About Art Connection of East Texas

Our Passion

We want to serve as a catalyst for the exposure and growth of the Art Culture in the East Texas Region. With Tyler, Longview and the Greater East Texas area becoming more and more interconnected, the Art Culture in the area has expanded exponentially in the last few years.

Our Mission

ACET strives to educate and teach children and adults to advocate for artists and the arts, and to engage the community in a range of cultural experiences and opportunities. Our Mission is to give all artists within the area a hub for information regarding other artists and art related events. We want to educate, inspire, and extend an opportunity for local artists to have a voice. Everyone has a story to tell!

The Value of Artistic Expression

Art is a result of the creativity of man resulting from the gifts bestowed by our Ultimate Creator, God. Artistic expression is a key element of our region’s image and proud heritage. In addition, they are quite valuable as social and economic contributors. Expression and appreciation of art should be available to everyone and this is critical to a well-rounded legacy for future generations.

Our Leadership

Neita Fran Ward

Neita Fran Ward

Executive Producer and Host

Neita Fran Ward is a native of East Texas. She acquired a degree in Fine Arts with an emphasis in Interior Design from Stephen F. Austin State University. She has owned art galleries for 20 years and began designing jewelry with Navajo Brian Billie in 2001. She has sold her jewelry to many collectors in numerous states and countries.

Neita Fran closed Valerosa Designs and Gallery in Tyler, TX, and retired in 2022. But she launched Art Connection via Valerosa to continue brokering art as a service to the artists she represents and to art collectors.

Connecting people to each other with the purpose of bringing them joy through art is one of her passions. Designing jewelry is another way she enjoys pleasing clients.

She hosted the Northeast New Mexico Art Connection Radio Show in Las Vegas, NM, for seven years, and now she has hosted Art Connection of East Texas (ACET) show on KTBB 97.5 FM in Tyler for seven years.  Neita Fran expects to continue hosting until her voice gives out… many years in the future we all hope.

Don Bristow

Don Bristow


Don Bristow provides the technology for Art Connection and offers the services of his company Lightray Photoimagery at a discount to our artists.

Lightray Photoimagery has been sponsor of the Art Connection of East Texas since 2016, and Don has been a frequent guest of the program.