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Barry Phillips the Elder 1939 - 2020


Barry Phillips the Elder was a 1957 graduate of Odessa High School where he was named “Most Artistic” by his senior class.  He began his college education at Odessa College and then attended the Art Center School of Design in Los Angeles, CA before completing a master’s degree in art education at Texas Tech University.  Professor Phillips began his teaching career at Howard Payne University in Brownwood, TX, and then returned to west Texas in 1970 to become chair of the Odessa College Art Department.  Early in his career, he served as a founding member and president of the Texas Association of Schools of Art.  In the 1980’s he founded BRAG Publications, a non-profit exhibition space for contemporary art.  During this time, he began working on his signature Odin’s Odysseys series of mixed media sculptures featuring welded wire fantasy flying machines.  His award winning artwork has been exhibited in over 100 shows nationwide and is included in numerous public and private collections.  In 2002,  Phillips was honored by the Heritage of Odessa Foundation as Community Statesman for the Arts.  He retired from teaching at Odessa College in 2014 after 44 years of service.

The Phillips family welcomes donations in his honor to the Odessa College Foundation (

Barry Phillips the Elder held a 50-year Retrospective art exhibition in 2017.

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