Chet Phillips

Chet Phillips, “Austin Bats”, Date Unknown, Illustration for Lone Star Match Works, Austin, Texas

Chet Phillips, living and working in Austin, Texas, began his career as a freelance illustrator in the early 1980’s. He has created work for advertising agencies, design firms, book, newspaper and magazine publishers and corporations. Trained in traditional media with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting and Drawing, Phillips made the transition to digital media in 1992.

Debra Steidel

Ceramics by Debra Steidel

Born in 1956 in Alexandria, Virginia, Debra Steidel was introduced to porcelain clay at a very young age, growing accustomed to the feel of wet clay on her fingertips. The freedom that clay possesses in its infinite potential is an idea that would resonate within Debra her whole life. Moreover, daughter to a rugged huntsman of the Northeast United States, Debra often found bliss in the natural environment around the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains.

In 1974, at the age of 18, Steidel purchased her first potter’s wheel that she still uses to this day to create her vessels. During the early stages of her artistic career, Debra focused solely on the form of the vessel. In the early 1990’s, Steidel shifted her focus to ceramic sculpture. Sculpting presented Debra with such a different view of ceramics, replacing the meticulously concentrated process of the wheel with a free flowing, creative approach that channeled her unconscious.

Debra Steidel is closely associated with the mesmerizing crystalline glaze. In 2003, Debra moved to the lush Texas Hill country, just Southwest of the Texas capital of Austin. It was in her new surroundings that her pursuit to create the most remarkable glazes turned into an obsession. For Debra, the vividness of the glaze was equally important to the organic formation of each unique crystal as to maintain a harmonious composition of the overall piece. Thus, the recipes of her glazes have taken years, in some cases decades, to perfect.

Rex Clawson

Paintings by Rex Clawson

Rex Clawson was born in 1929 in Dallas Texas. As a child his favorite artist was Jon Witcomb, an illustrator for the womens’ magazines his mother subscribed to. In his teens he read “Lust for Life” and discovered Van Gogh, Gauguin and the Impressionists. All of his early paintings reflect these artists.

In the late 1940’s, Clawson won the “Texas Fellowship to the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center.” There he became acquainted with modern art. Picasso and Braque were his greatest influences, along with Walt Kuhn, whose paintings were displayed at the art center. From there he traveled to Mexico to study and paint for a year at Morallia, and the art and culture of Mexico were a great influence on him. Rufino Tamayo was his favorite artist.

He returned to Texas and in 1951 won first prize at the annual exhibition at the Dallas Museum of Fine Arts. In 1952 he was exhibited at the Knoedler Gallery NYC, in a show of Texas Artists. Thus encouraged, he moved to New York where he began to show regularly at the galleries. He had his first one man show at the Edwin Hewitt Gallery in 1955.

In 1963 the Royal Athena Gallery exhibited a Clawson painting entitled  “ Nude in a Rocking Chair”. Immediately the press announced it as a nude of President Kennedy and it got worldwide publicity. Finally, two U.S. Treasury agents entered the Gallery and acquired the painting, along with all photographs and negatives of it. The painting was never seen or heard of again.

The Texas Truck

Photographer Unknown, Texas Truck

“I have said that Texas is a state of mind, but I think it is more than that. It is a mystique closely approximating a religion. And this is true to the extent that people either passionately love Texas or passionately hate it and, as in other religions, few people dare to inspect it for fear of losing their bearings in mystery or paradox. But I think there will be little quarrel with my feeling that Texas is one thing.

For all its enormous range of space, climate, and physical appearance, and for all the internal squabbles, contentions, and strivings, Texas has a tight cohesiveness perhaps stronger than any other section of America. Rich, poor, Panhandle, Gulf, city, country, Texas is the obsession, the proper study, and the passionate possession of all Texans.”
John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley, In Search of America 

Robert Glen

Robert Glen, “Mustangs”, Williams Square, Las Colinas, Irving, Texas

The sculpture  commemorates the wild mustangs that were historically important inhabitants of much of Texas. It portrays a group at 1.5 times life size, running through a watercourse, with fountains giving the effect of water splashed by the animals’ hooves. The horses are intended to represent the drive, initiative and unfettered lifestyle that were fundamental to the state in its pioneer days.

The work was commissioned in 1976 and installed in 1984. SWA Group’s design created a shallow watercourse extending 400 feet (130 m) from northeast to southwest across Williams Square, a gently sloping granite-paved open space about 300 feet (110 m) square. The plaza setting for the sculpture won a National Honor Award from the American Society of Landscape Architects.

Edgeworks Design, Texas

Touch Activated Lighting by Edgeworks Design in Texas

“Drawing inspiration from the very heart of industry, Edgeworks Design strives to embody the strength and power of humanity’s thirst for progress. Using salvaged materials from heavy machinery, I craft uniquely striking products, incorporating the very tools that propelled our country through the industrial age. At Edgeworks Design I believe in up-scaling the old and abandoned, retaking the throne of American ingenuity, and breathing new life into the fragments of a throw-away culture otherwise forgotten.” – Philip

This company from Texas does handcrafted lighting and wood/metal furniture for the home. Their site is: http://www.edgeworksdesign.com

Esther Pearl Watson

Paintings by Esther Pearl Watson

Esther Pearl Watson grew up in various locales around north Texas. Throughout her childhood, her father built large flying saucers out of old auto parts and scraps. At times, this freaked the neighbors out. It was also evidently part of the reason the Watson family moved around so much. She weaves much from this unique upbringing into her complex and stunning paintings. Watson’s attention to light, detail and bustling life of each piece is to the point where I keep finding something new with each return. Plus, y’know, flying saucers. Sometimes I’m so happy to see her work, I about grind my teeth.

Michael Peterson

Wood Sculptures by Michael Peterson

Michael Peterson was born in 1952 Texas, US. Since 1986, he has exhibited in group and solo shows throughout the US, including Revolution in Wood at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington DC. in 2010, Craft Spoken Here at Philadelphia Museum of Art, PA in 2012 and a major solo exhibition Michael Peterson: Evolution/Revolution at the Bellevue Arts Museum in 2009. The artists work can also be found in many public collections throughout America, including the Museum of Arts and Design, New York, NY; the Mint Museum of Craft + Design, Charlotte, NC; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, CA, and the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC; as well as the Victoria & Albert Museum in London.

“The unity and simplicity of the sculptural forms he creates allows them to serve as compelling visual metaphors for the essential order and clarity desirable in a balanced life.”  – Michael W. Monroe, Director of Curatorial Affairs, Bellevue Arts Museum.

Saint Francis Wolf Sanctuary

Saint Francis Wolf Sanctuary, PO Box 877, Montgomery, Texas, 77356

Saint Francis Wolf Sanctuary (SFWS) is a registered 501©(3) nonprofit charity in Montgomery, Texas, run by volunteers and created to provide a permanent home for non-releasable wolves and wolfdogs to live out the rest of their natural lives safely and comfortably with loving care and attention.

Wolves are born in the spring, so this year Saint Francis Wolf Sanctuary will be holding our first ever “Birthday Celebration for the Wolves” on Saturday, April 18, 2015 between 12:00 pm and 4:00 pm. We invite everyone to join us for a fun, family-friendly experience. Please inquire about visiting. For information: info@wolvesofsaintfrancis.org.