AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — What started out as an idea by local artist Jim Livingston to showcase the different personalities of Amarillo residents, has turned into something much more.
Something that would take Livingston across the country.
“Route 66 is about 2,400 miles long, last year I traveled 25,000 miles on route 66. We just got tons of pictures of people and portraits and tons of pictures of places on Route 66,” said Livingston.
Those pictures and portraits are now a big part of the “I Am Route 66 Visitor Center & Gallery” in Amarillo, which was founded by Livingston and several other Amarillo residents.
“When we looked at what was missing on Route 66 in Texas, there’s not really a place where you can come and look at maps and the history and different things like that. We’ve got a nice rest stop but there’s nobody there to talk to. So we wanted to fill that space,” said Livingston.
The center houses local artist’s work including Livingston’s portrait project of people he’s met on his Route 66 travels.
“I met so many amazing and wonderful people. Michael Wallace, who wrote the book about route 66, kind of kicked off the renaissance. His voice was the sheriff in cars, just a fascinating guy to talk to,” said Livingston.
Livingston says that he hopes this center will make area residents more aware of the gem that is Route 66.
“When someone locally comes into the shop, to realize how cool of a gift that we have here in the panhandle. We have just this historic highway with all these cool and historic places. So I’d really love for locals to begin to take advantage of that,” said Livingston.
The center is located at 1900 SW 6th Avenue in Amarillo. They are open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
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