Prolific Texas Artist Billy Hassell in Spotlight for TMA’s Illuminating Nature Exhibition Dec. 15-March 23
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Prolific Texas Artist Billy Hassell in Spotlight

for TMA’s Illuminating Nature Exhibition Dec. 15-March 23


(TYLER, TX) December 3, 2013 – New works by a Texas artist and environmentalist widely known for capturing the natural beauty of his native state on a grand scale are the focus of the Tyler Museum of Art’s next major exhibition Illuminating Nature: Recent Paintings and Works on Paper by Billy Hassell, opening to the public Sunday, Dec. 15.

Hassell himself will be on hand to share insights on his work during TMA’s Donor Appreciation Holiday Party and Preview Reception from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 14. Call (903) 595-1001 or e-mail for reservations.

The exhibition continues through March 23, 2014 in the TMA’s Bell Gallery. General admission is $5 for adults, and $3 for seniors and students, with group discounts available. TMA Members, children 12 and under, and Tyler Junior College students receive free admission.

Organized by the TMA, Illuminating Nature features close to 30 recent paintings, lithographs and mixed-media creations by Hassell, an artist noted for his large canvases and vivid color palette – including several freshly completed pieces never before seen by the public. Many of the notable works in the exhibition highlight the Dallas native’s best-known subject of birds, such as Road Runner South of Marfa, a painting the TMA added to its Permanent Collection in 2011; and a woodland scene capturing the distinct character of the Tyler area, 2012’s Spring in East Texas.

Hassell selected the exhibition’s title to illustrate the complexity of his creative vision, which throughout his more than three-decade career has blurred the lines between the literal and conceptual representation of the flora and fauna of Texas.

“The title of my show, Illuminating Nature, is based on two meanings of the word, illuminate, the first being to cast light upon or clarify and the other to embellish – as when referring to the embellishment of a Medieval manuscript,” Hassell said in his artist’s statement. “In my work I do both – clarify nature as I see it – and embellish it by emphasizing colors and than patterns that occur in nature.”

Hassell has been the focus of more than 40 solo gallery and museum exhibitions since the early 1980s (including the Longview Museum of Art), and he has received numerous public commissions to create artwork for clients including Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, the University of Texas at Austin, and the Audubon Society of Texas. In addition to the TMA, his work is included in the permanent collections of the Dallas Museum of Art, Fort Worth Museum of Modern Art, the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston – and in the private collection of former President George W. and First Lady Laura Bush.

Sponsors for Illuminating Nature (as of release date) are Mr. D.M. Edwards, Patron; Joyce and Bill Pirtle, and James E. Walker, Collectors’ Circle-Gold.

The TMA, accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, is located at 1300 S. Mahon Ave. on the Tyler Junior College main campus off East Fifth Street. Regular hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, and 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday; the Museum is closed Mondays and most major holidays. The TMA is supported by its Members and TJC. For more information, call (903) 595-1001 or visit


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