J.R. Mooney Galleries of Fine Art:
Art Tips, Reviews, Fine Art, and Custom Framing News
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
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,
the next few weeks we will showcase each published article in a five
part email campaign to help promote the artwork of these regionally
we spotlight the recent article by Katherine Shevchenko on Boerne
Artist, Jay Hester and his preparation for his solo exhibition at J.R.
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,"
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."