BIOGRAPHY & RESUME

Florida photorealist artist Kevin Grass starts his "Memento Mori" still life painting in acrlyic paint in his Tarpon Springs studio.

Kevin Grass is just beginning his Memento Mori painting, a traditional vanitas still life that reminds people that we must all die eventually.

As a young boy, Kevin Grass was intently painting at the kitchen table in his family’s small home in Ste. Genevieve, Missouri, when his mom rushed in, asking: “Didn’t you see all the smoke?” He was so engrossed in his work that he never noticed the sneakers that his mother had placed in the oven to dry were beginning to smoke. That persistent dedication to his art has never left him, and it is why Grass now spends hundreds of hours perfecting each painting until it conforms to his vision.It was never a given that Grass would become an artist. His dad worked as a grocery store clerk and his mom as a school cafeteria worker when he was growing up in the small Midwestern community an hour south of St. Louis. Neither of his parents were interested in art and never took him to visit an art museum.

In high school, Grass created a wide variety of commissioned works, ranging from portraits and landscapes to campaign signs and car decorations. One of the murals he assisted with in downtown Ste. Genevieve still exists today. It has faded, but shows that Grass had promise as a figurative artist from an early age.

After becoming valedictorian of Ste. Genevieve High School, Grass began his formal art education at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. He started as an architecture student, but his obsession with painting was so strong that he changed his major at the beginning of the second semester of his sophomore year. He received his undergraduate degree in drawing and painting in 1990 from Washington University on a full academic scholarship.

At the University of Georgia, he met his future wife, Michaela Oberlaender, in a Northern Renaissance art class. That course had a extensive impact on his life because it also introduced him to the allegorical realism and the meticulous techniques of the Flemish masters that influence his work today. In his studio classes, Grass was encouraged to paint loosely and use oil paint, neither of which felt right to him, but it was an important stage in earning his masters of fine art degree.

Upon graduation, Grass spent a few months painting replicas of famous artworks onto furniture for Habersham Plantation in Toccoa, Georgia. During this period, he came home energized to paint his own works at night.

The fall after receiving his graduate degree, Grass began teaching art full-time at Gordon College in Barnesville, Georgia. In addition to teaching, he pursued corporate art commissions, regional juried shows, and had his first solo museum exhibition. While teaching was new and exciting, it was always a means for him to be able to paint.

In August 1997, while his wife was expecting their son, Grass moved his family to the Tampa Bay region to accept a teaching post at St. Petersburg College in Florida. He still teaches full-time as an Associate Professor of Art on the Clearwater campus.

Kevin Grass made the switch back to painting in acrylics when his son Nicholas was born because he did not want the toxic fumes in his home. The other reason was because some of the oil pieces showed slight cracks in them after they were varnished, making them look as if they were already as old as the pieces by the Renaissance Masters. It took a while for Grass to be as skilled in acrylics as in oils, but now if you look at works in both media side by side, it is difficult to distinguish between them based on the medium alone.

Prior to September 11th, 2001, Grass sold several landscape paintings to the State of Florida and other percent for art programs, but those kinds of commissions seemed to dry up as the country was gripped in fear after the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center.

Figurative pieces that comment upon social issues of the day captured more and more of Grass’s interest. He put his paintbrush to use to comment upon issues that caught his imagination. Some artworks had a personal connection, such as his Inheritance piece, which expresses his rejection of his family history of alcoholism, or Sugar Baby, where he deals with his own soft drink cravings. Other artworks are prompted by his role as a father: Revolution encourages kids to go outside to play instead of watching electronic screens, and Final Post : ( deals with the serious problems of cyberbullying.

In an effort to realize his dream of painting full time instead of teaching, Grass has been showing his work in solo booths at art fairs like Red Dot and SPECTRUM in Miami during Art Basel/Miami, SPECTRUM/Indian Wells, and Artexpo 2017. The personal connections he makes with collectors at these events is invaluable. The feedback about his work at these shows, which may top 30,000 visitors, comes back to the studio and influences themes for future artworks.

Grass’s work has been purchased for museum, corporate, public, and private collections throughout the United States and in Europe. He is happy to paint commissioned pieces. This website shows that Grass has a wide variety of interests and abilities and is willing to work with you to meet your art needs! Please use the contact form or call the studio directly at (727) 942-9020 between 11 a.m. and 11 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.

My aspirational painting studio would look like that of the Northern Renaissance artist Albrecht Durer. Here I am sitting down in his studio in his home in Nuremberg, Germany, which is preserved as a museum nowadays.

