Walt Curlee Bio
I have been a freelance illustrator for 25 years and have worked for a who's who of corporate America including Berol Pencils, Blockbuster Videos, Cirrus Logic, Clark American, Coors, Diamond Shamrock, Duracell, Frito-Lay, GameTek, H. E. B. Brand Grocery Co., Kellogg, Lucasarts, Mattel, MCI, Procter & Gamble, Orkin, Sega Genesis, and Thermos/Warner Brothers.
Born into a military family, I am the oldest of five boys. I started drawing at an early age. Due to my obsession with doodling, I had a tendency to neglect my school work. After 4 years in the Marine Corps, I acquired my art education at the Art Institute's of Fort Lauderdale and Atlanta. I work from my home studio and enjoy living the country life in rural Alabama, with my wife Vicki. My family consists of my two sons, Rusty (US Army) and Andrew and my two stepsons, Eric and Tim (US Army). I enjoy fishing, hiking, and playing horseshoes.
My art is my livelihood and by purchasing my original paintings, illustrations and prints you help put food on the table for my family (two sons at home, 8 cats, 1 toy yorky, 1 Russell Terrier, 1 peacock, 3 chickens, 1 bearded dragon, 1 frog-eyed geckos, my wife and me).
Awards and Competitions.
July 2014- Award of Excellence and two Special Recognition awards in the 16th Annual Contemporary Juried Online International Art Exhibition sponsored by Upstream People Gallery. Juror: Laurence Bradshaw, Professor of Art & Art History at the University of Nebraska, Omaha. Juror's Statement: WALT CURLEE of Phenix City, Alabama is one of the favorite artists in the show. His careful handling of farm scenery is spectacular. The sentiment felt in "Baling The Hay" is precise and engaging as it is developed on the rolling hills of the farmland. The overall green and gold warmth gives the scene a harmonious setting. Conversely, his "Small Town Winter Landscape" is definitely successful in terms of showing the chill in the air. The exquisite detailing of the tree bark down to the gray squirrel on the tree to the tracks of the rabbit and the glowing sky makes for an outstanding piece. And "Horn Of Plenty" is quite marvelous with all the fine details in all the many fruits, vegetables and grains, the rows of trees and plants and the wonderful perspective altogether with the cumulous cloud formations, all showing his outstanding skill and understanding of visual virtuosity.
June 2014 - 1st Place in Oil Category, LCAA National Juried Exhibition, sponsored by The Lancaster County Art Association, Strasburg, Pennsylvania. Juror: Lilly Wel.
May 2014 - Narrative Excellence Award, On-Line International Spring 2014
sponsored by The National Oil And Acrylic Painters Society.
January 2014 - 1st Place, Four Points Contemporary 2nd Bi-annual Competition. Jurier: Reginald Charles Adams, Executive Director at Museum of Cultural Arts Houston.
July 2013- Award of Excellence and three Special Recognition awards in the 15th Annual Landscape Juried Online International Art Exhibition sponsered by Upstream People Gallery. Juror: Laurence Bradshaw, Professor of Art & Art History at the University of Nebraska, Omaha. Juror's Statement: WALT CURLEE of Phenix City, Alabama is tremendously favored with a talent that shines through in every artist way. His "Autumn Apple Harvest" is a delight in its perfection of perfectly red apples, perfectly fruitful trees and even down to the perfect grass and the little creatures in the foreground. And "Blackberry Patch Rural Farm Landscape" is another magnificent masterpiece with awesome detailing and a full range of primary and secondary colors. The idea that all aspects of the farm is doing exactly what it is suppose to do. Also, "Deer In The High Meadow" is another show-stopper with such visual precision staged in an idealized setting with an awesome sense of perspective. And with the activity of shucking corn in an calming environment with grazing cows on the hills he presents "Shucking And Storing The Corn In The Corncrib". This scene should receive high praise for Nebraskan Cornhuskers.
April 2013-Honorable Mention, Third Annual Art and Earth Celebration
Juried Art Exhibition , Martinsburg, WV.
April 2013-Trendsetter Award, On-Line International Exhibition 2013 , sponsored by The National Oil And Acrylic Painters Society.
July 2012-Merit Award 2012 ART KUDOS EXHIBITION (online). Juror: David Cohon, editor and publisher of artcritical. Juror's Statement: Whether the artist is knowingly mocking a kitsch sensibility or happens to have one him or herself actually doesn't matter: the picture earns merit for its handling of light, color and space rather than its social or historical commentary.
May 2012-accepted into Arte Natura, Limner Gallery, Hudson, NY.
May 2012-accepted into Emerald Spring Exhibition in Springfield, OR.
May 2012-accepted into 101st Exhibition of the Connecticut Academy of Fine Art.
