The art community of Southeast Texas is mourning the loss of a fascinating local artist Monday.
Vidor artist Charlie Stagg died early Monday morning in a Galveston hospital.
If you've ever seen the glass bottle house in Vidor, you've seen Stagg's work.
Longtime friends and fellow artists of the man say he was a visionary. His work has been on display across the United Stated, and the fact that some of his best known art is right here in Southeast Texas is an honor.
Art teacher art at Lamar University, Professor Linnis Blanton remembers fellow artist Stagg as a friend for 25 years.
"He's the best kept secret in this are, and he's a good friend," says Blanton.
Stagg's best known pieces include, a home in the back woods of Vidor built with used glass bottles and spiraling wooden structures made out of tree limbs. His pieces are featured in the Art Museum of Southeast Texas and museums across the U.S.
"Just to see him and to see his existence and how he created the art work and everything was inspiration." says Blanton.
Inspiring to sculptor Forrest Goodhue in more than one way.
"By his art, his friendliness and his compassion he was really just a good man," says Goodhue.
Stagg welcomed visitors at his visionary bottle home.
Blanton says his friend was in poor health for at least the last ten years and remembers what Stagg told him two weeks ago during a visit.
"He said he's okay with moving onto the next level."
Like glass bottles live on in Stagg's house, Blanton hopes to help Stagg live on by passing his legacy on to students.
Funeral services for Stagg have not yet been set.