Representation

  • 2017 to present — Art Brand Studios, Morgan Hill, CA. Fine art print publishing company
  • 2014 to present – InvestorsAlly, Newport Beach, CA.
  • 2013 to 2015– Evan Lurie Gallery, Carmel, IN.
  • 2013 to 2015 – ArtPlus, Rockport, MD.
  • 2002 to 2005 – PLG Art, Naples, FL.
  • 2001 to 2003 – Ambassadors Gallery, Palm Beach, FL.

Upcoming Exhibitons

  • Spectrum Miami 2017, December 6-10.

Solo Exhibitions

  • Spectrum Indian Wells. Indian Wells, CA. 2017.
  • All is Surreal. Ethos Contemporary Art, Newport Beach, CA. 2017.
  • Artexpo New York. New York, NY. 2017.
  • Dreams Fine Art, Aventura, FL, 2016.
  • Spectrum Miami 2016. Miami, FL, 2016.
  • Spectrum Miami 2015. Miami, FL, 2015.
  • Spectrum Miami 2014. Miami, FL, 2014.
  • Red Dot Art Fair. Miami, FL, 2013.
  • American Commentary. Evan Lurie Gallery, Carmel, IN, 2013.
  • Red Dot Art Fair. Miami, FL, 2012.
  • Just Landscapes. Weedon Island Preserve, St. Petersburg, FL, 2009.
  • Landscapes. Brooker Creek Preserve, Tarpon Springs, FL, 2009.
  • A Sense of Place. Cabinet Meeting Room, The Capitol, Tallahassee, FL, 2006.
  • Revelations. The Arts Center, St. Petersburg, FL, 2003.
  • Florida Landscape. Governor’s Gallery, The Capitol, Tallahassee, FL, 2001.
  • Observations. Chattahoochee Valley Art Museum, LaGrange, GA, 1997.
  • Solitude. Callanwolde Fine Arts Center, Atlanta, GA, 1995.
  • Recent Paintings. Fridholm Fine Arts, Asheville, NC, 1994.
  • Recent Works. The Green Door, Asheville, NC, 1993.
  • Figure Paintings. Visual Arts Building, Jefferson Community College, Hillsboro, MO, 1991.

Group Exhibitions

2016 

  • [PLATFORM] Finalists Exhibition, Art San Diego, San Diego, CA.
  • Pinnacle. Foster Tanner Fine Arts Gallery, Tallahassee, FL.
  • Art as Politics. Touchstone Gallery, Washington, D.C.
  • Art Comes Alive 2016. Art Design Consultants, Cincinnati, OH.
  • Blink Art Resource Artist Exhibition. Art Design Consultants, Cincinnati, OH.

2015

  • Art Comes Alive 2015. Art Design Consultants, Cincinnati, OH.
  • ARTillery: Contemporary Art Influenced by Weaponry. Mesa Contemporary Art Museum, Mesa, AZ.
  • 65th Annual Florida Artists Group Exhibition. Leepa Rattner Museum, Tarpon Springs, FL.
  • LA Art Show 2015. Los Angeles Convention Center, Los Angeles, CA.
  • International Society of Acrylic Painters – Annual Juried Exhibiton. Morean Arts Center, St. Petersburg, FL.

2014

  • ArtHamptons. The Hamptons, New York.
  • Love Art Fair. Toronto, Canada.
  • 2014 Collectors’ Choice. Sylvia White Gallery, Ventura, CA.
  • LaGrange National XXVII. LaGrange Museum of Art, LaGrange, GA.
  • An Arts Legacy: George Inness, Jr. in Tarpon Springs. Leepa Rattner Museum of Art, Tarpon Springs, FL.

2013

  • Houston Art Fair. Houston, TX.
  • Florida Artist Group 63rd Annual Symposium. Lemoyne Center for the Visual Arts, Tallahassee, FL.
  • Figuratively Speaking. Studio 18 in The Pines, Pembroke Pines, FL.

2012

  • Seventh Annual Juried Exhibition. International Society of Acrylic Painters. Dazzio Art Gallery, St. Petersburg, FL.
  • Southern Appalachian Artist Guild National Juried Exhibition 2012. Blue Ridge, GA.
  • FLAG Area IV Exhibition. Octagon Art Center, Clearwater, FL.
  • Florida Artist Group 62nd Annual Symposium. Selby Gallery, Ringling School of Art and Design, Sarasota, FL.

