WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — A self-employed artist known for the murals he painted on many automobiles and 18 wheeler cabs around the east coast and in Wichita Falls was laid to rest today.
Virgil B. Taylor, Jr., 68, was an artist through and through.
The Booker T Washington attendee and 1970 Old High graduate was widely known for his artwork that included murals for the Alliance for the Arts and painting automobiles like McGruff the Crime Dog for WFPD.
Loved ones said his talent was known at a young age.
“In grade school, he could draw anything. He could paint anything,” Johnnie Thomas, Taylor’s best friend, said. “We were both big fans of comics so that’s what he concentrated on a lot of fantasy type things.”
Family members said Taylor created his own comics as well and at just 12-years-old, DC and Marvel Comics wanted to hire him after he sent them his work.
Although his mother would not let him jump at that opportunity, Taylor resided in New Jersey for many years doing creative artwork for the first Heritage Museum in NJ.
Taylor even helped create and design one of the first Chester Cheeto Cat images.
“It took him all the way to both coasts. And he was able to work with people from all walks of life. It was encouraging to see that he was able to use what God-given talent he had and just to touch the lives of people who would otherwise not know about art,” Latrece Bracks, Taylor’s niece, said.
Taylor’s artwork can be found in several businesses in Wichita Falls as well.
He also loved to sing, winning multiple karaoke contests and was a member of the Bethlehem Baptist Church choir that recorded and produced an album.
“I looked up to my uncle. He was soft-spoken, funny and entertaining and I learned some things from him,” Harvey Bracks Jr., Taylor’s nephew, said. “I don’t want to cry, I don’t want to be upset, I just want to smile and be happy that I knew Virgil Taylor Bubba, my uncle.”
Loved ones said Taylor Jr.’s work was touched by God. And because of that, his work, his spirit and the lives he touched will live forever.
“He had a piece of God in him. He had a piece of God to give him the eyesight to give him the mind and the vision of how to do artistry work,” Rev. Johnny Mims, Bethlehem Missionary Baptist Church, said.
Loved ones celebrate the legendary artist that is Virgil B. Taylor Jr. as he is cemented into Wichita Falls Black history forever.