Art of the Day: Billy Hassell – Upcoming Exhibition- COMPASS


November 21, 2015 – January 2,2016
Powderhorn Lake

Saturday, November 21
6:00 – 8:00 pm

Compass, an exhibition of new paintings by renowned Fort Worth artist Billy Hassell, will be on display November 21, 2015 through January 2, 2016, at William Campbell Contemporary Art. An opening reception will be held Saturday, November 21, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. The show will include eight new canvases that depict the Texas landscape and its native flora and fauna in Hassell’s signature style combining stylized naturalism with expressive and poetic interpretations. The exhibition willalso premiere the first in a series of five color lithographs commissioned by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation in conjunction with its Keeping It Wild campaign. Additionally, the gallery will

display a small survey of Hassell’s work since he last showed there in 2009. Powderhorn Ranch

Compass explores the diverse plant and animal species found in Texas, with an emphasis on the coastal prairie region. The works display a variety of indigenous subject matter, including flowers, grasses, mammals, and reptiles, along with an array of the graceful, charismatic birds long associated with the artist. With these scenes, Hassell seeks to portray a “sense of community of wildlife,” as they evoke the inextricable link between animals and their habitats, as well as the universal interdependence and connection among all species.

These nature-based narratives reveal a complex matrix of wildlife in an unspoiled landscape, straddling the line between realism and hyperbole. Anchored by austere, placid panoramas, the densely populated foregrounds teem with movement and energy, and a palpable sense of fecundity. Elegantly painted, detailed figures are juxtaposed with abstracted, stylized shapes, all layered within clearly defined, compressed spaces that sometimes burgeon on the chaotic, but remain effectively restrained. Ultra-saturated colors pervade the picture planes, fusing the traditional with the modern and further activating each space. Overall, Hassell’s environments conjure a unique accessibility that is exciting and provocative-a bit mysterious, but also familiar.

Hassell’s new lithograph and several additional paintings in the exhibition evolved out of his collaboration with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation at Powderhorn Ranch-more than 17,000 acres of coastal prairie now protected and managed by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. The pristine coasts, marshes, and wetlands in the area support many migratory birds, including whooping cranes, which recently came back from the brink of extinction. A longtime environmental advocate, Hassell often highlights such species in his work, both to celebrate the resiliency of the natural world and to remind viewers of its fragility.


Over the past three decades, Billy Hassell has evolved into one of Texas’ most in-demand artists. He has exhibited throughout the state in dozens of solo and group

exhibitions in Fort Worth, Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, and Corpus Christi, to name a few.
He has shown work across the United States as well, in such metropolitan areas as Los Angeles, New Orleans, St. Louis, Santa Fe, New York City,
and most recently, in Denver and Kansas City, Missouri. Honors and awards include Best of Show at the 42nd Annual Invitational Exhibition at the Longview Museum of Art, the Anne Giles Kimbrough Award from the Dallas Museum of Art, and Best of Series: Emerging Artists from the Galveston Arts Center, among others.His work was the subject of a 2011 retrospective at the Mabee-Gerrer Museum of Art in Shawnee, Oklahoma.

Meadowlark with Jackrabbit and FoxHassell’s work can be seen throughout the community, and his public art commissions include mosaics at Fire Station #34 in Fort Worth and at DFW Airport’s Terminal D. In addition, he created a series of five limited edition color lithographs for the Audubon Society of Texas and a color intaglio edition for the Texas Nature Conservancy. His work also hangs in the A.C.E.S. Building at the University of Texas in Austin.

Hassell boasts an extensive bibliography; articles featuring his work have appeared in local and national publications, among these Fort Worth’s Star-Telegram, the Dallas Morning News, the New York Times, the Austin American-Statesman, ARTnews, D Magazine, Southwest Art, and Texas Parks and Wildlife. Many public collections include Hassell’s work, among them the University of Texas at Austin, Houston’s Menil Collection and Museum of Fine Arts, the Dallas Museum of Art, the Longview Museum of Art, and the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth. Corporate collections include Texas Instruments, Frito-Lay, and HBO.
Billy Hassell has served on the Exhibition Advisory Panel for the Fort Worth Community Arts Center, and the Artist Advisory Committee for the Arlington Museum of Art. He has lectured and taught art at various colleges and universities, among them Texas Christian University, the University of Texas at Arlington, Texas Woman’s University, and Davidson College. He received a master of fine arts degree from the University of Massachusetts and a bachelor of fine arts from the University of Notre Dame.