2011

  • Ongoing On-line Juried Exhibition. Addiction and Art. www.AddictionAndArt.Org.
  • Sixth Annual Juried Exhibition. International Society of Acrylic Painters. Carrollwood Cultural Center, Tampa, FL.
  • Southern Appalachian Artist Guild National Juried Exhibition 2011. Blue Ridge, GA.
  • Florida Artist Group 61st Annual Symposium. Art and History Museum, Maitland, FL.
  • Florida Artist Group Area 4 Exhibition. Beach Art Center, Indian Rocks Beach, FL.
  • Seventh Annual National Drawing, Painting, and Printmaking Competition. Jan and Gary Dario Gallery, Palm Beach State College, Lake Worth, FL.
  • Florida Artist Group Annual Symposium. Cornell Museum of Art, Del Ray Beach, FL.

2010

  • Sin! Bakehouse Art Complex, Miami, FL.
  • Fifth Annual Juried Exhibition. International Society of Acrylic Painters, Carrollwood Cultural Center, Tampa, FL.
  • Horizon: Contemporary Landscape. Community Arts Center, Danville, KY.
  • National Art Encounter 2010. The von Liebig Art Center, Naples, FL.
  • 13th Annual International Society of Acrylic Painters International Open Exhibition. Santa Cruz Art League Gallery, Santa Cruz, CA.
  • Second Annual St. Petersburg College Visual Arts Faculty Exhibition. Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art, Tarpon Springs, FL.
  • LaGrange National XXVI Biennial Exhibition. LaGrange Art Museum, LaGrange, GA. .
  • Florida Artist Group Annual Symposium. Big Arts, Sanibel, FL.

2009

  • Fourth Annual Juried Exhibition. International Society of Acrylic Painters, Carrollwood Cultural Center, Tampa, FL.
  • Florida Artists Group 59th Exhibition. Armory Art Center, West Palm Beach, FL.
  • SPC Faculty Exhibition. Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art, Tarpon Springs, FL.
  • Florida Artist Group Annual Symposium. Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art, Tarpon Springs, FL.
  • Florida Contemporary: Paintings and Photographs. Invitational exhibition. Naples Museum of Art, Naples, FL.

2008

  • Dorfmuller Drawing and Print Exhibition, Tampa Realist Artists, Tampa, FL.
  • 2008 National Juried Exhibition, Atlanta Artists Center, Atlanta, GA.
  • Liturgical and Sacred Art 2008. Springfield, IL.
  • Art Encounter 2008. The von Liebig Art Center, Naples, FL.

2007

  • 100% Pure Florida, Fifth Avenue Art Gallery, Melbourne, FL.
  • 2007 Annual Florida Artists’ Exhibition. Bonita Springs Center for the Arts, Bonita Springs, FL.

2006

  • Humanity: Contemporary Art of the Humane Image. Gallery 51, North Adams, MA.
  • Present-Perfect. Dunedin Fine Art Center, Dunedin, FL.
  • Figurative. Ormond Museum of Art, Ormond Beach. FL.
  • Modern Masters: Oil Painters on Display. Progress Energy Gallery, New Port Richey, FL.
  • Liturgical and Sacred Art 2006. Springfield, IL.
  • Katherine Butler Gallery, Sarasota, FL.
  • LaGrange National Biennial XXIV. Chattahoochee Valley Art Museum, LaGrange, GA.
  • 2006 National Art Exhibition. Visual Arts Center, Punta Gorda, FL.

2005

  • UnWrapped. Dunedin Fine Art Center, Dunedin, FL.
  • A National View at Grandview. Atlanta Artists Center, Atlanta, GA.
  • Seventh Annual Judeo-Christian International Juried Online Art Exhibition, Upstream People Gallery, Omaha, NE.
  • 2005 Annual Florida Artists’ Exhibition. Bonita Springs Center for the Arts, Bonita Springs, FL.

2004

  • International Figure Exhibition. Red Dot Fine Art, Santa Fe, NM.
  • Southeastern Juried Exhibition 2004. Mobile Museum of Art, Mobile, AL.

2002

  • UnderCURRENT/overVIEW. Tampa Museum of Art, Tampa, FL.
  • Southern Vistas, Blue Spiral One, Asheville, NC.
  • The Artworks Collection, Charleston, SC.

2001

  • Third Inaugural Exhibition, Millennium Arts Center, Washington, D.C.
  • Ambassadors Galleries, Inc. Palm Beach, FL.

2000

  • 62nd Annual National Exhibition of Contemporary American Paintings, Society of the Four Arts, Palm Beach, FL.
  • Tribeca Fine Arts, New York, NY.
  • The Southern Scene: Contemporary Landscapes. Blue Spiral One, Asheville, NC.

