Personal recollections by Gerry Hartsoe:
Frederick Weis was an artist working from his home in El Jardin Del Mar, a small community on Galveston Bay near Houston Texas. I was a child and I remember him teaching classes for all of the children in the bay side community. He never charged us for any thing. He furnished all the supplies and spent as much time as we wanted to help us with drawing. We sat by the bay and did still life drawings. He showed us how to really see and understand the way light hits the subject we were drawing.
Each summer when all the big city kids would come to the bay, we would sit and do art for hours and then have a large art show for the parents. Mr. Weis, as I understood it was a engraver for Star Engraving in Houston and he worked from home. He did such thing as the 1927 cover for the University of Texas vs. Texas A & M program cover. His wife was an invalid and he needed someone to stay with her from time to time when he had to take his work to Houston. When I reached 12 years old I would stay with her.
As I grew into an older teenager I still would go see him and talk about art. He helped me do a self portrait when I was in High School. When I graduated in 1957 he gave me a framed drawing that he had done of me. I still have it today.
Approximately 1976 I had moved back to Texas. I had two children of my own and I was on a visit to my mother. I asked if Mr. Weis was still alive and she said yes. I stopped by his house and during our visit he told me that he would love to teach my two children art. I took them back the next week and they had a great time. At that time. Weis told me and showed me the commendation he had received from the President of the United States for his community effort in teaching art to children. He also gave me a copy of that program cover from the Texas A & M cover as he knew I had married an Aggie.
Also during that day I noticed he was limping and I asked him if he was all right. He said that a spider bit him on the ankle. I told him to see a doctor.
The next week I received a call that he had died from the infection of the spider bite.
He was a wonderful and sweet man. He instilled the love of art in me, and countless other children. I will always remember him as a Great Artist.