Title: Panther
Date Creation: 2001
Location: 6801 Gaylord Parkway – Interior Texas Sculpture Garden

“Yes, this is a fine panther. It’s hard to carve these big cats. I don’t do so many of them. There’s a lot of work that goes into it to make them look like this – those eyes, those teeth – to make him look real. Yes, this is a mighty fine panther.” - Isaac Smith, Artist

About the Artist

Isaac Smith lives and works in Dallas, Texas. He is a self-taught woodcarver. He grew up in Louisiana and as a young boy, he used to accompany his father on hunting trips into the woods and swamps. When his father shot an animal, Isaac would rush to examine it. What started out as a child’s curiousity would later become his information bank as he used his observations to replicate animal shapes in his woodcarvings.

His favorite subject matter is wildlife that includes birds, frogs, skunks, snakes, whales, bulldogs, opossums, eagles, fish and exotic cats such as tigers,lions,cheetahs, and panthers. He says he can look at a piece of wood and “see the critter in it”. Sometimes Mr. Smith is true to their natural coloration, but just as often interprets his “critters” as he pleases.

Carving for nearly 40 years, he has been in many invitational exhibitions throughout Southwest and is regularly commissioned by private collectors to produce his fierce bulldogs, lumpy frogs, and opposum families. His work in the Texas Sculpture Garden is a rare large cat panther, which he does only occasionally as they are time consuming and labor-intensive.

Gallery: Edith Baker Gallery, Dallas, TX. website:, Evelyn Siegel Gallery, Fort Worth, TX