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 Joel Phillips  (1960 - )

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Lived/Active: California      Known for: cowboy, missions, western, horses

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BIOGRAPHY for Joel Phillips
1960 (Midland, Texas)

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Often Known For
cowboy, missions, western, horses

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Living in California in horse country between Santa Barbara and Los Angeles, Joel Phillips is primarily a watercolorist of western genre, usually figures with horses.

He grew up in Texas and developed a great love of horses, encouraged when he worked on his grandfather's farm in Abilene. He went to Pepperdine University in Malibu, California, and studied art but rebelled against the pressure to paint abstraction.

Biography from Trailside Galleries:
Born in Midland, Texas Joel Phillips grew up surrounded by cowboys and the ranching lifestlye. Inspired early on to be an artist, he spent much of his childhood painting horses and cattle on his great uncle’s horse ranch located outside Abilene.

The family moved to California where Joel’s father accepted a position as Dean of the Law School at Pepperdine University. While the move was initially one of “culture shock” for Joel, it soon proved to be a fortuitous one as it allowed him to expand his interest in western iconography.

Joel’s drawing and paintings soon began to incorporate imagery of such California icons as the Spanish missions and vaqueros. Phillips notes, “My paintings are usually an attempt to make a spiritual statement through secular imagery or they are reactions to someone’s visual manifestation of their faith”.

Phillips enrolled at Pepperdine University graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in 1982. Soon after, he moved back to Texas working long days on his great uncle’s ranch and painting in the evenings and in his spare time. He found gallery representation and soon enjoyed the rewards of a thriving art career in west Texas. A few years later, and persuaded by family, Joel found himself back in California where he continued to quickly establish his art career.

Now settled with his wife Shannon and two children in a large horse community west of Malibu, Joel has painted professionally for twenty-one years. He has been featured in solo exhibitions at the Museum of Abilene, Texas and a two-person show at the Frederick R. Weisman Museum. He has participated in various gallery shows and has exhibited in such prestigious venues as the Gilcrease Museum in Tulsa, Oklahoma, the Pasadena Historical Museum and the Autry Museum of Western Heritage in Los Angeles, California. A feature article appears in the November/December issue of "Art of the West" magazine. Joel Phillips’ work was selected for the 2002 Gene Autry Museum of Western Heritage show.

Biography from Altermann Galleries and Auctioneers, V:
Joel Phillips was born in Midland, Texas, and grew up drawing horses and cowboys. Later, his family moved to California, and his imagery began to include the vaquero and the missions.

Phillips attended Pepperdine University and studied under the noted California painters Joseph Piasentin and Avery Faulkner. Of this time, Phillips once said, “Since my professors worked in a much more abstract and expressionistic vein than I did, I feel I was really challenged daily and encouraged to be responsible for every choice and decision I make as a painter.” After graduating from Pepperdine, Phillips moved back to Texas to work on his uncle’s ranch. There, he began developing his unique manner of interpreting the American West.

He has been featured in solo exhibitions at the Museum of Abilene, Texas, and in a two-person exhibition at the Frederick R. Weisman Museum. Phillips also participates in numerous major Western art shows nationwide, including the Gilcrease Museum in Tulsa, Oklahoma, the Autry Museum of Western Heritage in Los Angeles, California and the Pasadena Historical Museum in California. He has been featured in magazines such as "Art Talk" and "Art of the West."

Phillips lives in Agoura Hills, California, with his family.

Reference: artist publication

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