March 2012-accepted into 2012 Gateway to Imagination: A National Juried Art Competition.
January 2012-"Fine Art: Professional" category winner in the CQ26 competition, held by Creative Quarterly, The Journal of Art & Design. Spring edition of the magazine.
January 2012-one of 30 international artists from 10 countries chosen to exhibit at the Jeffrey Leder Gallery International Paintings NYC Juried Exhibition in New York City.
January 2012-one of three winning artists in the 2011
Speaking Art Award Competition, exhibiting now at Speaking Art Award online. Juror: Drew Beliakoff, artist.
December 2011-winner of Only Originals Second Annual National Invitational hosted by Only Originals Gallery of Fine Art (online). Juror: Carol Anna Fullerton-Samsel, Artist-Owner, Only Originals Gallery of Fine Art, Benton, AR.
November 2011-Best in Show, Fall Expo 2011 hosted by Infinity Art Gallery (online). Jurors: M. M. Dupay (artist), William Harrison (artist), and Igor Kraguljac (artist).
September 2011-Finalist in the Second Annual National Invitational Competition, Only Originals Gallery of Fine Art (online).
August 2011-Finalist for "Autumn Wheat Harvest", 2011 Art Kudos International Competition. Juror: Holly Koons McCullough, former
Director of Collections and Exhibitions at the Telfair Museum of Art in
August 2011-August Art Competition "Seasons" online, Special Recognition for "Autumn Wheat Harvest", Light Space & Time Online Gallery.
July 2011-Honorable Mention for "Autumn Wheat Harvest", Landscapes 2 Online Art Competition, myartcontest.com
Juror's Statement: WALT CURLEE of Phenix City, Alabama is truly a fine artist. His oil paintings are full of detailed imagery in a realistic setting with a special signature cloud formation. “Rural Winter” is striking with the animals and trees, red barn and the old car parked outside the farm house. In his “Springtime on the Farm” he shows beautiful rolling hills with flowers and trees, an orchard and mushrooms, a farmer on his tractor plowing the curving fields, the farm off in the distance and the wonderful cloud formation in the sky. And in his “Turkey in the Hills” he uses a reversed ‘L shape’ compositional structure showing the detailed turkeys in the foreground as if on a hill and the middle ground is downhill beside the running water. Also, “Autumn Wheat Harvest” shows the rolling landscape with many creatures detailed, such as squirrels and a frog, cows in the distance as well as houses and other buildings further away. Every section of this and all his paintings are delightful and masterworks deserving of praise.
April 2011-accepted into the16th Annual SOUTHWORKS National Juried Art Exhibition.
April 2011-1st place in Big Sky Awards(landscapes) at the Oklahoma Friendly 2011 National Juried Show. Juror: Nancy P Anderson, Executive Director and Curator of the Leslie Powell Foundation and Gallery In Lawton Oklahoma.
April 2011- 1st place 2-D category at Baker Arts Center 13th National Juried Art Exhibition in Liberal, KS.
Jurier: Laurence Bradshaw, Professor of Art & Art History at the University of Nebraska, Omaha.
March 2011-finalist in the Spring Expo 2011 held by Infinity Art Gallery (online).
September 2010-Honorable Mention award in the 2010 International Fantasy Art Contest (online) at My Art Contest.com. Juror: Katy Betz.
September 2010-Finalist in the Only Originals National Invitational (online). Sponsored by Only Originals Gallery of Fine Art, Benton, AR. Juror: Carol Anna Fullerton-Samsel, Artist-Owner.
September 2010-Two 1st place awards, category 14-Fantasy Landscape. One 3rd place award, category 36-Realism Landscape With Figures. One 3rd place and a 4th award place, category 40-Romanticism, in the 2010 American Art awards hosted by Thom Bierdz, Phillip Chancellor III on The Young and the Restless and author of Forgiving Troy. Juried by 25 fine art galleries acrossed the USA.
August 2010-One of 146 accepted out of 437 artists for inclusion in the 2010 online exhibition at www.ArtKudos.com. Juror: Mitchell Albala, author and instructor at the Gage Academy of Art in Seattle.
June 2010-Honorable Mention in Arts Alliance 27th Juried Open Exhibition. "Appalachian Pumpkin Patch" was selected as part of 60 paintings juried from 300 artists, held at Williams Tower Gallery, Houston Tx.
