Great American Artist Terry Redlin’s “Autumn Traditions“. http://www.redlinart.com

Artist Bio and Career Timeline

Few artists can rival the standards of excellence achieved by Master Artist Terry Redlin over the past 30 years. He is truly one of the country’s most widely collected painters of wildlife and Americana. For eight consecutive years, 1991 through 1998, Redlin has been named America’s Most Popular Artist in annual gallery surveys conducted by U.S.ART magazine. His induction into U.S.ART’s Hall of Fame in 1992 followed the magazine’s poll of 900 galleries nationwide which, that year, placed five of Redlin’s limited editions in the top 11 in popularity. Over the life of the poll, 30 prints have been included in that list. His use of earthy colors, blazing sunrises and sunsets and nostalgic themes are often cited as the reasons for his immense popularity.

Redlin’s interest in out-of-doors themes can be traced to his childhood in Watertown, South Dakota. At the age of 15, a brief ride on a motorcycle resulted in a life-changing accident that ended his dream of becoming a forest ranger. Through a state-sponsored scholarship program for students with disabilities, Redlin opted to pursue a career in the graphic arts. He earned a degree from the St. Paul School of Associated Arts and spent 25 years working in commercial art as a layout artist, graphic designer, illustrator and art director. In his leisure time, he researched wildlife subjects and settings.

In 1977, at the age of 40, Redlin burst onto the wildlife scene when his painting “Winter Snows” appeared on the cover of The Farmer magazine. By 1979, demand for his work had become so great that he left his art directing career to concentrate on painting wildlife.

Since then, Redlin’s meteoric rise has been unparalleled in the field of contemporary wildlife art. In 1981 and 1985, he won the Minnesota Duck Stamp competition, and in 1982, the Minnesota Trout Stamp contest. He also placed second that year in the Federal Duck Stamp Competition. He has been honored as Artist of the Year for Ducks Unlimited (National and Minnesota), and as Conservationist of the Year-Magnum Donor by the Minnesota Waterfowl Association for his gifts of entire print collections. The National Association of Limited Edition dealers has three times presented him with the “Lithograph of the Year” award for excellence in the medium.

In 1987, Redlin began exploring his interest in Americana subjects and nostalgic scenes of yesteryear, painting several images for his American Memories and Country Doctor Collections. Since then, his annual Christmas prints have attracted thousands of collectors from coast to coast.

In 1992, he completed his most ambitious work to date, painting each line in the first stanza of “America the Beautiful”. All eight, which depict American life from the settling of the west to the present day, were released as limited edition prints over a three-year period, ending in January, 1995. The series has been showcased in art and consumer magazines nationwide, and it has been acclaimed by thousands of collectors. “Terry Redlin Paints America the Beautiful”, a video presentation produced by Hadley House, earned a coveted Telly Award in the 1993 national competition.

Redlin’s immense popularity can also be measured in the success of his book, “Opening Windows to the Wild, The Art of Terry Redlin.” In its sixth printing, the book details his paintings, pencil sketches and biography. Always the perfectionist, he personally supervised the printing and production of this important project. A critical as well as a commercial success, the book was a Certificate of merit winner at the prestigious Printing Industries of America competition in 1988. His second book, “Terry Redlin, Master of Memories,” was released in 1997 and was recently voted Best Art Book by those galleries polled for the U.S.ART survey.

Terry Redlin derives the most satisfaction from his conservation work. Over the 17 year period from 1981 to 1997, his donations to Ducks Unlimited raised more than $28 million, setting an all-time record in art sales for wetland conservation projects. By his own estimate, he has donated several million dollars of art to other nonprofit conservation organizations.

Redlin’s most compelling project is the construction of the museum to house his original art in Watertown, South Dakota, where he now resides. The Redlin Art Center features 160 original oil paintings by Terry Redlin as well as many prints, sketches and childhood drawings. Since opening in the summer of 1997, the Redlin Art Center has welcomed more than 3 million visitors from all over the world. The Redlin Art Center is Terry Redlin’s gift back to the State of South Dakota in appreciation of the scholarship he was awarded after high school. He never forgot the gift – to him, it was a “grubstake”, and he never would have been able to go on to continue his education without it.  The Redlin Art Center is open year-round and admission is free.

He was honored in 1998 by the City of Sioux Falls, South Dakota by having an elementary school named in his honor. Terry Redlin Elementary School opened in the Fall of 1998.

In 2004, Redlin unveiled his most emotional collection entitled, “An American Portrait”. Considered by Redlin to be the most technically demanding project of his career, the series of 7 paintings tell the life story of a young American boy. The story was built around Redlin’s personal experiences and is his tribute to America.  

In 2007, Terry Redlin retired from painting and print signing due to his personal struggle with Alzheimer’s disease. 

For more information on Terry Redin’s art and to visit the Terry Redlin Art Center visit their website http://www.redlinart.com.

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