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Spiva Center for the Arts Joplin MO

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May 13–July 16

Biodiversity in the Art of Carel Pieter Brest van Kempen 

Sponsored by The Beshore Family  

Carel Pieter Brest van Kempen is a painter of Dutch descent, who explores the rich diversity of the natural world from exceptionally unique perspectives.  The artist’s self-stated goal is to say as much as he can about how organisms live and interact with other organisms and their environments.  Brest van Kempen, who is also interested in prehistoric subject matter, paints from first-hand experience and knowledge.  He has traveled across Africa and Central and South America, and studied both threatened and extinct species and their ecosystems in detail.

Since he was a child, Brest van Kempen has always been a student of nature.  He spent his youth exploring untracked back country along the Wasatch Range of the Rocky Mountains; drawing, studying, and collecting native flora and fauna.  As a boy, Brest van Kempen practiced falconry and bred lizards.  He began drawing wildlife when he was only three years old and created his first painting at the age of twelve.  At the University of Utah, his studies focused on biology, which he hoped to teach, and field work.  By 1988, his interests in art and nature matured to the point where he could pursue a full-time career of painting.  Though Brest van Kempen is among the most highly accomplished technicians in the entire art world, and among the most creative, he is essentially self-taught.  Brest van Kempen paints in a highly realistic manner.  Unique in the world of wildlife art, Brest van Kempen’s approach is reminiscent of the art of Salvador Dali, which has always fascinated him. There is no other wildlife artist who paints like Carel Pieter Brest van Kempen; his approach and style is truly unique.

Carel Pieter Brest van Kempen has exhibited his works throughout the world and earned numerous awards.  He is a member of the prestigious Society of Animal Artists which has awarded him awards on multiple occasions, including their highest honor, the Award of Excellence, in 1994, 1996, 1997, 2004, 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2014.

Public collections containing his works include the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, the Springville Art Museum, the Woodson Art Museum, The World Center for Birds of Prey, and Vermont’s Bennington Center for the Arts.

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