Deep in Art: Gridiron Gallery

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Western artist Jack Moss sits at his desk surrounded by canvases he has coated with iconic western images. Moss is a self-taught western artist based at the Gridiron Gallery in downtown Llano. Staff photo by Dakota Morrissiey

Capturing the essence of the American West on canvas is the specialty of Texas-born, New York-based artist Jack Moss Gridiron Gallery on Main Street in Llano.

Moss spent decades coaching high school football before turning professional. He is now one of the most respected western artists in Texas and his work is on full display to gallery-goers.

Gridiron is adorned with iconic scenes of cowboys on bucking broncs, Comanches riding buffalo, and longhorns resting in the shade. Saddles, photographs and sculptures of horses in motion serve as references for Moss’s paintings, which feature meticulous details that only a true cowboy can appreciate. The artist owns horses and chose Llano as his home base to be closer to the Western culture that inspires his work.

“There are still ranches, there are still cowboys, and we have a big rodeo arena,” he said. “It’s still a cowboy town.”

Moss spent most of his professional life on the sidelines of high school football games, coaching teams across Texas. He eventually became an athletic director and retired from the Lake Travis School District in 2009. At this point, he was ready to take his art to the next level.

He paints with watercolors, applying thin layers layer after layer to add depth to his work and create textures that are difficult to achieve with such a thin medium. Moss has no formal education; He taught himself watercolor techniques from books and endless hours of practice.

While based out of Llano, he travels the state and country attending art shows and exhibitions. He also organized the Summary of western artists in 2015, a skilled and small collection of artists dedicated to the preservation and dissemination of Western art and culture.

Moss’ work is worth a visit just to see it, but if you’re looking for a piece, get ready for a big purchase.

“Art is a luxury good. There’s very little impulse buying,” he told 101HighlandLakes.com. “Not many people are going to come in and spend a few thousand on art.”

If you get a wink at a Hill Country sunset, appreciate horses going down country lanes, or know all the dialogue from The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance by heart, then make your way to Llano and take a look at the Works by Jack Moss at the Gridiron Gallery.

WHEN YOU GO

WHERE: 112 E. Hauptstr. in Llano

HOURS: The Gridiron Gallery is normally open on the weekends, but its hours are subject to Moss’ schedule. Call 830-613-5570 to learn more.

DIFFERENT WORK: Moss also takes orders. Learn more here.

Editor’s note: Deep in the Art is an occasional series from 101HighlandLakes.com about art galleries in the area. Sign up for the 101 newsletter, which is emailed out Wednesdays and Fridays for links to series stories and other features and events in the Highland Lakes. Click on the red “Newsletter subscription” field at the top left of the home page and enter your name and email address.

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