Award-winning coastal Florida wildlife artist Kelly Reark brings underwater worlds to life in her paintings. Kelly is known for her tarpon paintings and from her involvement with many fishing tournaments. In addition to tarpon art, Kelly creates art inspired by nature and her experiences as a Native Floridian.
Her father Mike taught her how to fish and hunt through his work as a Florida Guide and Captain. There's no substitute for first-hand experience ... Learning through immersion with a deep respect for wildlife and the cycles of nature laid the foundation for Kelly's path in college where she studied art and biology at the University of Miami.
The woods, wetlands, reefs, shores and blue waters of Florida and the Caribbean continue to stimulate her brush. She photographs the fish she catches and wildlife she finds while diving, hiking, hunting, kayaking or on her SUP (paddleboard). Inspiration from the piles of photos, and beauty of the wild spaces she’s explored, fuel her passion for her work.
Kelly has exhibited work in conjunction with fishing tournaments, galleries, and invitational or juried fine art festivals since 2002. Her work has won awards, been published in magazines and newspapers, and is on display throughout southwest Florida. Most recently, her designs have represented the Boca Grande Chamber of Commerce Ladies Day Tarpon Tournaments, Charlotte Harbor Photo Release Tournaments, and the 49th Annual Highlands Art League Fine Art Festival. Kelly earned "First Place" for painting on silk in the 2013 Englewood Winter Fine Arts Festival and both the "Peoples Choice" and "Best in Show" awards from the 2015 Highlands Art League Festival. Her work has been a feature of Marlin Magazine's Offshore Art Gallery, the Redbone Tournaments, Barta Boys & Girls Club Billfish Tournaments and many others. Her artwork has raised thousands of dollars for children and charity. You can see her work throughout the year at several locations in Boca Grande and Englewood, as well as various festivals. (Please visit the "Art on Display" section for a complete listing).
Kelly’s work ranges from bright large-format acrylic paintings on stretched canvas, to sepia toned work, to dye-painted chiffon and charmeuse silks, to custom fiberglass fish mounts, to watercolors on cold-pressed cotton paper. She renders a unique perspective of coastal wildlife through these various mediums and techniques. The sepia toned paintings have become a sought-after trademark style of Kelly’s.
In 2016 we look forward to seeing more of Kelly's original artwork on Tervis tumblers, shirts, books and more! Stay tuned for these special releases. Kelly paints and sculpts in her home studio in southwest Florida. Thank you for being a fan!