May 2010-received an Award of Excellence and three Special Recognition Merit Awards for artwork in the "12th Annual Contemporary Art Juried Online International Art Exhibition" hosted by Upstream People Gallery. This international exhibition received approximately 300 entries from around the world and 54 artists were selected by the juror Laurence Bradshaw, Professor of Art at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, U. S. A. Professor Bradshaw states this about this specially recognized work: "'WALT CURLEE of Phenix City, Alabama has an extraordinary facility with oil painting with a unique observance of a type of regional perspective. “Coon Gap Holler”, “Shucking Corn ‘Til Sundown”, “Taking Pumpkins To Market” and “Family Garden” are all brilliantly conceived and masterfully presented."' May 2010-one of 12 finalist's for May in the 4th Annual Raymar Art Fine Art Competition for "Springtime On The Farm".Judge: Brian Stewart. Judge's Comments: A Decorative, not Representational painting that is reminiscent of Thomas Hart Benton and Grant Woods. Wonderful design of forms. In a day and age of loosey goosey painters, it’s nice to see a tight, well crafted painting. April 2010- 1st place in "Big Frontier Awards" & honorable mention in "Friendly Faces Awards" at the Oklahoma Friendly 2010 National Juried Show. Juror: Mitch Lyons. March 2010- Grand Prize in '2009 Garden Art Competition' hosted by Horticulture Magazine. The winning painting "Appalachian Pumpkin Patch" will appear in the December issue of Horticulture.
August 2009- Best of Show in First Fall 2009 Contemporary Art Online Exhibition, sponsored by artCompete, Cincinnati OH. Jurors: a regional panel of artists. Painting to be on exhibit at www.artcompete.com beginning September 01, 2009 to November 30, 2009.
July 2009- 4th place in Art for God International Christian Art Competition. Jurors:
Carla Tocquigny, Owner, Artbeat of America; Stephen Sawyer,Owner,ART for GOD; Cindy Sawyer, President, ART for GOD; Rick Tocquigny, Chairman of the Board, Artbeat of America; Martin Powell, 2007 ICAC Winner in Music. Stephen Sawyer states this about this Walt's winning painting "Cultivating The Peas":
Walt, I really like your art. This is what Thomas Hart Benton wants to paint like when he grows up. Your winning piece reminds me of the scripture: Jesus replied, "No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God."
Luke 9:61-62 ...Great work. I am honored that you participated this year.
June 2009- Ist Place and Best of Show Award in the "Ultimate Artist of the States (USA) National Juried Exhibition" ,sponsored by ArtHouse Lounge, Harrisburg, PA. Juror: Dr. Robert Toyaku Troxell.
May 2009-Won acceptance into the prestigious American Juried Art Salon's 2009 Spring/Summer show. The work, "Appalachian Pumpkin Patch" was accepted into the Acrylic/Oil division. The art can be seen starting June 12, 2009, at www.artjury.com. Click on “AJAS Online Galleries.”
May 2009- Art League of Hilton Head 2009 National Juried Show, Hillton Head, NC.
April 2009-selected as one of 40 artists in the Direct Art Competition to be included in "Direct Art Fall 09 edition" annual bookazine publication.
April 2009-Olde Town Fine Arts National Juried Competition, Conyers, Ga.
February 2009-Five Special Recognition Merit Awards "6th Annual Color Juried Online International Art Exhibition"hosted by Upstream People Gallery.
Juror: Larry Bradshaw, Professor of Art at the University of Nebraska at Omaha.
Professor Bradshaw states this about this specially recognized work:
"'WALT CURLEE of Phenix City, Alabama has some of the strongest works in the show. His oil painting is brilliant in terms of style and technique. In Appalachian Pumpkin Patch the shows a view upon a hill looking down on a quaint farm. The undulating rhythm of the rolling hills presents a wonderful typography. In his Cultivating The Peas he shows a simple man in overalls and hat plowing the soil with horses pulling, showing an appreciation for the old ways. With his wonderful sense of space, he shows a young person walking down the pathway in the foreground with his dog, his caught fish, pale and fishing pole in his work called Fish For Supper. Continuing with his theme of the pleasant farmland, he presents Raking The Hay with the flowers in the front and the red barn in the distance, while cows graze peacefully. And in The Veon Farm he shows the expansiveness of the land with a stream flowing through. In all his works he shows some interesting cloud formations.'"
January 2009-Top 10 of show most-voted in Work of New Year (online) sponsored by Guests Gallery, Lilburn, GA.
October, 2008-Award of Merit, Oil and Acrylic category at the Southern Appalachian Art Guild National Juried Show. Juror: Alan Flatman
September, 20008-JUROR'S MERIT AWARD and 1st Place in the 2-Dimensional Artwork Open Division in the Artist Guild Of Northwest Georgia 1st Annual Open Online Art Competition. Juror: Michael Connell
July, 2008- Honorable Mention in My Art Space online Annual Spring Art Competition. Jurors: Myartworkspace staff.
Stay tuned there is more to come!