The story of Scouting has been told through campfire tales, physical and digital photo albums, and official Boy Scouts of America paintings.
In history, only two men have created those official paintings: Norman Rockwell and Joseph Csatari.
Now a third has joined that colorful lineage.
Jeff Segler, an Eagle Scout and former Philmont staffer who has been involved with Scouting for nearly 50 years, has been named national artist of the Boy Scouts of America.
Segler, who lives in Santa Fe, N.M., says he was “stunned” and “honored” to be offered the position. He says he will continue to showcase the magic of Scouting in the spirit of Rockwell and Csatari.
“Both were such great visual storytellers, and there are so many new stories to be told,” Segler says. “It is going to be fun. I’m excited for the challenge.”
A Scouting life
Segler joined Scouting as a Cub Scout and earned the Arrow of Light. He’s an Eagle Scout and served on staff at Philmont for seven years.
“Some of the most life-changing years were my years at Philmont,” he says. “I met some of my best and lifelong friends there, experienced some of my most informative leadership experiences, and still maintain a close relationship with the ranch.”
Rockwell’s work was part of Segler’s time in Scouting, as well. Segler admired those classic images as a Scout so much that when he discovered a knack for art, he based his own techniques on Rockwell’s methods.
“I love his work,” Segler says. “I even visited the Old Corner House Museum just after his death, which was the original Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Mass.”
Segler first gained Scouting fame when he created the cover for the third edition of the Boy Scout Fieldbook, in use from 1984 to 2004.
The cover displays a painting of an older Scout holding a hiking staff. All around him are scenes of rappelling, skiing, cycling and canoeing.
Today, Segler is a full-time Western artist who shows his work in galleries in Dallas; Santa Fe; Scottsdale, Ariz.; and Jackson Hole, Wyo. Segler and his wife, a former Philmont Ranger, have two children.
And he’s still involved in Scouting. Segler was a den leader for his son’s Cub Scout den from Tiger through Webelos and is now involved with Troop 22 from Los Alamos, N.M. Combining his time as a Scouting youth and Scouting volunteer, Segler has been actively involved in the BSA for 46 years.
Now that he’s our national artist, that number will continue to climb.
Segler’s first piece for the Boy Scouts of America is scheduled to be released this year. The artist says he has many ideas for paintings but knows that his first piece “needs to convey a story.”
I know I speak for many in Scouting when I say we can’t wait to see what Segler has in store.
National artist/sculptor of the BSA
While Jeff Segler is the BSA’s national artist, Susan Norris, a Cimarron, N.M.-based sculptor, is our national artist/sculptor.
Norris is creating life-size bronze sculptures of Ernest Thompson Seton, a Boy Scout and Lobo the wolf that will be displayed at Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico.
Learn more and see work-in-progress photos here.