1999

  • Uncommon Ground. Ruth Eckerd Hall, Clearwater, FL.
  • Summer Juried Exhibition. International Artist Management, St. Petersburg, FL.

1998

  • Images of Faith. Blue Spiral One, Asheville, NC.
  • Tenth Annual All Florida Spring Juried Exhibition. The Arts Center, St. Petersburg, FL.

1997

  • Group Exhibition. Fridholm Fine Arts, Asheville, NC.

1996

  • Georgia Arts 1996. Morris Brown College, Atlanta, GA.
  • LaGrange National Biennial XIX. Chattahoochee Valley Art Museum, LaGrange, GA.

1993

  • Lyndon House Annual Juried Exhibition. Lyndon House Art Center, Athens, GA.

1992

  • National Graduate Drawing Competition. Allen Preibe Gallery, University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh, WI.

Awards

2017

  • Finalist. People and Figures Competition, International Artist Magazine.

2016

  • [PLATFORM] Artist of the Year. Redwood Media Group. 
  • Second Place. Art as Politics. Touchstone Gallery, Washington, D.C.
  • Best of Show. Art Comes Alive 2016. Art Design Consultants, Cincinnati, OH.

2015

  • Painter of the Year and Purchase Award. Art Comes Alive 2015, Art Design Consultants, Cincinnati, OH.
  • Third Place. International Society of Acrylic Painters – Annual Juried Exhibiton. Morian Arts Center, St. Petersburg, FL.

2013

  • Honorable Mention. Dave Bown Projects – 6th Semiannual Competition.
  • Best of Show. Florida Artist Group 63rd Annual Symposium. Lemoyne Center for the Visual Arts, Tallahassee, FL.
  • Grand Prize. People and Figures Competition, International Artist Magazine.

2012

  • Second Place. Seventh Annual Juried Exhibition. International Society of Acrylic Painters. Dazzio Art Gallery, St. Petersburg, FL.
  • Second Place for 2-D. Southern Appalachian Artist Guild National Juried Exhibition 2012. Blue Ridge, GA.
  • Fonchen Lord Memorial Award. Florida Artist Group 62nd Annual Symposium. Selby Gallery, Ringling School of Art and Design, Sarasota, FL.

2011

  • Ru Israel Award. 61st Annual FLAG Symposium, Art and History Museum, Maitland, FL.
  • Best of Form and Color Award. Form and Color Book. April 2011.

2010

  • Cash prize. Fifth Annual Juried Exhibition. International Society of Acrylic Painters, Carrollwood Cultural Center, Tampa, FL.
  • Physicians Regional Healthcare Systems Best of Show. National Art Encounter 2010. The von Liebig Art Center, Naples, FL.
  • M. Graham Materials Award. 13th Annual International Society of Acrylic Painters International Open Exhibition. Santa Cruz Art League Gallery, Santa Cruz, CA.

2009

  • Best of Show, Fourth Annual Juried Exhibition. International Society of Acrylic Painters, Carrollwood Cultural Center, Tampa, FL.
  • First Place, Acrylics. Art Buzz, The 2009 Collection. Art Buzz Publishing, Seminole, FL, February 2009.

2008

  • First Place. Fifth National Juried Art Exhibition. Atlanta Artists Center, Atlanta, GA.
  • First Place. Dorfmuller Drawing and Print Exhibition, Tampa Realist Artists, Tampa, FL.

2007

  • Award of Merit. 2007 Annual Florida Artists’ Exhibition. Bonita Springs Center for the Arts, Bonita Springs, FL.

2005

  • First Place. A National View at Grandview. Atlanta Artists Center, Atlanta, GA.
  • Merit Award. Annual Florida Artists’ Exhibition. Bonita Springs Center for the Arts, Bonita Springs, FL.

1999

  • President’s Award. 62nd Annual National Exhibition of Contemporary American Paintings, Society of the Four Arts, Palm Beach, FL.
  • Purchase Award. Uncommon Ground. Ruth Eckerd Hall, Clearwater, FL.
  • Membership Award. Summer Juried Exhibition. International Artist Management, St. Petersburg, FL.

1996

  • Merit Award. Georgia Arts 1996. Morris Brown College, Atlanta, GA.
  • Merit and Purchase Awards. LaGrange National Biennial XIX. Chattahoochee Valley Art Museum, LaGrange, GA.

1994

  • Liquitex Art Materials Award for Graduate Students.

