Jimmy Houston is a native Houstonian with a Scottish lineage that dates back to the 1200's. As a young boy, he was always sketching and drawing. He studied film and animation and graduated with a degree in Radio TV Film at the University of Texas @ Austin. Jimmy Houston is a ‘Retro-Animation Artist’, who re-evokes the ‘Baby Boomer’ era with deft strokes and colorful characters. At his core, he is storyteller, who takes the observer back to simpler, happy times. Jimmy has created a cast of memorable characters. Two characters are central to his brand, “Rig and Rex.” These reoccurring twin primates represent the two sides of Jimmy Houston and in every man: classically suited up, yet ready to rumble; strong and confident; yet sensitive to their friends and the world around them.
Jimmy’s characters come alive on the canvas replete with every emotion, uncovering a world of wonderment and imagination. The art is unique in that it bears signature to the old Hollywood animators, but it translates into fine art, with his many characters sculpted onto the canvas and fixed in the viewers mind. His work is ageless, timeless and brings back the joy and innocence that lies within us all.
Jimmy’s Patriotic themed artwork has been one of his most popular series to date. In 2016, many of his artworks were sponsored by Houston businesses in an outdoor mural exhibition located in CityCentre Houston. This series pays homage to all the enlisted service men and women, both past and present and to his brother, Lieutenant John Joseph Houston (d. 2009), who served as a pilot in the U.S. Naval forces.
“I seek to tell stories through my paintings that evoke satire, imagination and a collective nostalgia. My cartoon characters serve as guides to a forgotten existence, often poking fun at the rebellious kid in all of us. The ramshackle world of my pieces strives to remind the viewer of the fearlessness of adolescence. My paintings seek to reveal the wonder of things discovered.
I want to unite the past and present by redefinition. It is fresh and new, yet as inviting as a long forgotten cap gun, a frayed comic book or a grandfather’s pocketknife. I count it a great blessing to be able to interpret and render the images of my imagination. As I continue my journey, my heart and vision remain with storytelling. “
Jimmy's artwork is sold at the Muir Fine Art Gallery located in CityCentre Houston, a popular luxury retail | residential | commercial development with anchor restaurants that mirror Highland Village. The popularity of his artwork has reached a point where originals are getting scooped up within days of their release and collectors eagerly await the newest piece to emerge from his studio.
Jimmy signed with CJL Media Arts Group to manage the growing demand for his artwork within the US and in countries like Norway, Canada, Mexico and Argentina. His artwork is now available as limited edition hand-highlighted giclees, which enable both first-time and seasoned collectors, the ability to acquire and enjoy his artwork. CJL Media Art Group owners, CJ Alvarez and John Muir Lockhart say of Jimmy, “Jimmy’s humble charm, solid work ethic, coupled with his extraordinary talent and appeal are the ingredients for his success.” "We see Jimmy’s talent reaching the likes of Seth McFarland (“Family Guy”) and Sam Simon (“The Simpsons”) because of his creativity and proclivity towards making people feel good."
This year people have expressed the need to surround their environment with happy and hopeful messages. Jimmy Houston's artworks have continued to find their way into new Collectors' homes to create that feeling of comfort and nostalgia.
YEAR IN REVIEW 2017
In February 2017, Jimmy Houston's "Big Game" Exhibition was featured by Muir Fine Art Gallery as their main exhibit. New outdoor murals sponsored by Alphagraphics of Katy and Radio Milano graced CityCentre. Throwback football images featuring Rig & Rex in leather helmets made a huge impact to the Houston visitors and helped get them into the spirit of the Super Bowl LI festivities around town. In addition to the artwork, Jimmy unveiled new custom order retro-apparel and furniture that delighted the crowds. More to come on this front....over the next few months.
In April 2017, Jimmy donated an artist proof of "Big Game" which was auctioned off at the 19th Annual Jacob Green Celebrity Golf Classic Dinner. NFL Seattle Seahawk great Jacob Green and former Houston OIler, Dan Pastorini gathered with other NFL greats to raise funds for several Houston charities including the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Houston.
