greatly influenced Anita, and she has been painting her whole life. Originally from San Antonio, Anita attended the Hunter School of Art, studying under Warren Hunter. Anita has done everything from sign painting to dressing the windows at Joske’s department store, to once painting a javelina on the gas tank of a Harley Davidson motorcycle. Anita says, “Art has always been a part of my life. It is my means of expression, of sharing my spirit, of celebrating my world and the wonder I find within it.”
Anita started the Wind Way Studio Gallery, named because of Rockport’s constant breezes, in 1997 and moved to the area permanently with her family the following year.
For the past 25 years Anita has been a vital member of the local visual arts world and a huge supporter of the Rockport Center for the Arts. Known for her paintings of birds and her collages, Anita has been the recipient of art grants, was the Rockport Arts Center “Poster Artist of the Year” in 2003, and had many shows including Wing Songs, a 40-piece bird themed show in 2015 at the Rockport Center for the Arts and a 40-piece Birds show in 2017. In fact, Anita was the Executive Director of the Arts Center from 1998-2003 and is a strong supporter of the current Executive Director, Luis Purón.
One of Anita’s most well-known pieces is entitled Rookery and features watercolor hummingbirds hovering amongst delicate flowers in watery turquoises, pinks, and greens.
Anita also represents other artists and at the moment that includes Robin Hazard, who works mostly in pastel, oil and collage, Carol Koutnik, who uses oil and watercolor mediums, along with Barbara Sparkman, an encaustic artist (hot wax painting), and Clementia Rivera who works mostly in acrylics and watercolor. She also features beautiful turned and sculpted wooden vessels by her son, Todd Diebel. You can drop by Anita’s studio anytime to see these works or watch her create one of her own. Anita also teaches classes there on Monday evenings and one of her first students, Kimmi Norvel Moke, is now an artist in her own right.
Like many residents, Anita lost her home and studio in the hurricane but rebuilt and remains steadfast in her dedication to the town and its art colony. In the words of Anita Diebel, “I am blessed, now, to live by the sea, where endless horizons meet marvelous sunrises and the sound of the gull, the heron, the crane mingle with the music of wind whistling in the palms.”