1990

  • Juror’s Special Merit Award. Young Artists’ Competition, St. Louis Artists’ Guild, St. Louis, MO.
  • Liquitex Art Materials Award for Undergraduate Students.

Public Collections

  • First City Bank, Ft. Walton Beach, FL.
  • Pinellas County Arts Council, Clearwater, FL.
  • Materials Research Park, Gainesville, FL.
  • Leesburg Complex, Dept. of Transportation, Leesburg, FL.
  • 5th District Court of Appeals, Daytona Beach, FL.
  • Alachua County Health Dept., Gainesville, FL.
  • Florida DOTBrooksville Maintenance Yard, Brooksville, FL.
  • Pinellas County Arts Council, Clearwater, FL.
  • St. Joseph’s Hospital, Atlanta, GA.
  • Chattahoochee Valley Art Museum, LaGrange, GA.
  • The Southern Company, Atlanta, GA.
  • St. Mary’s Hospital, Athens, GA.
  • Private collections in Missouri, Kansas, Wisconsin, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, California, Massachusetts, Hawaii, Germany and the Netherlands.

Publications

  • People and Figures, International Artist Magazine, Issue #114, April/May 2017.
  • Katherine Williams. Tarpon Painter Honored for His Work. Tarpon Springs Beacon. Volume 61, No. 10. March 8, 2017.
  • Jim Cole. Norman Rockwell, Circa 2017: Artist Kevin Grass Reflects on Recent Award. Creative Loafing, Tampa, FL. February 14, 2017.
  • Joelcy Kay. Painting the Surrealistic Human Condition. Edge of Humanity Magazine, www.edgeofhumanity.com. December 21, 2016.
  • Blink – Your Art Resource 2016. Art Design Consultants, Cincinnati, OH.
  • Caro. ARTillery Group Show Looks at Weapons as Art. Hi Fructose, The New Contemporary Art Magazine, April 26, 2015.
  • Everyday People, American Art Collector, April 2013, pages 144-147.
  • People and Figures, International Artist Magazine, April/May 2013, pages 4 and 5.
  • Working Title. workingtitlepublications.com. November 2012.
  • META: An Interdisciplinary Journal. St. Petersburg College Honors College, 2012.
  • Form and Color Book. Form and Color Publishing, Largo, FL. April 2011.
  • Eyman, Scott. Mix of media, subjects works at Armory’s exhibit. Palm Beach Post, Arts and Culture, September 22, 2009.
  • Art Buzz, The 2009 Collection. Art Buzz Publishing, Seminole, FL, February 2009.
  • Public Art in Pinellas County brochure. Cultural Affairs, Pinellas County, summer 2008, page 11.
  • Celebration of the Sacred. The State Journal-Register. Thursday, April 7,2006, pages 10A and 11A.
  • Michaela Oberlaender. Traditional Techniques, Exceptional Results. Tampa Bay Magazine, Volume 20, Issue 5, September/October 2005, pages 177-180.
  • Direct Art Magazine, Volume 11, Spring 2005 edition.
  • Lennie Bennett. Trunks, Twigs and Tension. St. Petersburg Times, Weekend section, October 2, 2003.
  • Joanne Milani. Artistic Undercurrents. Tampa Tribune, Baylife section. July 28, 2002.
  • New American Paintings, Volume 34, Southern Competition.
  • David Hopes. Contemporary Landscapes. Asheville Citizen Times, May 21, 2000 (B7).
  • Amelia Davis and Mary Ann Marger. Adam and Eve Painting Pulled for Nudity. St. Petersburg Times, Clearwater Times section, October 20, 1999.
  • David Hopes. Serving Two Masters. Asheville Citizen Times, November 22, 1998 (D4).
  • Kitsy Rose. History Mural. Atlanta Journal Constitution, Northside Neighbor section, January 14, 1998. Vol. 30, No. 2.
  • Cathy Byrd. Georgia Artists’ Work Covers Spectrum. Atlanta Journal/Constitution Weekend Preview. August 23, 1996.

Education

  • Master of Fine Arts degree – Drawing and Painting, University of Georgia, Athens, GA. 1994.
  • Bachelor of Fine Arts degree – Drawing and Painting, Washington University, St. Louis, MO. 1990.

Teaching

  • Associate Professor of Art, St. Petersburg College, Clearwater, FL. 1997 to present.
  • Instructor of Art, Gordon College, Barnesville, GA. 1994 – 1997.
  • Teaching Assistant, University of Georgia, Athens, GA. 1991 – 1994.