By: Gabriel Diego Delgado
Jay Hester: TEXAS – “Stories of the Land”
Acclaimed Texas artist, Jay Hester, is a rugged cowboy type that has called Boerne, Texas home for over twenty-five years. His rough and tough bearded mountain man appearance can be misleading, as Jay has been most instrumental in helping carve out the niche known as the Boerne Professional Artists. Hester, known for his credibility and integrity throughout the city and with other local organizations, is often regarded as the “Godfather” of the Boerne art community. His decades as a successful Native American and western painter in New Mexico and Texas has earned him high accolades, but his commissioned bronze sculptures at USAA in San Antonio, The Woodlands in Houston, Driscoll Children's Hospital in Corpus Christi, Boerne's Veteran's Park, Fredericksburg's Markt Platz, and the Texas A&M Galveston campus have placed him a cut above the rest.
Hester has also helped place his residence in the Texas Hill Country on the artistic map by his continued and successful involvement in several national art shows, like the Phippen Western Art Show & Sale in Arizona, Sculpture in the Park in Loveland, Colorado, and The Indian Market of Santa Fe. He has exhibited his work nationally at many major southwestern art galleries, mentored students who have gone on to become professional artists themselves, as well as successfully operated his own gallery, Highland House in Boerne, for over a decade. His attitude, mannerisms, and straightforward and demanding personality show why and how he has been able to sustain such a unique career in the western art genre for so long.
A former student of the famed Howard Terpning, Hester now moves freely in his own glow of importance. This monumental Texas artist is sought out by major western art collectors, and is growing in prominence, but remains humble when compared to the man whose work he has admired for so long. Hester is now excited to be working on a new body of artwork, one that will bring to life some forgotten stories of the Texas Hill Country.
Jay Hester: Texas –“Stories of the Land,” his first solo exhibition in over 20 years, will be held at J.R. Mooney Galleries in Boerne, opening October 7th & 8th, 2016. The preparations for this exhibition has him in the saddle again, meeting with local historians, sketching compositional drawings and excitedly gathering materials to help piece together overlooked moments in Texas history and artistically articulate it to the world in only a way a western artist can.
Hester now works out of a picturesque art studio in Boerne, Texas, complete with a reclaimed eight-foot oval stained glass door, made from an ox cart wheel, portraying an artistically embellished cow skull with horns. Built by the artist, this compound sits seconds away from the picturesque and serene Cibolo Creek in Boerne. Quick to give you a tour of the small “sleepy” bedroom community outside San Antonio, Hester is the City of Boerne’s unofficial art ambassador, having been commissioned by the city for outdoor sculptures, at times working with and within various city departments, and chairing many organizational boards.
With Hester’s “grab the world by the horns” mentality, he has been working feverishly on producing over a dozen large and medium size oil paintings, which pay homage to his beloved Texas Hill Country. Current research includes the legendary Dr. Herff of Boerne, Comanche raids at Linnville, ambushes at Plum Creek, the camel depot of Camp Verde in Centerpoint, Texas Ranger skirmishes at Bandera Pass, and Native American settlements around Little Joshua Creek, only to name a few. Combining historically accurate events with his signature artistic aesthetic, Hester is working through nostalgic western tales as he gives us his own visual appreciation of regional accounts which are overlaid with complex, yet serene ballad sensibilities reflective of the Old West’s heydays.Bringing western and Native American collectors to Boerne from all over the southwest, TEXAS- “Stories of the Land” will be the premier fall 2016 art exhibition to attend. Hester will be on hand to discuss the historical documentations that have influenced the new artwork, as well as his signature western aesthetic.
Imperative to this exhibition is the painting depicting the famous cataract surgery that Dr. Herff supposedly performed on a Comanche Chief, saving his eyesight and building trust among the early German settlers of Boerne and the Comanche Indians. This legendary act of courage will be portrayed in a 48” x 60” masterpiece showing the importance of the doctor’s innovative surgical discoveries and techniques.
“Dr. Herff was one of the founders, in 1853, of the Bexar County Medical Society and Texas State Medical Association (now the Texas Medical Association) and of the West Texas Medical Association in 1876. He also served on the Texas State Board of Medical Examiners. Most notably, Herff was a co-founder of the city’s first private infirmary in 1869, operated by the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word. Santa Rosa Infirmary became Santa Rosa Hospital.” Source: San Antonio Express writer, Jessica Belasco.
Join J.R. Mooney Galleries of Fine Art - Boerne in October 2016, as they celebrate the great history of Texas with Jay Hester’s TEXAS - “Stories of the Land” exhibition.
By: Gabriel Diego Delgado