Jesse Reinhard is a self admitted recluse, but you can find his art hiding all over Grayson County in tunnels, caves, and of course, art galleries. He is a husband and father of one, art teacher to many, and a bit of a rebel artist in hiding to Grayson County.
Reinhard is a prolific painter and print maker heavily associated with brightly colored owls; his most notable is the Owl Lamppost near Main and Rusk streets in Denison. His work is a sort of refined comic style with line of dark humor marbled in.
Reinhard has spent most of his life as a painter and print maker. He exhibits his work on a regular basis in art galleries and museums in Texas and New Mexico but he also creates a lot of public art and murals.
Growing up in Denison he spent the majority of his youth as a self-propelled artist, never having access to art classes until he reached Grayson College. Once there, he met former Grayson College Professor Steve O. Black and with his help he became more serious about pursing a career as an artist. After Grayson College he moved to New Mexico to earn his master’s degree and then returned back home with his family.
He has now come full circle teaching painting and art appreciation at Grayson College to the college students as well as continuing education.
“The Continuing Education students learn together with the college students in classes and they set real good examples to the kids as far as work ethic,” he said. “They’re all expected to do the same work.”
His main focus right now is on public art and painting murals. He has one project in the works with the city of Denison for their dumpster project but he hopes for more. Hoping to do murals in bigger cities like Dallas, Ft. Worth, and Oklahoma City, he has found it difficult to get approval from the city for many of his mural works despite having requests from local business owners.
He cites that it may be his style or perhaps there are too many murals going up at the time.
“I’m patient though; I will keep trying,” he laughed.
Reinhard has found hardships in trying to earn an honest living in Texas as an artist as New Mexico was much more open to art culture.
“It takes a lot of discipline and determination to try and make a living as studio artist,” he said Financials aside, he has found his greatest joy in collaborating with his daughter Ava, 5, on art projects.
Reinhard is currently showing his work at Grayson College, which has open exhibits to the public, both to enter and to attend. He believes the programs at Grayson College are welcoming to all levels. He is motivated that we should support artists because art supports us.
“I’ve met plenty of artists in grad school and art has kept many of them out of trouble,” he said. “Some of them, it has saved their lives, and some people, it’s just their calling and they have to follow that if they feel that inside.”
“I want everyone to know that we have wonderful art galleries here and you don’t necessarily need to drive down to Dallas to find something unique and beautiful,” Reinhard added.
You can find new paintings by Jesse Reinhard’s on his Instagram at jess.reinhard and recently he signed on to be a part of the Lowbrow Hoedown at Tupelo Honey this month.