Fine Arts

Jack Morris: Over Five Decades of Art

Written and Photographed by Sharis Roe DeJaynes

Dsc_0015Welcome to a brand new year! “Deck the Halls!” is over and now it is time to “Deck your Walls” or home with fresh, fine art. Third Coast Gallery is just the place. A bit off the art district path is a beautiful and spacious gallery at 2413 Mechanic Street, in downtown Galveston, just a block away from the Tremont Hotel. Inside Third Coast Gallery, you will find owner and resident artist Jack Morris working on commissioned paintings and providing a warm and welcome gallery experience.

Morris has an impressive history as an architect and an artist. He attended college at Texas A&M to become an architect and moved to Galveston in 1974. He has been painting since the early 60’s and still finds his work hung in homes of his early collectors. Jack practiced architecture until 1985, then became a full time artist and now paints almost exclusively in oils. His subject matter varies from Galveston landmarks and architecture, to New Orleans nightlife, to coastal Texas, and other scattered venues.

Dsc_0011Morris’ paintings are influenced by Edward Hopper, Winslow Homer, John Singer Sargent, and more recently by the realistic work of Ralph Going, and Richard Estes. His paintings have been featured in “Architectural Digest” and “Southern Living” magazines. His paintings are found in private collections throughout the United States, Europe, and Australia. In 1994, one of his paintings depicting the Hendley Building in Galveston was exhibited in The National Gallery in Washington, D.C.

In 1985, he retired from architecture and founded Third Coast Gallery in a location on The Strand. The gallery was among participants in the first ArtWalk. He then moved the gallery across from Hendley Market, and moved again for a stint on Postoffice Street.

In 2002, he left Galveston for an opportunity as a fisheries observer/researcher for a non-profit out of Tampa, Florida named Gulf South Atlantic Fisheries Foundation. He observed and researched Turtle excluder devices that go in fishnets, as well as the devices to exclude fish from shrimp nets. After his last stint of 90 days on a 80 ft. boat, he decided to come back to Texas. He then went to work for a tile and flooring company in Houston, and ran their estimating dept. While there, he worked on large scale projects in Colorado, Austin, Texas, and Washington D.C. He also took part in the John Sealy Hospital renovations at UTMB.

Dsc_0030In 2013, Third Coast Gallery was born yet again, in what is the fourth and largest location in the gallery’s history. You can find Morris’ work continuously on display in the gallery. Morris spends much of his time working on commissioned paintings, and is currently working on a painting of “Old Red,” UTMB’s original medical school building, and a painting of the Mardi Gras Arches. He also undertakes portrait commissions.

Morris has two sons. His partner in the gallery is his younger son, Charles. Morris currently resides in both Galveston and Tomball, Texas.

Stop in and let Jack tell you fascinating stories about his own art and the art of the artists featured in the gallery. You won’t be disappointed! Happy New Year and don’t forget to “Deck your Walls!”

Dsc_0012About Third Coast Gallery:

Morris has his studio in Third Coast Gallery in the downtown Historical District, located in the historical 1874 Hanratta Building with over 2,200 sq. ft. of exhibition space.

The gallery’s artists exhibit by invitation only, some for short and specific shows, some long term. The spacious gallery presents a lovely range of fine art, and they pride themselves on showing art and artists other galleries in Galveston do not exhibit. The gallery presents 15-20 artists over the course of the year. In addition to artists from the United States, they have represented artists from Panama, Turkey, Columbia, and Ireland, providing an extended flavor to their art exhibitions.

Make a point to visit this beautiful gallery during ArtWalk January 9th, 6-9pm, at 2413 Mechanic Street. Normal business hours are Thursday-Monday, 11am-6pm, but you’ll usually find Jack there working in his studio on other days as well. For more info call (409)974-4661.

View current artists and works online as well, via their website at or at

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