THE ART CURATOR’S PROFILE OF BILLY KEEN
Billy Keen is an artist with over 30 years of illustration experience. Keen was educated in the Wichita Falls, Texas public schools and later at Midwestern University. His background includes training and experience in wood sculpture, ceramics, photography, print making, blacksmithing, painting and fiber painting. His work in advertising has appeared in national periodicals, radio, television, compact discs, and a variety of print applications from billboards to bumper stickers.
Current works by Billy Keen incorporate many of these disciplines in three-dimensional paintings. He begins with a concept that is reflected in every element of each composition. He incorporates brilliant small paintings into wooden “canvases”, finished with textured blended colors. Additional carved figures added to each piece expand upon his themes. It is no wonder that Billy Keen is one of the most popular artists in his home-state of Texas and certainly one of the most interesting and collected artists in Santa Fe. I asked the artist why he didn’t “simply” paint on canvas rather than continue each composition with the inclusion of elaborate painted wooden surfaces and carvings. Billy Keen made it very clear that every element was essential to his vision. He also told me that he would not be engaged as a creative artist if he was only painting on canvases. It is imperative to me as an art curator that each artist in our Gallery Collection is inspired creating their life’s work. I also believe that collectors should appreciate every aspect of the art they purchase. One way to insure this understanding when the art is created by living artists is to connect the collector to the artist. As La Posada’s art curator, this is one of the things I do with pleasure.
We are pleased to welcome this accomplished artist and his interesting work to The Gallery Collection at La Posada de Santa Fe. All of his art is for sale at the hotel at his studio prices. We do not mark up any of the originals that are for sale by any of our Gallery artists. Furthermore, if you choose to buy a Keen or any other original from the hotel collection, you will be invited back to La Posada with a half priced room and no daily resort fee each time you visit Santa Fe. It is our way of thanking our collectors for supporting our artists.
Sara Eyestone, La Posada’s Art Curator
Curator’s Office: 505-954-9668
BILLY KEEN REMEMBERS:
“I was aware that I was an artist in elementary school, when I continually sat in the back of the room, lost in my thoughts doodling instead of taking class notes. I started making art when I was about three and given pencils and crayons. I was driven to live my life as a professional artist when I realized it was the way I could interact most comfortably with the rest of the world. My language is visual.”