Rick Kelley

Written by Stacy Chbosky
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Whether painting the majesty of an eagle in flight or the pathos of Jesus on the cross, Rick Kelley captures the beauty of nature and wildlife. From his earliest days, Rick Kelley was a great lover of nature. After his father moved the family to Montana because of a job transfer, the beautiful vistas of the western wilds made their way into Kelley's landscape paintings.

Kelley eventually attended Eastern Montana University. After graduating, his career as a painter took off. Kelley and his wife, who together run Kelley Fine Arts Publishing, donate much of the proceeds of his art to naturalist and conservation causes. Remarkably, Rick Kelley has donated more than 12 million dollars to Ducks Unlimited.

Rick Kelley--An Award Winner

Every year brings new accolades for Kelley and his wildlife paintings. In 1997, he was the Oklahoma Wildlife Art Festival's People's Choice Award winner, which may explain why he was their featured artist the next year. In 1994, he was named Ducks Unlimited International Artist of the Year. In 1990, he won the Eagle Conservation Print of the Year.

One of Kelley's most remarkable achievements is his American Freedom series. This series of three paintings can be hung individually, although they make a spectacular triptych. The three paintings capture the soaring flight of bald eagles, and each contains slightly hidden images that delight the eye and the mind.

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