Brazosport Art League opens a new exhibit, “Animalia: Beyond the Jungle”, this week in the gallery, featuring more than 100 paintings in various mediums by artist Doug Hiser and more than 20 large wooden carvings by artist Jim Phillips. The show opens Tuesday, February 15 and runs through Saturday, March 19. An opening week reception will be held in the gallery on Friday, February 18 from 6:30 PM – 8:00 PM.
The majority of Hiser’s art, created with acrylic and watercolor paint, ink and scratchboard, features wildlife from all over the world. From African big cats and elephants to birds and reptiles, Hiser presents his subjects in both bold colors and black and white. The exception to his large collection of animal art is a small corner of colorful superheroes, torn straight from the pages of comic books.
A signature member of Artists for Conservation, Hiser travels the globe seeking inspiration for his craft. He also teaches art, judges art shows, has written 25 books and paints murals, including the Santa Fe Indians Ten Feathers mural at City Hall commemorating the people who lost their lives in the tragic 2018 event.
Hiser’s public art also includes the Silent Skies mural of endangered birds, The Houston Audubon 50-foot bird mural, the Houston Rodeo Boot, “Rodeo Bulls” displayed at NRG stadium, Galveston’s three turtle sculptures, Brazoria Nature Center murals, mermaid sculptures in San Marcos, Wimberley boot public art and the herons of Dickinson Bayou sculptures.
Wood sculptor Jim Phillips initially discovered his love for carving in 2005 after he cut a tree down in his yard and used a chainsaw to create a pelican. The next year, he began selling his carved wood pieces in an art gallery in Galveston, which was destroyed in 2008 by Hurricane Ike. In 2009, he started carving the first of many trees for the Galveston Tree Sculpture project, which created art from trees lost in Ike’s storm surge.
As opportunities to carve continued to increase, Phillips gave up his day job as an industrial equipment salesman in 2013 and started carving wood art full-time. Since then, he has carved hundreds of trees in more than 40 Texas cities and created countless studio pieces sold in the René Wiley Gallery in Galveston.
Tickets to visit the BAL gallery are free, but reservations are required and can be made online at bcfas.org/visit or when you arrive. Hours of operation are 11:00 AM – 3:00 PM, Tuesday through Saturday.