Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Jay Hester TEXAS- Stories of the Land article in the Spring edition of JRM Quarterly Magazine

J.R. Mooney Galleries is proud to launch their new publication titled: J.R.M. Quarterly Magazine!

The launch of J.R.M. Quarterly Magazine is all about giving an outlet to the daily happenings within the gallery and giving voice to the artists that grace the walls of this institution.

These pages are packed full of educational tidbits about the artworks by our represented artists as well as consultation advice for those beginning to explore the art galleries in their communities.

J.R. M Quarterly  Magazine aims  to use its pages as a vehicle to educate, entertain and enlighten our audience on a variety of topics ranging from reviews, news, artist narratives, interviews, criticism and a wide range of other art related stories from within the gallery walls.

I hope you find this informative and hope you continue to follow the artistic adventures of J.R. Mooney Galleries.



"The articles published in this premier edition of our quarterly magazine include: the seaside aesthetics of glass artist, Mary Hong, abstract paintings of Jim Hatchett, nostalgic qualities of Arthur McCall, the blockbuster exhibition of Jay Hester, and new works by Texas Hill Country artist, Margie Barker."

Over the next few weeks we will showcase each published article  in a five part email campaign to help promote the artwork of these regionally recognized artists.


Today we spotlight the recent article by Katherine Shevchenko on Boerne Artist, Jay Hester and his preparation for his solo exhibition at J.R. Mooney Galleries-Boerne.

Jay Hester: “TEXAS: Stories of the Land”

Jay Hester, a well respected artist also affectionately known as the “Godfather” of the Boerne art scene, returns in a prodigious and monumental fashion with his first solo exhibition of paintings in almost twenty years.  “TEXAS: Stories of the Land” is his inaugural showing at J.R. Mooney Galleries of Fine Art-Boerne.  This show will open on October 8th with a reception with the artist in attendance and will be on display until November 5th at the Boerne gallery location.

Mr. Hester decided to chronicle pivotal events from the Texas historical canon that have taken on near mythic proportions due to their legendary status in their significance in shaping Texas’ socio-cultural landscape.  Hester has prominently focused on the early days of the first settlers in the Texas area and the pivotal trials and tribulations of their encounters with the native Indian tribes of the land in times of war and the eventual culmination of treaty signings and the first sowings of peaceful relations.

Gallery director, Gabriel Diego Delgado further discusses his motivations in the show’s formulation, “I thought we could curate an exhibition directly related to this endeavor.  I feel with his unique artist’s voice of Texas history, he would develop a wonderful sensibility; a kind of mystical approach mixed with self-imposed artistic liberties… depicting these often violent times.”  The gallery shall become a platform in which “to give Jay Hester a voice in telling the various historical legends of Texas…”  Hester has been a seasoned and avid scholar in the story of the American Southwest for many years.  According to his wife, Judy, “Jay has a deep interest in Western and Native American art and has read and researched these subjects for years following his relocation to Santa Fe, New Mexico in 1980.”  The exhibition is another chapter in the artistic journey of Hester, with his knowledge and aesthetic interest in preserving Texas’ rugged past in oil paint.  “This passion has overlapped an opportunity through J.R. Mooney Gallery to express myself artistically in this personal way," Hester elaborates.

The beginnings of this exhibition started in the early months of 2016, when Hester sat down with Delgado to discuss the possibilities of scope and theme of his upcoming show.  Delgado remarked on the early stages of the process, “Sitting down with the artist, we discussed aspects of various legends, historical figures and geography to see how we could pick and pull together aspects of surrounding regions to tell a cohesive story of South Texas, making it relevant to the populations of these regions; the paintings acting as historical lessons, tied as much to education as to aesthetic.”  With many ideas just beginning to get formulated, Hester undergoes the preparation by diligently sketching rough compositional drawings on napkins at his favorite breakfast diner each morning.  The sketches are then developed into more refined finalized drawings that are transferred to his canvases to be rendered in oils, with, of course, diligent research to maintain historical accuracy.  "I spend many hours alone in my studio, as you may guess is the case with most creative people.  I am not always at the easel, but for this show in particular, I have read and reread articles and parts of books detailing Texas events.  I have reviewed photographic images for accuracy.”  Many discoveries have been woven into Hester’s dramatic vision bringing Texas history to life and infusing it onto the canvas.  According to Hester, "I knew some about the German migration and early settlement having lived in Boerne for over 20 years.  However, there is a wealth of small details that gave me greater respect and appreciation of the people of this area as Texas grew and expanded.”  As he works in the studio creating his works, his process is akin to storytelling.  “Much like a writer choosing just the right words or using too few or too many words to tell a story, deciding on the right size canvas for the composition, the number of subjects that will adequately fill the space, or the shape of the landscape that best depicts what I am trying to say in my work, [it] is a daunting task.”

