Jared Evan Kelley is an Illustrator and Portraitist living in rural Alabama. In 2008 he received a BFA from Auburn University in Studio Painting. Before becoming a full-time professional artist in 2010, Kelley worked as a middle/high school art teacher, an assistant for an Arts Education Non-Profit, and gave private paint classes on the side. In 2007 an opportunity arose for Kelley to teach annual paint classes at Camp Smile-A-Mile, a retreat for children and teens fighting cancer, as well as for their families. Some of Jared's past clients have been University of Kentucky Legendary Head Coach John Calipari, The National Trial Lawyer Association, famed attorney Fredrick G. Levin, Upper Deck Trading Cards, Baptist Medical Centers (Montgomery, AL), University of Alabama Medical Alumni Association, Montgomery Museum of Fine Art, Anzalone Liszt Research, and Talk Radio Host Greg Budell.
Though he participated in art classes throughout his early life, even during college, Kelley was never priviledged to have instructors proficient in portraiture, with the exception of his jr. high art teacher who introuduced the thrill of portaiture to Kelley. Since then, Kelley has been largely self-taught in the field of portraiture. He credits many of his current studio habits to a three year stint as a paid apprentice to muralist Matthew John Smith from Alabama. During his apprenticeship, Kelley was able to aid in the rendering of numerous murals and faux finishes, all of which were inspired by the decadence of the Italian Renaissance.
In addition to fulfilling private and commercial portrait commissions, Kelley served for four years as Lead Portrait Painter, first for Upper Deck Trading Cards in 2009 and then Sport Kings, LLC, a major trading card company since 1933 headquartered in Ontario, Canada. Kelley's miniature sports art has been featured in art and hobby publications of recent past, including Beckett Magazine in which Kelley was listed among the nine most influential artists in the country who are changing the world of card collecting. In 2011, a single John F. Kennedy trading card portrait, hand-painted by Kelley for Upper Deck's 2010 Goodwin Champions Set, auctioned for $2000, which at that time was the most that any sketch card has ever sold for in the US. Kelley is very appreciative of the collectors who support his work and he frequents sports forums to chew the fat with sketch card afficionados.
In February 2013, Kelley became the Official Portraitist for the National Trial Lawyer Association (NTLA) Hall of Fame. His portraits for the NTLA include prominent figures such as Fredric G. Levin, Thurgood Marshall, Fred Gray, Sr., Elaine Jones, Ron Motley, and Alabama native Morris Dees. Each year up to five new inductees will have their portraits rendered by Kelley to be added to the collection which will heretofore be on display at Temple University.
Currently, Kelley is the premiere portrait artist for the Wheeler Collection, LLC, a trading card company that specializes in high-end athletic and historical trading card products.
Kelley's work primarily consists of portraiture in acrylic paints. However, oils, charcoals, and watercolors are frequently found within his portfolio of works. Largely representational, Kelley's work often includes graphic elements, showing influences from modern painters such as Steve Penley, Rodney White, Drew Struzan, David Jon Kassan, Daniel Greene, and Stephen Holland. His studio is always busy and he welcomes new clients anytime. Please enjoy the site!