Although born, and currently residing, in Pennsylvania, Woodrow Blagg lived many years of his life in Texas. As a very young child in Seminole, Texas, and later as an adult in Fort Worth, drawing has been an essential part of the artist’s creative efforts. Capturing images, ideas and views on paper is something that the artist did easily and his skill developed over time and through studies at the prestigious Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts (PAFA) in Philadelphia. It was training and experience while at PAFA that developed Blagg’s equally skilled accomplishments in painting and sculpture.
Woodrow and his twin brother, are the oldest of ten children in a family which includes three other brothers who also are all accomplished artists. Drawing, painting, and sculpture as well as continuous reading, dialog, discussion, and education have been central to the artist’s life. Both as an artist, and as a person of amazing experiences, Woodrow Blagg is intense, focused, uncompromising, and insatiably curious about art, ideas and people.
Perhaps to fully appreciate Woodrow Blagg as both an artist and an individual, it is essential to keep in mind his adventurous nature. Early in his career the artist spent several weeks living and painting within an indigenous community in Canada . That experience of immersion—of rich and complex human interaction, communication, emotion, observation, challenge, inclusion and exclusion—is a process that has been repeated throughout the artist’s life and career. In the 1980s, Woodrow spent time visiting working ranches in Texas, living and working with individuals who were making their livelihoods as true working cowboys; herding cattle, going out on roundups, and sleeping in bunkhouses were the activities that formed the foundation for observation. The result is a series of exquisite drawings that honor a way of life that is intimately known by very few. Although occurring at times with some personal cost, these adventures seem to have infused Woodrow’s life and art with a distinguished awareness of the world, as well as the multiplicities of ways to engage with life. And through his drawings, we are able to share that view.
For both the artist and Art Center Waco , the exhibition of the ranch drawings, along with the March 26 opening reception, is a way to honor the actual cowboys who are the subject of such beautiful works. Their presence at the Waco exhibition marks the very first time that these men have seen the drawings and Art Center Waco is genuinely honored to help make that possible. As exquisite as the artist’s drawings are, we share Woodrow’s belief that honoring and welcoming the cowboys is the most significant aspect of the exhibition.
Represented by various galleries in Texas, Colorado and New York, Woodrow Blagg’s work is included in several prestigious private and corporate collections. His life has been dedicated to his work and he is uncompromising in both creation and presentation. The intensity and dedication which he focuses on his work is perhaps second only to the devotion he gives to an intimate circle of friends and family.
Art Center Waco is very pleased to be able to share these beautiful drawings with our community and we are equally proud to be an exhibition venue for such an accomplished artist.