A quintessential character that made immense contributions to the San Antonio and greater Boerne area was the doctor Ferdinand Ludwig Herff.   One of his immense accomplishments is captured in a large scale painting that recreates the infamous cataract surgery he performed on a Comanche chief; a meticulous operation that was performed outdoors without anesthesia.  This operation saved the chieftain’s eyes and aided in paving a transition to smoother relations between the settlers and native tribes in the forthcoming years.  Hester recounts on why he chose Dr. Herff in particular, “One of the most notable people that came from Germany was Dr. Herff.  He was an exceptional man, noble in character and gifted as a surgeon in his time.  His persona needs to be celebrated and given this platform of a solo show highlighting his story.  That is what I will attempt to do."

In the experience of wisdom gleaned from many seasons, Hester is taking more time now to contemplate and let the creative well renew itself, saying, “I often realize that I may need more rest in between long stretches at the easel.  My spirit needs recharging when my work is in question or I am off in some way.  My answer always is more time is necessary for a better result.”  As anticipation mounts and the exhibition opening date draws near, Delgado shares the aspirations that underlay the foundation for such a venture, “I hope that an exhibition of this caliber would show the collectors, patrons and appreciators of Hester’s art that at 70+ years old Hester is still a masterful craftsman in his signature genre, illustrating that he is constantly pushing his visual capabilities.”  In questioning Hester on what he has done unique to this exhibition’s specific conceptual needs, the answer still remains to be seen, “Not until the show is over can I really know what I would do differently.  I always say I strive for the best result, as I do hope these pieces will show."

J.R. Mooney Galleries of Fine Art present:
“TEXAS: Stories of the Land” an art exhibition by Jay Hester
Opening Reception: October 8, 2016 - 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at J.R. Mooney Galleries in Boerne
Exhibition dates: October 8, 2016 - November 5, 2016
© Katherine Shevchenko, Art Consultant, J.R. Mooney Galleries, Boerne

Copyright © 2016 JR Mooney Galleries, All rights reserved.
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San Antonio, Tx 78209

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New Small Paintings by Margie Barker

JR Mooney Galleries of Boerne is proud to showcase eleven new paintings by Helotes Texas artist, Margie Barker. However, the first day we received them in they all SOLD!!! sorry

Ragan Gennusa new giclee at the Gallery

Regan Gennusa giclee ,"Out of the Brush", 24" x 48" , $1,090.00 at JR Mooney Galleries Boerne 830-816-5106 ‪#‎jrmooneygalleries‬ ‪#‎regangennusa‬ ‪#‎cowboy‬ ‪#‎longhorn‬ ‪#‎western‬ ‪#‎hillcountry‬ ‪#‎cattle‬ ‪#‎oldwest‬ ‪#‎boerne‬ ‪#‎boernetexas‬

"The Healer", by Jay Hester

"The Healer"
by Jay Hester
48" x 60"
Oil on Canvas

This painting and 8 others will be part of the new selections in Jay Hester's solo exhibition:
 Jay Hester TEXAS: Stories of the Land 
Opening Oct. 8, 2016 4 pm- 8 pm


“…approached by an Indian Chief to remedy his failing eyesight, Herff diagnosed the problem as advanced bilateral cataracts. Having brought specialty surgical instruments, he set about to remove the opacified lenses.  He decided to use cistern water rather than the heavily laden mineral ground water….Artificial light from a lantern or fire would pose a great danger in the use of ether needed for anesthesia, so he reasoned that the operation should occur out-of-doors on a clear day, cloud free, windless, dust and insect free. With the utmost cleanliness, he extracted the cataracts while bystanders wave off flies with palm branches.”

Early Texas Physicians 1830-1915 Innovative, Intrepid, Independent, Texas Surgical Society, Edited by R. Maurice Hood, M.D., Introduction by T.R. Fehrenbach, pg. 177.



“Among the leaders of the new colony called Bettina was one Ferdinand von Herff, a distinguished doctor and student of politics who was a co-founder of the Socialistic Colony and Society, which originally planned to establish socialist communes in Wisconsin. Instead, von Herff and his two co-founders arranged with the Adelsverein to plant their colony on Adelsverein land in Texas. They named the village Bettina after a social activist and friend, and chose a location on the Llano River, northwest of Boerne.  It was in Bettina, under an oak tree on the banks of the river, that Dr. von Herff successfully performed surgery to remove a cataract from the eye of a local Indian chief – an almost unheard-of undertaking at the time.”