Founded in 1974 by William and Pam Campbell, William Campbell Contemporary Art exhibits high-quality contemporary art in a variety of media, including paintings, works on paper, mixed-media constructions, photography, prints, ceramics, and sculpture. By exhibiting nationally recognized artists, along with new and emerging talent, the gallery aims to nurture an awareness and appreciation of the exciting diversity found in contemporary art.

Art of the Day: Otis Jones – Upcoming Exhibition


 October 16 –  November 14, 2015


Friday, October 16
6:00 – 8:00 pm
An exhibition of new paintings by Texas artist Otis Jones will be on display October 16-November 14 at William Campbell Contemporary Art. An opening reception will be held Friday, October 16, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. The show will include up to ten new pieces that continue Jones’ ongoing exploration of abstraction, as he attempts to express an art object’s essence through materials, process, and their resulting visual, physical, and spiritual coalescence.
Jones aims to create work that is at once painting and object. The lushly tactile, abstract pieces both reveal and revel in what he calls their “thingness,” as theybecome physical manifestations of the artist’s aesthetic contemplations. “It’s about trying to create something that is an object that has some mystery to it,” says Jones. “It is open to interpretation. They’re not designed; I’m much more interested in urges and desires.”
Jones’ work is nonrepresentational and austere in composition, which serves to emphasize the parts and process integral to its creation. “It’s important to me to invest myself in the history of the painting,” he says. “I want that history to be visible.” In that vein, he leaves all surfaces and edges exposed, revealing each handmade mark, imperfect shape, and layer that bond to make the finished piece. Jones continues his process of layering, painting, scraping, and manipulating pigment until he feels the piece is resolved and the components inextricably linked. He calls this the “geology” of his art, likening it to rocks that, over time, fuse many substances together to become uniquely whole entities, set in history and preserved that way forever.
The natural world remains a constant influence within Jones’ oeuvre, as evidenced by the rounded edges and imperfect shapes that break from the concept of the traditional picture and plane. Like nature, the subject matter is orchestrated by instinct and not intellect. The acrylic and oil bar paintings are mounted onto three-inch wood supports as well, a presentation that pushes them farther into viewer spaceand encourages thoughtful interaction. This additional depth also allows viewers to see each composition’s strata, and in turn, its physical evolution (not unlike the growth rings of a tree).
Jones strives to create art that is, fundamentally, universal. His paintings address the shared human experience of encountering an object that produces an inexplicable affinity or even passion-an experience that is felt on a deeper level than the rational or cerebral. He wants viewers to approach his work without preconceptions and does not assign contextual titles to the pieces, thereby prompting onlookers to glean the work’s true essence from a personal standpoint. Thus, he hopes to facilitate a dialogue between art and viewer, about the power of that which lives on the surface, as well as what lies beneath and within.
Otis Jones has an extensive exhibition history that spans more than three decades. Most recently, he mounted a collaborative exhibition with Bret Slater at annex14 in Zurich, Switzerland. Numerous other credits include solo shows in galleries across the Metroplex, as well as in Atlanta, Houston, San Antonio, Santa Fe, and New York City. His work has been featured in many group exhibitions as well, including those at the Dallas Center for Contemporary Art, the Dallas Museum of Art, the Art Center of Waco, the Austin Museum of Art, the Cullen Center in Houston, the Arlington Museum of Art, the Galveston Art Center, the New Orleans Museum of Art, and the Museum of New Mexico in Santa Fe.
Jones’ work is featured in numerous publications, among them Art in America,

  Artlies magazine, Artnet magazine, D Home magazine, the Dallas Morning News,
 the Dallas Observer, the Houston Chronicle, New American Paintings, the New York Times, NY ARTSmagazine, Fort Worth’s Star-Telegram, and THE magazine. Hiswork appears in many public collections, among them the Dallas Museum of Art, the MIT List Visual Art Center, the Tyler Museum of Art, and San Antonio’s Witte Museum. Corporate collections include American Airlines, the A.H. Belo Corporation, AT&T, the Compaq Corporation, GTE, and Neiman-Marcus.
Jones earned his BFA from Kansas State University and his MFA from the University of Oklahoma. He has taught at Texas Christian University and the University of Texas at Arlington, among other universities, and in 1982 he was the recipient of a Visual Arts Fellowship Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.