The Boyd Elder experience

Aaron Morton, Kimberly Morton and artist Boyd Elder all of Valentine.

Photo By Lisa Morton

By Lisa Morton

The Advocate traveled to Austin this past weekend and took-in Valentine artist Boyd Elder’s “4 x 4” exhibit at Bale Creek Allen Gallery.  Valentinians commonly add a footnote about their native son and his claim to fame with the Grammy nominated artwork for the Eagles album cover, “One of These Nights,” when describing the small community of about 160 people.  A second album cover featuring his adorned skull work followed with, “Their Greatest Hits,”  the biggest-selling album of the 20th century. 

 Elder, a family friend of The Advocate’s Lisa Morton, along with Aaron and Kimberly Morton, was thrilled to receive us on opening night Friday and flattered that Aaron and Kim wore his t-shirt designs of the famous album covers.  “We’ve kinda taken Boyd’s notoriety for granted because Valentine is so laid-back and he’s never been flamboyant about his work”, said Kimberly.  Aaron chimed in with, “It was really cool experiencing Boyd’s art like this and seeing how well it was received by the huge crowd that attended”. 

 Having lived in Valentine since 1977, this writer was able to share in some of Elder’s following and relished in his stories he’d bring home about the famous people and places he experienced as a result of his work.  A full page autographed picture of the Eagles is included in the Valentine ISD 1976 yearbook as a result of Boyd’s connection to the legendary group.  I was personally introduced to Joni Mitchell who attended a Spanish dance in Valentine years ago along with her guest who delightfully joined in with the band playing the bongos.  Other Valentinians and area friends of Boyd’s have been just as lucky being at the right place at the right time when his creative life collides with extraordinary people and places.

Bale Allen, owner of Bale Creek Allen Gallery was on hand to promote “4 x 4” along with many of pieces of his work.  The range displayed by Bale included a multitude of: bronze sculpture, painting, photography, neon, and  woodwork.

He is currently creating photograph works of vintage buildings and relics where governmental offices once were and titled “White House”.  One print on exhibit is of a former sheriff office building in Sweetwater, Texas and depicts an old frame house with dormer windows used by lawmen as a look-out vantage point for approaching trouble. 

 “4 x 4” will be on view at the gallery through August 28 and is located at 916 Springdale Road, Building 2, #103 in Austin.  For more information on the exhibit, visit the gallery’s Facebook page, Bale Creek Allen Gallery, or drop by if you’re in Austin and tell them Boyd sent you.  You’ll be well received, I guarantee it.  


Hand painted skull art from Elder’s “American Fetish” series

Photo By Lisa Morton


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