Borger High School graduate Rex Wilt has devoted his life to creating lasting works of art.
Wilt was the featured speaker at the Borger Rotary Club Tuesday afternoon, and shared details with the crowd about his career in the field of commercial art, a career he shares with his wife Michele.
He said he actually started training for his career when he was twelve years of age. His father kept asking him what he wanted to do with his life, and he told him he was interested in being an artist. His father told him he would starve to death.
“I had all these dreams and aspirations of being an artist, painting landscapes and things like that,” Wilt said. “I soon found out that he was probably right.”
From there, he pursued a career in commercial art. He and his wife have a business known as schoolgraphics.com, and devote their time to painting mascots, logos, and letters on gym floors and walls in Texas, Colorado, Oklahoma, and Wyoming.
“It’s an interesting business,” Wilt said.
He said he received an unusual request last summer from an elementary school in Colorado wanting a map of the United States. He said the challenge was painting on concrete. Wilt said he normally doesn’t wear knee pads in his line of work, but he did have to do on that particular job. He also did a painting of the State of Colorado on another part of the school’s concrete.
He also did a gym mascot painting of a tiger in Anson. Wilt said the center circle of the gym was about 12 feet in diameter, and the actual painting was around 14 feet. He received a poster with the art the school wanted. Wilt turned the poster into a grayscale transparency and used it as a guide for his painting.
“I always start with the eyes when I’m doing an animal mascot, because that way the mascot can watch me while I’m painting,” he said.
He did a project that involved airbrushing for a church family life center in Fort Worth. He was also involved in doing some wall graphic painting for a gym at Byron Nelson High School, a new school in the Southlake-Carroll area near Dallas. Wilt worked with the principal to come up with a design for the painting.
He said he had to do transparencies in several different pieces to make the art work, and his wife moved them around while painting the design.
“Sometimes I can look at something and start painting, but something this precise, I needed more definition,” Wilt said. The painting was done on an acoustic cinderblock wall with openings, and was about 15-16 feet in diameter.
On a job he did up in Colorado, he said he had planned on using wood stain as part of the overall effect. However, the wood on the gym floor was already sealed and would not penetrate into the wood. He had to use a faux stain to get the effect he was looking for, and also used some airbrushing techniques.
“It employed all the different techniques that we use,” Wilt said.
Other work that has been done by Wilt has been floor work in Cedar Hill, south of Dallas; the gym floor at Kilgore Junior College in Kilgore, and specialized painting at the United Spirit Arena on the campus of Texas Tech University in Lubbock. Wilt said he was particularly proud of this work, since he is a graduate of Texas Tech.