YEAR IN REVIEW 2016
In January 2016, Jimmy Houston was selected as a Finalist for the 2016 Hunting Art Prize for his submission "Fly Away Home." As evidence of the appeal of his retro-animation genre, this marks the fifth time that the independent Hunting Art committee selected Jimmy's work to be in the Finals. Jimmy was a finalist in 2009, 2012, 2013, 2015 & 2016. This prestigious annual competition is sponsored by the international oil services company, Hunting PLC and is open to Texas-based artists. Although "Fly Away Home" did not win the "top prize", his work was hailed by many as a favorite!
In April 2016, Jimmy Houston was selected to represent the Muir Fine Art Gallery in the eccletic & bohemian Austin Art Festival. As wonderful luck would have it, the Hunting Art Gala fell on the same weekend. Jimmy said it was a privilege to split his weekend between Houston and Austin to attend both events.
On the 10th of September 2016, Dianna Bluntzer, Director of Art Center Corpus Christi (ACCC) and Juan Antonio (Tony) Armadillo, ACCC Board Member, extended an invitation for Jimmy Houston to host an educational art workshop for the Advance Placement Studio art students at the ACCC campus. Twenty-two (22) talented and budding artists listened intently to Jimmy as he explained what it meant to him to be a professional artist, why he selected animation his main genre, how he conceived his twin primate characters “Rig & Rex.” Houston also recognized his amazing support system, which included his wife, Kendra, a Cy-Fair ISD Leadership Development administrator, family, friends and his management team, CJL Media Arts Group. Click here to read the press release.
In June 2016, The Boys and Girls Club of Greater Houston and the Houston Texan Organization awarded Jimmy the honor to paint the first ever "Houston Texan Teen Club Mural" in the U.S.! Top Houston muralists with many walls to their credit all vyed for this exciting opportunity; however, it was JImmy Houston's creativity that won the hearts of the Project Committee Members. Jimmy gives thanks to the Project Committee members and his management team CJL Media Arts Group for their wonderful support and belief in his mural vision.
On November 29, 2016, the Houston Texans Teen Club mural was unveiled at 1520 Airline Drive. Scores of happy teenagers were in attendance as Members of Executive Management Team for the Houston Texan Organization, The Boys & Girls Club of Greater Houston and Academy cut the ribbon to officially open the venue. Jimmy Houston was recognized for his beautiful mural which is a beacon for the neighborhood and will hopefully encourage more donations to for additional teen clubs to be built across the greater Houston area. Click here for more information. http://www.click2houston.com/news/texans-opens-houston-texans-teen-club-with-boys-girls-club
YEAR IN REVIEW - 2015
In February 2015, KHOU “Great Day Houston” interviewed Jimmy for the popular morning show hosted by Deborah Duncan. “I love Jimmy Houston. His artwork makes me smile” stated Ms. Duncan.
The American Heart Association holds their Houston Heart Ball Gala each year in February to raise funds for Heart & Stroke patients and educational programs. Jimmy donated an artwork entitled "Have A Heart", which depicts Rig holding two hearts in each hand. The viewer is reminded that their donations are needed to help those suffering from heart ailments and require expensive treatments or surgery. His painting was one of many generous donations, which helped the Houston Heart Ball meet its fundraising goal of $1.5M for 2015.
In April 2015, Jimmy Houston’s artwork was introduced at Art Expo New York, a world-renowned annual exhibition of the best art gallerists and artists from around the world. Seasoned trade professionals, gallery owners, NY art critics and collectors stopped by Booth #148 to meet Jimmy and talk about the colorful artwork that made them smile. Over the four days of the show, many people purchased pieces. All that stopped by got an opportunity to take home his signed inaugural "Rig & Rex USNY Tour" poster as a momento of their visit to AENY 2015.
