UPDATED: Inspired Minds receives 150-piece donation

By C.J. Vetter

BUDA – Have you ever wanted to own a piece of authentic Texan art? If so, the Inspired Minds Art Center is hosting an online art auction to help fundraise for future programs. The collection, priced at around $22,00, was donated by Buda resident Susan Amster, a retired art professor.

The collection consists of art collected and painted over the decades by Susan and her sister Stephanie, featuring pieces  from almost every genre from landscapes to abstracts. The collection includes art from prolific artists like Paul Kelpe, Harold Gregor and Jerry Seagle. Although Stephanie died in 2021, her memory lives on through the works she and Susan worked on. In memory of her, their artwork is displayed together on its own separate wall of the exhibit.

“My overall purpose is that people in the future have a wonderful life as a result of experiencing art like my sister and I have had,” said Susan. “Everybody should have art and I think what they’ve done here is a very physical manifestation of it.”

Susan learned about the Art Center through a chance stop during a bike trip down main street. She and an acquaintance stopped and decided to visit, where she met the staff. Later, through her invitation, co-founders Sinead Whiteside and Susan Guerra visited her home and quickly became close. It was then that it occurred to Susan that she might be able to use some of her collection to help support the community.

“So she invited Susan Guerra and I over and her collection in her home is just outstanding. She had so much art,” Whiteside said. “Supporting art education in this community is a way for her, Susan, and her sister to create a legacy that’s gonna live on and do good.”

Also at the event, Jessica Mason was officially chosen as Art Director. Previously, she had been assisting Susan with the selection and transport of the art collection for the auction and had helped prepare the center for the auction. She will now take on a fixed position in the art center.

“I’ve been working on this for a couple months with Susan, going into her home, visiting her friend artists on the walls, talking art all day, processing art in her garage, measuring, identifying the medium, guessing the artists by you know, some scribbles and stuff,” Mason said.

In addition to the auction, Whiteside also helped organize a celebration for Susan and Stephanie; the twin sisters were born on Earth-day, making the occasion even more special. Food and drinks were provided in addition to a live cello performance. The center even purchased cakes for the sisters in honor of their birthday.

“Everyone who buys a piece is participating in supporting arts education in our community and the effects are long-lasting,” Whiteside said. “This art center has led to so many magical things.”

This donation will go a long way in helping the art center grow and increase its ability to not only help the community in cultivating an active art scene, but also provide scholarships to young artists looking to further their education. This will also help the art center be more independent and not have to rely on investment from the city of Buda.

“I heard Susan speak at city council and was just very moved by a donation of this size,” said city council member Evan Ture. “There is a whole citywide art program. We’re looking for this place to be a part and an anchor for that and so there is an investment. We absolutely want this place to stand up on its own.”  

The bidding for the auction will remain open until June 24, and will be held at www.32auctions.com/AmsterArt. Donations are also accepted at that link for those wishing to help fund the institute. For more information about the programs being funded, you can visit Inspiredminds.art.

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