Artist of The Garden Gallery

Phil Selzer: A Natural Talent From Ohio

Philip Selzer was born in 1954 in Akron, Ohio, and has been a natural talent from a very early age. Today, he is known for his incredible oil paintings that portray everyday life, landscapes, and cityscapes. Selzer has won numerous awards for his work, including being inducted into the Ohio Water Color Society as its youngest member ever.

Education and Career Beginnings

Phil Selzer studied art at the University of Akron, where he graduated cum laude with a BFA in painting. Just before earning his degree, he was inducted into the Ohio Water Color Society through a juried competition. After his studies, he taught secondary art for eight years while continuing to paint and show his work.

Wildfowl Carving and Painting Finishes

Phil also began to dabble in wildfowl carving, and within less than five years, he had become an accomplished world-class carver. He won several awards throughout the United States, including second place at the prestigious Ward World Championship Pairs Competition in Ocean City, Maryland, in 1994. Phil was best known for his painting finishes on his carvings, capturing “lifelike” qualities in his work.

Returning to Painting

In 2005, Phil returned to painting exclusively in oils, where he portrays ordinary people engaged in common activities, offering the viewer a suggestive narrative. His work often depicts the contrast between light and shadow, capturing the play of light, atmosphere, and the seasons of the year. Phil is an avid outdoorsman with a keen sense of nature, and his plein air art showcases his passion for the natural world.

Commissions and Awards

In late 2011, Phil was commissioned by the Franklin County Convention Facilities to complete a painting for the newly built Hilton Hotel in Downtown Columbus. In 2012, he completed another work for the Columbus Partnership. Two of Phil’s paintings were selected for the 2014 Ohio Governor’s Office & Residential Artwork Loan. Ohio artists submit 2D and 3D works that are juried by members of the Ohio Arts Council and the Columbus Museum of Art. The work is displayed in the Governor’s mansion and the State House for a period of one year.

Artist Statement

“I find that what often draws me to a painting subject is the contrast between light and shadow. Trying to capture the play of light, atmosphere, and the seasons of the year can be a challenge and yet inspiring experience. Since a young boy, I have been drawn to nature and this is why I have chosen to concentrate my work as a plein air artist. My work depicts landscapes, as well as cityscapes. Clients would say that they could see themselves sitting a garden or walking through an art fair that I have depicted in one of my works. Everyday people experiencing life!”

Final Thoughts

Phil Selzer’s work has come full circle, from his early days as a natural talent to his successful design and carving career to his return to painting. His passion for nature and the play of light and shadow is evident in his stunning works of art. His work will be on display in the Governor’s mansion and State House, reminding us of the talent and passion that Ohio has to offer.