News 8 Televised Interview June 2009
06/10/2009 05:27 PM
Artist leaves his mark at College Baseball Hall of Fame
By: Paul Brown
The Texas Longhorns are once again Omaha-bound for their 33rd appearance in the College World Series. It's an event they hope to paint burnt orange over the next couple of weeks.
Robert Hurst has dabbled in his fair share of burnt orange paint
over the years.
The official artist for the College Baseball Hall of Fame since 2006, he has painted some familiar faces from Longhorn baseball -- including longtime head coach Cliff Gustafson and his predecessors and UT stadium namesakes, Billy Disch and Bibb Falk.
"Sometimes it's hard to do a coach, you know, at that particular
moment," Hurst said of his painting technique. "Except maybe when they played. I just try to create the excitement of the overall event."
Two of this year's 10 inductees are former Longhorns.
Kirk Dressendorfer was one of the winningest pitchers in Southwest Conference history with 45 victories for the 'Horns.
Catcher Keith Moreland led Texas to three consecutive College World Series appearances and the 1975 national title.
"Every hall of fame I've ever been into, and seen the art that
the other artists have done, it's still there," Hurst said. "That's a pretty cool legacy."
Hurst is one of the top sports artists in the U.S., capturing images with his acrylics in his South Austin studio.
Since 1997, he's been the official artist for the Texas Sports
Hall of Fame in Waco.
"And I had never been in it," Hurst said. "And it seemed like every time I drove by, it was closed. So I made sure I stayed overnight, an extra day, so I could go into the Texas Sports Hall of Fame, and I brought my portfolio with me."
They were hooked, and the relationship led to much more.
Hurst's artwork is now included in notable collections throughout the country.
Hurst said he owes his start to one of the most revered Longhorns in UT history -- a football player by the name of Earl Campbell.
Hurst's very first print came in 1990. It features Campbell hurdling over a player his senior season as a Longhorn.
"Earl had just retired from the Saints," Hurst remembered. "And he was real supportive of me. In fact he did a show with me at Rooster Andrews and he also did a show with me at Bevo's Bookstore. Never charged me a cent. I mean he was out there -- he was helping me begin my career."
And beyond his artwork in the world of sports, Robert is gaining increasing notice for his western and music-themed artwork.
You can check it out on his modestly named Web site, www.ADamnFineArtist.com.