Philip Juras’s paintings express his desire to both explore and understand the patterns of the natural world. His love for nature and art began during his childhood in Augusta, Georgia, eventually leading him to receive a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 1990 and a Master of Landscape Architecture in 1997, both from the University of Georgia. His MLA thesis examined pre-settlement grasslands that once flourished in the southeast, a subject that continues to inspire his artwork. Now living in Athens, Georgia, with his wife Beth Gavrilles, Philip’s work explores the rich aesthetics of a wide range of ecologically intact natural environments. His ongoing projects include Georgia’s barrier islands, fire adapted landscapes of the Southeast, tall grass prairie restoration in Illinois, and the páramo and cloud forests of the Colombian Andes. To depict these subjects Philip combines direct observation with study of the natural science and history of the place. The resulting images invite the viewer to step through the picture plane and experience the natural world beyond.
In 2011 Philip’s exhibition, The Southern Frontier, Landscapes Inspired by Bartram’s Travels, opened at the Telfair Academy in Savannah, Georgia. With is its corresponding award-winning exhibition book, it explored the southern wilderness as William Bartram documented it in the 1770s. The Wild Treasury of Nature, A Portrait of Little St. Simons Island, opened in 2016 at the Morris Museum of Art in Augusta, Georgia. The exhibition and accompanying book examined the natural environments of one of the most ecologically intact barrier islands on the East Coast. His 2017 exhibition, Landscapes of Chingaza (Paisajes de Chingaza) at the Biblioteca Virgilio Barco in Bogotá, Colombia, celebrated conservation of the high elevation environments of Colombia’s Chingaza National Park.