In June 2015, Jimmy was invited to join The Mural Project @ CityCentre - Steering Committee. The theme was "Bringing Houston Arts to CityCentre." Urban & mural artists were selected to paint on canvas mesh measuring up to 12' x 26' long. These artworks were placed outdoors in 18 locations throughout the South end of CityCentre. The official public unveiling of the murals took place on July 4th, where over 10,000 visitors voted on their favorite(s). The project took months of planning & coordination and included over 25 mural & urban artists. Being a huge supporter of the Arts in the community, Jimmy was happy to be part of the inaugural and highly acclaimed Mural Project @ CityCentre - Steering Committee that showcased the talent residing in Houston.
In September, 2015 Jimmy joined Ana Villaronga-Roman, Director of the Katy Contemporary Arts Museum (KCAM) "Pieces of Texas" Project Team. Jimmy painted eight special "found object" art pieces, which were affixed to the iron wrought structure welded together by conceptual artist, Felipe Lopez . The non-profit exhibitors, which included the KCAM sponsored structure was featured as a standout at the Houston Fine Art Fair by Houston Chronicle's Arts reporter, Molly Glentzer.
In November, 2015 Jimmy was introduced as "an emerging artist to watch" to the international crowd gathered at the "Dreamscapes - First Look" event curated by Muir Fine Art Gallery and held at the exclusive Marque Club. The event featured artwork by creative genius and legend Sir Anthony Hopkins in his first Houston exhibition.
EXHIBITIONS & ACHIEVEMENTS
AUSTIN ART FESTIVAL 2016: SOLO Exhibitor, April 2016
HUNTING ART PRIZE 2016 FINALIST: January 2016
"Fly Away Home" Submission
AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION: February 2015
2015 Heart Ball - Silent Auction Donor "Have a Heart"
MUIR FINE ART GALLERY: January 2015
Jimmy Houston & Simon Bull Exhibitors
HUNTING ART PRIZE 2015 FINALIST: January 2015
CALVIN 2.0 VIMEO: December 2014
Painting of world-renowned DJ Calvin Harris in the future
HUNTING ART PRIZE 2014
"Tellin' Tales" Submission
002 HOUSTON MAGAZINE: January 2014
New Editions Cover Winner - "Chirp" submission
HUNTING ART PRIZE 2013 FINALIST: May 2013
MUIR FINE ART GALLERY
Solo show “Rig, Rex and Friends” : Feb. 15th 2013
AIMelenoma BENEFIT AUCTION at White Salon: Aug. 15 2012
ARCHWAY GALLERY 4th Annual Juried Exhibition: July 7 – Aug. 1 2012
EAST END GALLERY Summer Select Show: June 15 – June 29th 2012
HUNTING ART PRIZE 2012 Finalist: April 2012
"Big Tex" Submission
JOMAR VISIONS at Hardy and Nance Studios: Apr. 21, 2012
HOUSTON ART AND CULUTRE SCHOLARSHIP
Betz Gallery Juried competition 3rd place: Feb. 2012
ART INSTITUTE OF HOUSTON NORTH
“Shenanigans!” solo show: Feb. 1 – Mar. 3, 2012
HOUSTON ART CRAWL 2011 show: Nov. 19, 2011
LAWNDALE ART CENTER Dia de los Muertos: Oct. 21, 2011
ONE MAN SHOW ZEN art space: Oct. 1, 2011
“Monkey Men in Tin Town”
ELDER ST. GALLERY “The ONE Show”: July 9, 2011
LAWNDALE ART CENTER “The Big Show”: July 1-30, 2011
Three shows at HEIGHTS ART STUDIOS & GALLERY: Apr. 2011 - Dec. 2011
Eight shows at ZEN art space: Dec. 2010 – Dec. 2011
HOUSTON ART CRAWL: Nov. 2010
HUNTING ART PRIZE 2011 Finalist: May 2011
"Goodbye Adios Bon Voyage" Submission