Explore Magazine, SMV Texas, LLC. A Brief History of Boerne, August 27, 2014, Admin, Accessed on August 8, 2016,



 “The two doctors among the Forty proved valuable; though one would surely have been enough. Dr. Ferdinand Herff became accustomed to dealing with the local natives, and eventually learned both the Comanche and Apache dialects.  His reputation was made after only a few weeks at the colony, when a Comanche appeared with an advanced case of cataracts, asking to be healed.  Herff had – amazingly- brought the most advanced ophthalmologic instruments with him from Germany, and had performed cataract surgery several times in Europe. But never without professional support and, needless to say, never in the wilderness. Fearful that the Comanche would blame him if the native went untreated, Herff decided to risk an operation. Local anesthetics had not been discovered yet, so the doctor was obliged to use ether to incapacitate the patient. This created a problem since, according to Herff, ‘one of the outstanding essential in a cataract extraction is adequate light.’  In those primitive days the only forms of artificial illumination were candlelight and kerosene lamps whose rays were intensified by magnifying lenses. But…the flammable nature of ether definitely constrained its use anywhere near a naked flame, so the only solution was to perform the surgery out of doors, aided by the sunlight…Surrounding the operating group stood a dozen of the Forty with palm leaf fans to keep the flies away…The crude, daring procedure was a success.”

Morgenthaler, Jefferson, The German Settlement of the Texas Hill Country, 2011, Mockingbird Books

The New Artwork of Houston Artist, Jim Hatchett!

As we continue to explore the various articles in the new JRM Quarterly magazine, we are proud to highlight the artwork of Houston artist, Jim Hatchett.  A Viet Nam veteran, Hatchett holds true to a time honored approach of Abstract Expressionism.
Photo credit: Courtesy of the Artist

Jim Hatchett

A New Generation of the Forgotten

By Gabriel Diego Delgado

---On June 10, 2016, The Huffington Post published an article by Michael S. Solomon titled, “10 Tips for Conveying Confidence - Fake It Till You Make It.”  The notion of faking it till you make it is neither new nor old, neither relevant nor injudicious.  In the art world it can quickly gyrate into a contradictory poser ridden context where some artists try climbing the academic ladder via pogo sticks.  This is complemented by Glasstire’s Christine Reese in her article, “On Elitism: A Conversation.”  She says, “Though there’s a big difference between not being able to get something out of art because you don’t understand the vernacular, versus not getting something out of it because there’s no there there.”  We have novice artists armed with credentials from prestigious institutions showing blue chip educations but creating hyperbolic banality infused with an ‘art speak’ mumbo-jumbo. The contexts of the artists’ statements and misguided purpose of intents are so convoluted with a need to be included in the Who’s Who of the (insert choice city) Art Fair that the artists’ execution becomes mundane; their physical manifestations are ill-steered down a path of irrelevancy in an unstable international art market.

In this time of Instagram artists and social media narcissists, one artist out of Houston, Texas, glides through the art world with an unassuming haphazard attitude; one that mixes a Mother Earth-majesty surfer aura, Namaste meditator with a Vietnam vet, and worldly empathetic defiance producer.

Jim Hatchett, a sixty-something Abstract Expressionist artist has been calling Texas home for most of his life. The unassuming abstract painter was the premier dirt painter during the self-proclaimed ‘decade of dirt’ in the 1980’s and 90’s.  Now, Hatchett has evolved into one of the leading Texas painters of our generation.  The level of clarity, tightness and development in his “action paintings” are juxtaposed with explosive movements; Tai Chi inspired sweeps of color and intuitive gestural marks that seem to be driven from an outer worldly phantasm of galactic divination.  Definitely not faking the expressionistic aspects of his abstract paintings, Hatchett honors his mentors like Salvatore Sarpitta and Normal Bluhm with his sincere renditions of 1950’s Ab-Ex sensibilities that are true grit and glory.  Bluhm worked from a model just like William de Kooning; Hatchett works from nature like O’Keefe.  However, unlike these household names, the Houstonian now falls outside the mainstream gallery ventures in his hometown. 

Jim Hatchett’s dream is to have a one man exhibition of new paintings at the Station Museum of Contemporary Art which would be curated by his favorite colleague, Station Museum of Contemporary Art Museum Director, James Harithas.  Other than that, the commercial aspects of making art do not appeal to him. His choice of friends in this often ‘cut throat’ business reflects an ‘old school’ respectability where there is a trusted circle of friends and that is all that matters.

“Selling…I could care less…I can exist without selling,” says Hatchett.  “I love every one of them (the paintings) they are like children to me.  I sometimes dig them out and look at all of them and think ‘Jesus, how did I do that?’  They all are magnificent masterpieces in my eyes…and that’s all I care about.”

