The Dayton Historical Society is pleased to present 17 beautiful acrylic and oil paintings on board by local award-winning artist Pct. 4 Justice of the Peace Larry Wilburn. The art show will take place at The Old School Museum (111 Houston St.) in Dayton on Saturday, March 25 (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.), and on Sunday, March 26 (1 p.m. to 4 p.m.), and is free of charge.
A drawing from among attendees’ names will take place near closing time of the exhibition for an art print of one of Wilburn’s paintings.
Wilburn is known primarily for his paintings of waterfowl that are depicted in fine detail. Other subjects of his paintings are ponies, buffalo, and landscapes.
At the art show, he will also be unveiling some never-seen-before artwork that he recently completed, including some nostalgic landscapes from the area. One of his most recent works replicates an iconic photograph taken at the turn of the twentieth century of rice wagons hauling their burlap-bagged crop through downtown Dayton.
Wilburn, who also owns Pappy’s Barbecue food truck, started painting at the age of 11, teaching himself and using inspiration from the marshes near his childhood home on the Trinity River.
“Duck hunting was my thing as a kid. I was eaten up with it. I even guided some tours. As a kid, I wasted all my notebook paper drawing ducks and stuff from nature,” he said.
Wilburn painted until the age of 25 when he abruptly quit painting for 30 years. Wilburn explained that “life happened,” causing him to set aside his love of painting to raise a family and build a business.
In his mid-50s, Wilburn renewed his love of painting, and began again, even learning a new medium – acrylics.
“A little voice in my head kept telling me to paint, paint, paint. I went down and bought some supplies and started. I have been blowing and going, and have painted a bunch since then,” he said.
When asked why he felt the need to switch from oils to acrylics, he explained that had started entering the Duck Stamp contests and was told he would never win unless he used acrylics.
“They said I couldn’t get the intensity, so I began to teach myself to paint in acrylics. It was quite a struggle and gave up on it a few times,” he said. “My very first acrylics painting, when I made up my mind that I was going to do it, came in seventh against the top artists in a national competition.”
The public is cordially invited to the viewing of Judge Wilburn’s paintings.