Michael Coleman was born and raised in Provo, Utah and spent his boyhood hunting, fishing and trapping throughout the Rocky Mountains, often taking a sketchbook with him. Early on, he decided on a career in art, studying at Brigham Young University and traveling broadly for subject matter.
Coleman quickly became a prominent Southwestern artist when in 1978, at the age of 32, he was given his first retrospective at the Buffalo Bill Historical Center. He exhibited at the National Academy of Western Art and at the Kennedy Galleries in New York. Then, in 1999, he won the Prix de West Award at the National Cowboy Hall of Fame for his bronze of a moose titled “September,” which has joined the permanent collection of the Hall of Fame.
Coleman paints primarily in oil on board or gouache. He marks out key areas beginning with the horizon line and works from the top to the bottom, adding highlights towards the end. His style is greatly influenced by many of the key early 19th century masters of the Hudson River School, including Henry Farny, Thomas Moran and George Inness, and the 20th century animal painter Carl Rungius.
Rich in detail and muted in tone, Coleman’s works are reflections of the remote landscapes he chooses to illustrate. The Indian encampments, wildlife and hunting subjects are rendered in such a way as to give the viewer a sense of gazing on the past.
Coleman loves the dusky-grey, misty, muted tones of fall and early winter and is known for his attention to seasonal variances in nature. His pieces always suggest a balanced harmony between artist, animal, and nature.
Coleman’s works can be found in the private and public collections of Clint Eastwood, Burt Reynolds, Ian Cumming, John Huntsman, Bill Kerr, Stan Kamen, Mack Pogue, President George Bush, Sr., Vice-President Cheney, the Corning Museum, the Anschutz Collection, the National Wildlife Art Museum, the Buffalo Bill Historical Center, the Canadian Embassy, and the National Museum of Dubai.
SELECTED EXHIBITIONS, HONORS, AND AWARDS:
2009 Prix de West Invitational Art Exhibition, National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, Oklahoma City, OK
2008 Birds in Art, Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum, Wausau, Wisconsin
2008 One-man show, Legacy Gallery, Jackson, Wyoming
2007 The Paintings of Yellowstone: A Retrospective Show, Montana Trails Gallery, Bozeman, Montana
2003 Governor’s Mansion Artist, Salt Lake City, UT
2002 Autry Museum of Western Heritage, Los Angeles, California
2002 Most Honored Artists of Utah-Olympic Curatorial Committee
1999 Prix de West Award, National Cowboy Hall of Fame, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
1996 One-man show, National Hunting Museum, Munich, Germany
1993 National Academy of Western Art, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, Gold Medal Award (Watercolor)
1992 National Academy of Western Art, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, Silver Medal Award (Oil)
1992 International Wildlife Exposition, Everard Read Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa
1992 Hubbard Award for Excellence
1992 International Exhibition of Wildlife and Natural History
1991 Hubbard Award for Excellence
1989 One-man show, J.N. Bartfield Gallery, New York
1988 One-man show, J.N. Bartfield Gallery, New York
1986 One-man show, Gerald Peters Gallery, Santa Fe, New Mexico
1985 One-man show, Wunderlich & Co., New York
1985 One-man show, Gerald Peters Gallery, Santa Fe, New Mexico
1984 Museum of Western Art, Denver
1984 One-man show, Wunderlich & Co., New York
1983 Mongerson Gallery, Chicago
1983 Charlie Russell Museum, Great Falls, Montana
1981 Palm Springs Museum, Palm Springs, California
1979 Gold & Silver Medal, Cowboy Hall of Fame, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
1979 One-man show, Kennedy Galleries, New York
1977 One-man show, Kennedy Galleries, New York
1977 One-man show, Buffalo Bill Historical Center, Cody, Wyoming
1976 One-man show, Kennedy Galleries, New York
PRIVATE AND PUBLIC COLLECTIONS:
The White House, Washington, D.C.; National Museum of Dubai; NuSkin International, Provo, Utah; Gulf States Paper Corporation, Tuscaloosa, Alabama; Texas Commerce Bank, Houston; Anschutz Collection, Denver; Corning Museum, New York; Buffalo Bill Historical Center, Cody, Wyoming; Charlie Russell Museum, Great Falls, Montana; William Middendorf, Washington, D.C.; Mack Pogue, Dallas; Sports Afield Magazine, New York; Burt Reynolds, Los Angeles;
Hal Wallace, Los Angeles; Clint Eastwood, Carmel; Los Angeles Athletic Club, Los Angeles; Steven L. Rose, Los Angeles; Stan Kamen, Los Angeles; National Wildlife Art Museum, Jackson Hole, Wyoming; Big Cedar Lodge, Ridgedale, Missouri; Thomas S. Monson, Salt Lake City, Utah; Bill Kerr, Jackson Hole, Wyoming; Ian Cumming, Leucadia Corporation, Salt Lake City; John Huntsman, Huntsman Chemical Company, Salt Lake City; Canadian Embassy; Leaning Tree Museum, Colorado; Long Grass Prairie Preserve, Oklahoma; Wells Fargo, Provo, UT; Thomas S. Monson, Salt Lake City, Utah; Christopher Forbes