(left to right) Don Koestner, Richard Lack, Kirk Richards and Steve Gjertson in Duluth, Minnesota, August 1995

 

 



Kirk Richards studied with prominent American painter and teacher Richard Lack in Minneapolis from 1976-1980 after earning his BFA and MA degrees in art from West Texas State University. Kirk returned to Amarillo with his wife Linda in 1981. The following year he founded Atelier Richards and taught there until 1988 when he was commissioned to paint three murals for the centennial of First Baptist Church in Amarillo. Also well known for his still life and genre paintings, Richards was one of only 24 artists nationwide to be certified by the American Portrait Society and has painted many of Amarillo's noted citizens including James Setapen, director of the Amarillo Symphony, operatic soprano Mary Jane Johnson, Dr. James Rauscher, chairman of the music department at Amarillo College, Sister Olivia Prendergast, founder of Saint Anthony's Hospice, and the late Metropolitan Opera tenor, Timothy Jenkins.

As a member of the American Artist Professional League he won the Lee M. Loeb Memorial Award for Excellence in 1987, as well as many other national awards and recognitions including the Jurors choice awards in both the Salon International Exhibition in Jackson Mississippi and the Night Walker National Juried Exhibition in Fort Collins Colorado. He has exhibited in prestigious exhibitions including a 4 man exhibition with artists Richard Lack, Don Koestner, and Stephen Gjertson at the Newington Cropsey Foundation in Hastings on the Hudson New York entitled, Beauty: A Rebirth of Relevance ; An exhibition of the American Society of Classical Realism (ASCR) Guild, also at the Newington-Cropsey Foundation in February, 2001; A collaborative exhibition of the ASCR Guild and the California Art Club entitled: East Coast Ideals-West Coast Concepts ; a private showing at Sotheby's in New York City; group shows such as " Classical Realism-The Other 20th Century ," and " Painters of Light, the art of the Boston School ." In 2002 Richards and fellow ASCR Guild member Stephen Gjertson exhibited together in a two man exhibit entitled For Glory and For Beauty , at the Biblical Arts Center in Dallas, Texas. In 2004, Richards was selected from over one thousand entries as one of ten finalists in the Portrait Society of America's International Portrait Competition . In 2004 he also was given a one man exhibition at the Amarillo Museum of Art; Kirk Richards, Classical Realist .

Richards was a contributing author to the book Realism in Revolution: The Art of the Boston School. He was interviewed in, and his work was featured on the cover of the June 2003 issue of American Artist Magazine . He was the subject of a feature article in the September 2005 issue of Southwest Art magazine; in the American Society of Portrait Artists Portrait Signature magazine in 2001; in the June/July 1991 issue of International Fine Art Collector ; and in 1987 in the Classical Realism Quarterly . He wrote an article for the Classical Realism Journal concerning the classical training of Joseph H. Sharp, E.I. Couse, and Bert Geer Phillips, 3 of the artists of the Taos Founders entitled " From the Academy to the Pueblo ," and in 2002 wrote a response to David Hockney's book, Secret Knowledge, which was published in the Classical Realism Journal. For Glory and For Beauty, Practical Perspectives on Christianity and the Visual Arts, co authored by Minnesota artist Stephen Gjertson, is the first book Richards has written, and is a unique volume dealing with its subject from the viewpoint of the professional artist.

He has held memberships in several professional organizations including the American Artists Professional League, The American Portrait Society-certified, The American Society of Portrait Artists, Oil Painters of America, and Portrait Society of America. He was the only artist ever to be elected to join the original roster of the ASCR Full Guild of Artists. He is currently the Vice President of the ASCR and a member of the reorganized artists guild of the ASCR .

 
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