Waxahachie. Dallas. Fort Worth. Austin. Fredericksburg and San Antone. Southwest Art’s Jill Johns and Colleen Franco recently took a business road trip through Texas. When they rolled into Waxahachie on the first leg of the journey, a huge marquee in front of an old courthouse greeted them. Colleen snapped a photo. Amazed, the two women were even more so when local impressionist painter Jerral Derryberry led them inside—it’s now an art center—and 35 artists welcomed them, each with a painting on display. Soon a reporter from the town newspaper, The Daily Light, showed up on the scene to write a story about Derryberry, who organized the event. “The artists were so excited we were there. One of the things we experienced on our trip is that Texas seems like such a welcoming state,” says Colleen who calls Albuquerque home. Waxahachie is a town of 21,000 people about 30 miles south of Dallas. Two claims to fame: The movies Tender Mercies (1983) and Places in the Heart (1984) were filmed here.