Art & Culture
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Painter Robert Hurst is one of the top sports artists in the country. In addition to his sports themed artwork he creates vibrant music and western themed paintings.
2507 Campden Dr., Austin, TX 78745
A Damn Fine Artist
Local Business Spotlight: Robert Hurst Gallery
Maggie Mae’s asked me to create a mural celebrating what makes Austin…well, Austin. From the Founding Father to how Austin stayed the state capital to today’s influences. Austin is not so much weird as it is unique. The geographical centerpiece of Texas. The people that are drawn here for creative and ideological discourse. That’s why I’m here!
Robert Hurst started his art career as a medical illustration student at Stephen F. Austin University and North Harris County College, where he graduated in 1982. He then went on to study painting at The Art Institute of Houston in 1983. Despite his background of formal education, however, Hurst is mostly self-taught. Since leaving The Art Institute of Houston, Hurst has grown to become famous nationally, being highly sought-after and included in the collections of the Dallas Cowboys, the University of Texas, the Babe Ruth Museum, the Negro Leagues Museum, the Star of Texas Fair and Rodeo and many more. In 1997, he became the official artist to the Texas Sports Hall of Fame, in 2006, he was named official artist to the College Baseball Hall of Fame, and he was most recently named the official artist for the Texas Heritage Songwriters Association.
Hurst’s work includes a broad range of subjects, but his main focal points include music, sports and Western paintings. It may originally seem that his broad range of specializations would make it difficult to clearly brand himself and his artwork. It seems counterintuitive that a Western painting can be depicted accurately in the same style that a music painting or even a sports painting can be depicted without one of them seeming slightly off or being slightly beyond the scope of the artist’s abilities. But that’s one of his more remarkable qualities—his ability to effortlessly utilize a style that is both all-encompassing to every subject he depicts and clearly a defining aspect that makes Hurst’s work uniquely his. What makes his work unique and notable is his use of broad brushstrokes and awareness of color that blend together to produce realistic subjects and the sharp contrast they make with the abstract backgrounds he gives them. Every painting seems to use this formula, making images that are not only awe-inspiring but are also clearly uniquely Hurst.
Despite having galleries nationwide, Hurst has found a niche in Austin—both stylistically and with content, Hurst’s artwork fits the unique and talent-driven bill that seems to be required in order to thrive in Austin. Seeing as Hurst is a perfect representation of the artistic talent that Austin has to offer, visitors and locals alike should make the time to stop by one of the three galleries where Hurst’s art is featured.
In order to see his more music-centric art, you should stop by Wild About Music at 115 E. 6th Street anytime between 10 am-7 pm Monday-Thursday, 10 am-9 pm Friday-Saturday or 10 am-6 pm on Sunday. A broader range of his work is available at both the Metropolitan Gallery and Maggie Mae’s on Sixth Street (2124 E. 6th Street #106 and 323 E. 6th Street, respectively). Maggie Mae’s is open 3 pm-2 am daily.