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 Charles Bert Rees  (1928 - 2011)

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Lived/Active: Texas      Known for: abstract painting

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
The following information was submitted by Historian and Archivist Carl R. McQueary:

A leap-year baby, Bert was born February 29, 1928 in San Antonio, Texas.
Bert showed an early interest in art, and studied at the Witte Museum. He later graduated from Fox Technical High School in San Antonio in 1945. Shortly thereafter, he enlisted in the Texas State Guard in went into the Army in 1946, achieving the rank of Technical Sergeant.
He enrolled in the University of Texas at Austin in 1950 and completed his Bachelor's of Fine Art in Art in 1953. While studying art at UT he received instruction under luminaries including Everett Spruce, Michael Frary, Kelly Fearing, Dr. Marian B. Davis, William Lester and Donald Weismann.   
He was a frequent exhibitor on the Texas art scene and won numerous awards, includingthe Foleys of Houston Award at the Twentieth Texas Annual in 1958, for his work, Cogitoergosum. In 1959, he completed a mosaic of the Battle of Gonzales which has brightened the front of Gonzales City Hall since that time.
He found his love of Texas Longhorn football at UT, and made lifelong friends with his roommates at the Theleme Co-op. With his brother Arthur he opened Rees Brother's Watchmakers across from the UT campus. He continued to take graduate classes at UT, eventually earning a Master of Fine Arts in 1966.  
Shortly after graduation he taught drawing courses in the UT School of Architecture and joined the faculty of Huston-Tillotson College in Austin. In 1967, he went to Stephen F. Austin State University and joined the Art Department as an assistant professor.
At SFA he taught drawing, design, painting and jewelry studio classes. He also opened his own jewelry design and repair studio, where he made and designed custom jewelry for over 35 years.  In 1970 he married Charlene Hearn, and they had two daughters, Chay Burnett and Chana Blake.  
Life was an adventure for Bert. He loved light and color and shared both with the community through elaborate and legendary Christmas displays year after year. He loved his garden, and every summer he would trek to nurseries to add to his collection of plants. Bert was a member of First Christian Church, Nacogdoches. Even late in life he continued to attend UT football games, and happily attended 60 straight Texas-OU weekends in Dallas.

Charles Bertram "Bert" Rees, Jr., well-known Texas artist, world traveler, Longhorn and lover of life died on April 7 at the age of 83.

This biography from the Archives of AskART:

The following information was submitted by Historian and Archivist Carl R. McQueary:

Charles Bert Rees was born in San Antonio, Texas in 1928.  He served in the army during the last part of WWII. Technically trained as a jeweler and a watchmaker, he enrolled in the University of Texas and received his BFA from UT in 1953.  He continued to take art classes at UT and studied under Everett Spruce, Michael Frary, Kelly Fearing, Dr. Marian B. Davis, William Lester, Donald Weisman and Bill Francis.  While in Austin he operated a jewelry and watch repair store near the UT campus and also served as an instructor of Art at Huston-Tillotson College and taught freehand drawing in the Architecture Department of UT.  In 1967 he joined the faculty of the art department of Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogodches, Texas where he taught painting, design, drawing and jewelry making until his retirement in 1988.
Rees' work is informed by the built landscape and the micro-landscape of watches and mechanical parts.  In these paintings, Rees expressed his debate with visual reality through the transformation of the industrial landscape into the abstract.
He has exhibited in numerous shows and won many major awards, including the Hemphill Award of the Texas Fine Arts Association (1957); Foley's of Texas Award, the 20th Annual Texas Painting and Sculpture Exhibition, Dallas Museum of Fine Arts, (1958), the West Texas Museum Association Purchase Prize, 21st Annual Texas Painting and Sculpture Exhibition, Dallas Museum of Fine Arts, (1958).  His work is in the collection of Texas Tech University, the Witte Museum, corporate collection of SWEST, Inc., and numerous private collection.

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