Phil Durst

Phil Durst, adjunct law professor at University of Texas and civil liberties attorney, is best known as a collagist creating artwork with other people’s scraps and leftovers.


As a collagist, he is drawn to pattern and repetition, which are also the hallmarks of quilting. As quilts were traditionally made with scraps and left-over fabrics, Phil also likes to work with materials that have also been cast-off or designed for other purposes. He enjoys working with paint chips, old books, candy boxes, and other packaging that all have such beauty even though they were never designed to last. Such a tremendous amount of artistic talent, choice, and color goes into such ephemeral packaging, that he likes to preserve their beauty and vibrancy. He enjoys the effect of taking such colorful materials and making small pieces that, hopefully, when added to many others, can create a landscape or effect greater than its components.

In addition to creating these collages and my other art projects (my desk is built out of 480 mineral water bottles), Phil also practices employment and civil rights law with a small firm in Austin, and has been an adjunct law professor at U.T. Law School since 1999. His work also, often, has a quilt-like quality, based upon the influence and tutelage of his wife, Sarah, who is an accomplished quilter (and who usually is described with the term “long-suffering”). Phils looks forward to creating art on a more full time basis, after his “damn children are finished with college.”

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