Gary Kelley (b. 1945) is a Midwesterner, born in Algana, Iowa. He obtained is B.A. in art from the University of Northern Iowa and has continued to maintain his studio in Iowa. Yet his work has had a major national and international impact, winning awards in New York, Los Angeles, Tokyo, Italy and Paris. To date, he has won 23 medals from the Society of Illustrators as well as the distinguished Hamilton King Award.
Beginning with his first commission from Better Homes and Gardens in 1970, he has added a large roster of clients, including Rolling Stone, Playboy, Atlantic Monthly, Time, Entertainment Weekly, and Los Angeles magazine, as well as poster designs and many advertising assignments. As Kelley’s style has evolved, he has incorporated many influences, notably the work of Tamara de Lempicka and Edwin Dickinson, but made them his own. His great strength is in design. His concepts are powerfully focused and abetted by dramatic use of color. Kelley is a popular teacher and has involved with the Syracuse University graduate art program. He also taught at the Illustration Academy in Kansas City and at the Hartford Art School in Connecticut.