If you’re looking for some creative inspiration, you have come to the right place—Cleburne, Texas! Here you’ll find a thriving arts scene, national landmarks, performing arts and a vibrant cultural scene with statues and murals depicting its rich history. Follow this guide to plan your artistic and cultural exploration that can only be experienced in Cleburne.
Read Fine Art Gallery
Originated by local icons Sleepy Read and Martin Read, Read Fine Art Gallery specializes in the work of Texas artists. Current owner and artist herself, Pam Yarborough had a calling to keep the gallery open in downtown Cleburne. “The future of downtown Cleburne is big—it’s expanding and growing. I wanted art to be a part of it.” The gallery features a wide variety of exhibits with works by Brenda Driggers, Jack Fleming and Randy Robinson to name a few. Each Saturday the gallery hosts Sangria Saturday—an evening to sip sangria, watch live paintings or sculpting and view featured artists for meet and greets.
Red Horse Antique Mall
If antiques are your thing, Red Horse Antique Mall is the place to be. Voted number one antique store in Johnson County, the eclectic space features art, home décor, furniture, housewares, vintage toys and more. Coming soon Red Horse Art Gallery with art shows feature local and international artists like Yuri Trushin, with art on display and open discussions with the artists.
JN Long Cultural Arts Complex
Celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2021, the JN Long Cultural Arts Complex features artists of all styles and genres from hand-woven artwork to experimental art. In addition to art shows throughout the year, the complex is host to the Texas Woodcarvers Guild Museum, a Transportation Museum featuring model trains, and the Book Exchange Library. Browse the museums, admire the art or get hands-on in a class. Classes range from watercolor, woodcarving, and pottery, to ballet and Zumba. Before leaving, stop by the gift shop for original artwork, hand-crafted gifts, jewelry or holiday decorations.
Located at Dudley Hall, Plaza Theatre Company stages plays, concerts, dance performances and more. With an emphasis on musical theatre, it hosts a variety of performances for all ages to enjoy. Past productions include “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat”, “Newsies the Musical”, “Always, Patsy Cline”, “A Christmas Carol”, and “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” among many others. Check the schedule for upcoming shows and outdoor special events.
Cleburne Carnegie Players
The Greater Cleburne Carnegie Players have been ‘bringing Broadway to Cleburne’ for over 40 years. The community theatre production presents four shows a year at the performing arts center in the Cleburne Conference Center. The 2021 season includes the works of playwright Jones Hope Wooten. Her funny and witty characters will have you laughing your troubles away and leaving with a smile on your face.
The Layland Museum offers exhibits and programs that are dedicated to the local history of Texas. Born in 1876, William J. Layland, the creator of the founding collection for the museum, had a passion for traveling the world and collecting objects to bring back to Cleburne. A portion of his collection was donated by his family in 1963 to the city of Cleburne. Thus, the creation of the Layland Museum, residing in the 1904 Carnegie Library Building which is listed in the national register of historic places. The Greek Revival-style building is home vintage garments, fishing gear, kitchen artifacts, even telephones from each decade.
Chisholm Trail Outdoor Museum
As you enter the Chisholm Trail Outdoor Museum, you are greeted with a picturesque view of life in the old west. Life-size cattle silhouettes line the stone wall of this open-air museum depicting how the cattle drives along the trail impacted local life. Featuring original pieces from the 1800’s, attractions include a stagecoach station, sheriff’s office and jail, a blacksmith shop, the Johnson County Courthouse, dating back to 1855 built by William O’Neal, is the oldest log courthouse in Texas. Made of logs and overlaid with clapboard, the courthouse is still standing, allowing visitors to get a glimpse into the past. Explore on your own or with advanced notice, get a docent led tour. The Historical Markers tour includes landmarks you can drive to, giving you the option to have a cultural adventure from your car.
Johnson County Courthouse Museum
The Johnson County Courthouse Museum collects and preserves historical and natural history and materials relating to Johnson County, Texas. Each City in Johnson County is represented with its own display case that houses items of interest for each city
HISTORIC MURALS AND STATUES
Wright Plaza Mural:
Painted by artist Stylle Read in 2009, the historical series of murals are titled “Wild Frontier, Trail Dust, and Rails.” They depict historical highlights such as the first airplane built in Texas and the 1906 Railroaders baseball team.
Gone With the Wind Remembered Museum:
Outside the Gone With the Wind Remembered Museum, you will find three murals commemorating the movie. The mural of Rhett Butler and Scarlett O’Hara strolling down a picturesque path has real rose bushes giving the painting a 3-D effect.
Buffalo Statue at Hulen Park:
The Buffalo Statue along Buffalo Creek in Hulen Park pays tribute to the animals that once wildly roamed the area.
General Pat Cleburne:
The six-foot tall bronze statue of Cleburne’s namesake, the progressive and outspoken General Patrick Cleburne, stands at the intersection of Buffalo and Chambers Street.
Historical significance and local culture make Cleburne a city that is bursting with art around every corner. Come see for yourself the beauty that Cleburne has to offer from its rich past to its local artists and everything in between.