Art is necessary. I have to make art. I teach art and art history to young people because I believe it is necessary. When I look at the world, I do so with an artist’s eyes and I see artistic potential in everything and everyone. I do not come from a long lineage of artistic greatness. I come from a family of bookbinders, scratch bakers, carpenters and machinists. Not artists in the academic sense, but people that taught me about the craftsmanship, creative problem solving, and the grit that it takes to create something that you in turn share with the world. I carry this lineage with me proudly and my artistic process honors this legacy. When I first began making art as a child it was a visual journal of my life and experiences. My art continues to be a record of my life and observations today. I have chosen animals to represent and visually carry out my experiences and observations. I have always had a deep love of nature and animals in particular. The animals that are represented in my work are there because, in some way, they have enriched my life or hold a very personal meaning to me. As subject matter, the animals serve a symbolic purpose to the message that I wish to convey, however I also take great care to represent the beauty and spirit of each animal. The Greek philosopher Plato had a theory about two planes of existence: one being the ideal and the other, the real. I read about this theory many years ago and it has served as a source of inspiration. In my acrylic paintings, the animals move out of or remain in a frame that I have defined in my work as a plane. I think that we all have visions of an ideal situation, life, or world, but we also live in the reality of the situation or experience. Some of the animals choose to remain in their current plane unwilling to leave, while others choose to venture out and risk a new experience. Sometimes the animal balances between the two, keeping one foot in the ideal and the other in the real. The concept of choice and how we face it holds great interest for me. Tim McMeans was born in San Antonio, Texas in 1973 and he still lives, works, and teaches in the San Antonio area. McMeans works in acrylics and also creates mixed media pen and ink drawings. McMeans completed his BFA at the University of Texas at San Antonio studying drawing, printmaking, and art history. He has appeared in more than 17 group exhibitions and 11 solo shows in Texas, New Mexico, and Colorado. He has been nominated as the San Antonio Art League and Museum’s 2016 artist of the year and won the prestigious Julian Onderdonk Memorial Purchase Prize in 2006. McMeans was also awarded the Nancy S. and Charles Cheever Donor Award in 2011 by the San Antonio Art League and Museum. McMeans’ work hangs in both national and international collections.