“Everything I am looking for, I get in the making of the painting; all the joy, all the fulfillment…it comes to me when I am creating them.  Sales would be nice, but I don’t need them,” he goes on to say.

From 1968-69 Jim Hatchett served in Vinh Long, Viet Nam. “I missed the Summer of Love,” he says. “I was there (in Viet Nam).  However, both his main mentors are also vets; Norman Bluhm and Salvatore Scarpitta both served in WWII.  But, Hatchett does not use the art as therapy for PTSD as some returning veterans have.

“In 1978, I was at U of H (University of Houston) and Salvatore Scarpitta was brought in for an art and teaching residency for one year.  Us students were able to paint alongside him for this big mural that I think last time I heard was in storage at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, but I imagine it still belongs to U of H.  Sal would have us mix up these paints and say, dab it here, spread it here, drip it here. We were excited to do that,” Hatchett said.

Over the next ten years Hatchett would go on to gain regional attention in the 80’s with exhibitions at some well-known galleries in Houston.  However, leading into the 90’s he began to limit his color palette and change from traditional painting mediums to dirt, sand, rocks, and sticks (Mother Nature).  Always an avid outdoorsman, Hatchett would make a yearly pilgrimage to Big Bend National Park. This was his psychologically cleansing journey to purify himself.  He became more and more inspired by the world, by this mystical place.  Inevitably, his art began to reflect the supernatural elements of Big Bend.  Hatchett began creating oversized “paintings” that were reflective of Tibetan sand mandala paintings.  The meditative tapping and sifting of sand onto panels created an energy that Hatchett could not capture in his previous work.  His solo exhibition at the Station Museum of Contemporary Art in 2003 titled, “A DECADE OF DIRT” showcased ten years of this series.  In the exhibition catalog, museum curator Tex Kerschen writes: “These paintings do more than invoke transcendent states…they are as bound to ecology as they are to aesthetics.”

“The Station showed ten years of that work, but I really explored it for twelve,” he says.  “I felt like when the show came down, it was the end of the run for that series...I was bound to greys and browns for 12 years.  I was ready to explode into color and really paint!”

After leaving his job within the museum administration at the Art Car Museum, a folk art institution in Houston dedicated to the urban phenomenon of Art Cars, Hatchett started a new journey.
“Not working a 40 hour work week was a big shock to me. I did not know what to do with myself…I was lost, or in mild shock…, so I started painting and have not stopped. I paint from the time I get up to the time I go to bed. This last year I bet I have painted 200 paintings,” he says.

In talking about his new Ab-Ex work, Hatchett says he has known, friended, and painted alongside the “real deal.”  He knows what goes into making traditional Abstract Expressionistic work, and it shows.

“There is only one way to do it,” he says.  “Fast.  You can’t nit-pick, you can’t slow down, you can’t think about it.  It’s pure joy, its pure ecstasy; my paintings are the residue of that joy.  I think I intuitively respond to the paintings on an unconscious level…whether I am channeling some universal energy or some other thing, I don’t know.  I lose track of time when I am in the zone creating.  I skip meals and soon its hours later than when I started.  Three hours feels like 10 minutes.”

One of the new paintings from 2016 titled “Flashing the Plasma,” a 40” x 32” acrylic on illustration board, is a wonderful example of Hatchett’s ‘explosive’ energy as he delivers a lyrical composition with sweeps, scraps, drips, dabs, rubs and wisps that resonate with a seductively robust energy; a visual two-dimensional concubine that wants to engulf the viewer in a whirlwind of cosmic thrusts.

“Shed Luster,” a 40” x 32” acrylic on illustration board, is a complex and multifarious arrangement of color bands scraped down to minimal pigments that deliver evidence of some violent and swift attack, stealing the impasto off the painting.  In the process of scraping the paint away, Hatchett pushes the remainder of that color into the layer below.  Reds mingle with blues in a forced and arranged marriage kind of way.  We sense cohesion of the underneath resisting the traumatic suppression of the artist. Hatchett leaves pockets or windows to the unaltered deposits below.  We see the strata of color as celestial bursts.  Hatchett shows us artist-driven violence juxtaposed with a heavenly aura brooding and simmering like a NASA-esque image of nebulae. 

Jim Hatchett’s paintings are pure and unaltered interstellar energy put down on canvas, paper and board; light years beyond the fakers and makers. 
Copyright © 2016 JR Mooney Galleries, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email because we like to send you news about J.R. Mooney Galleries and the Texas art community.

Our mailing address is:
JR Mooney Galleries
8302 Broadway
San Antonio, Tx 78209

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