• The Center for Contemporary Art's Artist

Cara Hines

About the Artist

Cara Hines started her life as a precocious artist in Childress, Texas. If she could draw, cut, color, paint, construct, or glue it, she did. Then school and career happened. They steered her into more pragmatic fields of architecture and interior design. These exposed her to world-class international design and architecture, and those who create them. They also fueled her inner perfectionist, and an over-driven “Type A” star was ignited. It shined. Then it burned out.

Cara's return to art was born out of this burnout, as well as the sudden, tragic death of her 33yo brother. Those painful lessons in impermanence and letting go gave her courage to act on her dream of living life on the move in a vintage travel trailer. The journey rekindled the playful artist she left in grade school, and she began creating art from her 90sf home on wheels.

Throughout Cara’s adult life, the natural world–particularly that of the Colorado Rockies where she lived for ten years–and travel in Europe and the US have been central to her expanded worldview, her deepening self-inquiry, and her inspiration for living. Her journeys are more about experiencing questions and connecting authentically with the world in and around her than finding answers or visiting tourist destinations. The same can be said of her art.

Cara currently lives near Abilene, Texas, with her partner, Ernest. She works out of her sunroom studio in their home, Studio #5 at the Center for Contemporary Arts, and occasionally from her 1966 Shasta travel trailer...because life is too unpredictable not to explore, ask questions, connect with people, delight in imperfections, and follow dreams*.

Artist Statement

Much of my art I create in part or entirely with my eyes closed without concern for what I’m imparting onto the surface, often with my non-dominant hand. I disempower my inner perfectionist, and focus on my breath, how my body feels as it responds to music, sounds of nature, my thoughts and emotions. With eyes open, I respond to what’s in front of me, with the intention that whatever mark, smudge, rip, color or squirt I make is responding to the whole as it exists only in that moment.

I often work with repurposed materials, because I derive great pleasure from “revisioning” things others have discarded. The panels are reclaimed hollow-core doors, sanded to expose layers of paint and wood. Others are masonite, plywood, lumber, mat drops, paper and cardboard. I use a combination of newsprint, tissue paper, junk mail, periodicals, found objects, charcoal, soft pastels, oil pastels, India ink, artist acrylics, abandoned house paint, sandpaper, lavender water, sun, spit, tears, time, and occasionally bird droppings or wayward insects. I use boiled wheat paste as my primary glue. I finish everything with a combination of UV archival spray varnish, dammar varnish I mix in my studio, or my own mix of beeswax/linseed oil paste.

— Cara Hines

Artist Services

I am available for workshops, art camps, and private instruction in expressive art processes. Please email me for additional information or visit my website.

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Phone: 325.677.8389


Thank you to these supporters:

Abilene Cultural Affairs Council

Dian Graves Owen Foundation

Legett and Kickapoo Foundations

Robison Excelsior Foundation

Texas Commission on the Arts

Community Foundation of Abilene

David and Sindy Durham

Mike and Julie Denny

Weatherl & Associates

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The Center for Contemporary Arts

220 Cypress Street

Abilene, Texas 79601


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Open 5 - 8 p.m. every second Thursday for ArtWalk