Navasota Artist Has Big Hand in Shaping the Brazos Valley

By: Shane McAuliffe Email
By: Shane McAuliffe Email

Payne Lara may not be a name you've heard before but you've probably seen his work. For 17 years Payne has been painstakingly creating art and his latest piece sits in front of his old high school.
It's a tribute to his hometown team, the Navasota Rattlers.

"I guess after 17 years, it's come full circle to be able to come straight out of high school and be able to create art to 17 years later be able to place the art right here in front of the high school." said Lara.

Lara's family has been living in Navasota for three generations and art is nothing new to them but Payne is the first to take it a step further.

"Everybody on my Dad's side of the family, they're all artistically talented and they all make sculptures, clothes, and dolls." said Lara. "I've grown up around it my whole life. I had several Uncles that were really good at paintings and sculpture but nobody pursued it professionally so I guess when it came my time, I had to try it."

Now it's to the point of perfection. Lara has eight pieces around Bryan and College Station. They include the marlin in Central Park, to the wolves in Wolf Pen Creek Park, a firefighter statue, the A&M Consolidated tiger and the deer in front of the Bryan Municipal building. Lara's hands have not only shaped his statues but also the landscape of the twin cities.

"I just try to stay in the background as much as possible. I do most my expression through my art." said Lara.

For now his art quietly sits, impressing thousands and expressing the pride of Navasota.

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