Gary Kelley has studied painting and design at the University of Northern Iowa earning a BA in art. His early career focused on graphic design and art direction until the late 1970’s when painting and design experiences merged into career as illustrator.
As an illustrator, his awards have included 27 gold and silver medals from the Society of Illustrators in New York; also Best-In-Show recognition in New York and Los Angeles Illustrators’ Exhibitions. He was elected to Society of illustrators (NY) Hall of Fame 2007.
His list of clients includes work for Time, Rolling Stone, Atlantic Monthly, The New Yorker, and Playboy Magazines. Also, The Los Angeles Times and The Boston Globe, Hartford Stage, Arena Stage, The Santa Fe Opera and Geffen Playhouse, pluse numerous advertising and design firms. He created the murals featuring famous authors for Barnes and Noble Bookstores nationwide. Has also worked for the NFL and the NBA and was the official artist for the 2002 Kentucky Derby.
Gary Kelley has illustrated a number of picture books, including The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, Rip Van Winkle, The Necklace, Poe’s Tales of Mystery and Imagination and Macbeth for Young Readers.
Gary has had one-man-shows at the Academy of Art in Cincinnati, The University of the Arts (Philadelphia), Lustrare Gallery (New York), Every Picture Tells a Story (Santa Monica), Hartford (CT) Art School, Art Institute of California (Laguna Beach), The Kentucky Derby Museum, Creation Gallery in Tokyo, and the Pablo Neruda Cultural Center-Bagnolet (Paris) France.
Group shows include; The Normon Rockwell Museum (Stockbridge, MA), The Chicago Art Istitute, The Museum of American Illustration (NY), School of Visual Arts (NY), The McNay Art Museum – San Antonio, Mystic Seaport Museum (CT) and Librarie Nicaise in Paris.
Gary Kelley has given lectures and seminars at the Smithsonian, Corcorsn Gallery, Art Center College of Design, Art Institute of Southern California, Academy of Art, San Jose State University, Ringling School of Art, Hallmark Cards, Rhode Island School of Design, Societies of Illustrators in New York and Los Angeles, The Chicago Art Institute, The Norman Rockwell Museum and the Montreuil Book Fair in Paris.
He has taught and given workshops at the Illustration Academy, Syracuse University Graduate Program, The Hartford Art School and the University of Northern Iowa.