East Texas native Jeffie Brewer likes to say he makes sunshine out of paint and steel. His big and bright sculptures prove it.
The artist: Brewer grew up in Palestine, a small, rural town in East Texas, where his parents owned a junkyard, a dangerous and often magical place for an only child.
Brewer earned an MFA in sculpture and metals and an MA in sculpture and painting from Stephen F. Austin State University. He also holds a BFA in drawing, printmaking and jewelry making from Sam Houston State University.
From 1998 to 2019, Brewer taught a variety of undergraduate and graduate level art classes, including sculpture, typography and expressive drawing. In addition to his teaching, Brewer is founder and president of Orange Cat Inc., a design and fabrication company.
He has been a full-time artist for a little over two years.
The company/studio: Jeffie Brewer Studio, based in Nacogdoches, TX, started in 2001. The artist’s studio/workshop is 100 yards downhill from his house, which sits on 20 acres in the country.
The goods & materials: Big, bright sculptures of creatures, monsters, robots and curious forms made from large sheets of cut steel and paint. He uses acrylic urethane and sometimes, auto body clear coats.
What’s popular: Animals, especially bunnies, and weird monsters. Prices vary, but a seven-foot is $7,000. A 20-inch bunny is $1,200.
Other favorites: Mini-sculptures ($175).
Fun, special or unusual requests: Someone asked for a sculpture of just one eye, but most people can’t outweird me, said Brewer. “I am usually the one saying, ‘let’s make it 20-feet tall and paint it pink.’”
Big break (s): Some, but mostly little breaks, including:
- A touring art show that started in 2019 at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, AR, and moved to the Baker Museum in Naples, FL. The show wrapped up last May at the University of Houston.
- Having his 10-foot pink bunny placed in front of the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans from 2015 to 2020. The bunny is now in Houston for one year.
Awards: Won a couple of art shows and awards while teaching. “The Texan in me won’t allow me to enjoy or be prideful of any of that.”
Public commissions: Many, including:
- A yellow “Artmadillo” at Covenant Children’s hospital in Lubbock.
- A fox at a Montessori school in Jackson, MS.
- Yves Klein Blue Heron at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science in Albuquerque.
- Bull in Boerne, TX, that greets people as they come into town (see image below).
- Finishing a commission for a collector in the San Francisco Bay Area of her sweet little dog Lola.
- Heading to Florida in September to install a piece, a butterfly on a hand, in the Monarch Art Trail in Watersound.
- Starting a large bear sculpture for a hotel in Santa Fe, NM.
- A gallery show at the GVG Contemporary in Santa Fe, opening Aug. 20.
- Showing some of his work at the Shain Gallery in Charlotte, NC, in late August.
Where to buy: jeffiebrewer.com
Get social at: jeffie brewer on Facebook, Instagram and TikTok