1939 (Sioux City, Iowa)
Photo of Ken Graning
Often Known For
landscape, illustration, mural
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Born in 1939 in Sioux City Iowa, Ken Graning exhibited signs of an ability to draw and paint from an early age. When he was 10 years old the family moved to Los Angeles, California where after completing his high school education, and a four-year stint in the US Air Force, he enrolled in the degree program at Chouinard Art Institute in downtown Los Angeles.
After graduating in 1966 with a BFA, Ken pursued a career in Illustration, working for ten years as a studio Illustrator for Graphic House Inc. and McNamara studio in Detroit, Michigan. In 1976 He began a free-lance career as an independent Illustrator working from his home studio in Bloomfield Hills.
His client list of magazines, books, and major American corporations is extensive. His work has appeared in Playboy magazine, Time, Life,
Saturday Evening post, Readers Digest, Realms of Fantasy, Science Fiction
Age, Discover magazine, Car & Driver, Sports Illustrated, Architectural
Digest, National Geographic, numerous trade publications, corporate annual
reports, brochures, posters, newspaper ads, school textbooks, countless
advertising campaigns, record album and CD covers and virtually every form of applied Art imaginable, including murals on the walls of public buildings and restaurants.
In 1985 he began a second career as a plein-air landscape painter, focusing
on Southwestern landscapes. "As a young boy my father would take me camping in the deserts of California. Those experiences imprinted me with an appreciation for the colors and forms of the Southwest. In a sense my plein-air Southwestern landscape paintings are a search for my roots and a return to the carefree days of my youth"
Leaving the Illustration business entirely in 1995, the artist is now pursing
his landscape paintings full time. He has expanded his mileau and now paints
extensively throughout the Midwest. He paints the farms and horse ranches that surround his ten acre farm in Holly, Michigan and has exhibited extensively in summer shows in the area.
In addition to his Illustration and painting careers, Graning has been on
the adjunct faculty of the Center for Creative studies in Detroit, Michigan
(1976-2000), teaching Editorial and Advertising Illustration, Experimental
Illustration, Airbrush Illustration, Materials and Techniques, Introduction
to Illustration, Fantasy Illustration, Figure Illustration, and Computer
Exhibitions and awards:
Detroit Art Directors Club, 1970-Present,
Numerous "Caddy" awards and certificates of merit
Detroit Graphic Artists Guild, 1970-1975 (numerous "Hubcap awards and
certificates of merit).
New York Society of Illustrators
New York Art Directors Club
Chicago Art Directors Club
Cleveland Art Directors Club
Birmingham-Bloomfield Art Assoc. "Michigan Illustrators Exhibition"
Detroit Scarab Club (various Advertising Art Exhibitions)
Lawrence Institute of Technology School of Architecture and Design Gallery
Arts in the Parks top 100 and top 200 (National Academy of Parks)
Start Gallery, Birmingham MI, One man show of landscape paintings
Saginaw Valley State University, One man show of landscape paintings
"Our Town" Art Exhibition, Birmingham, MI.
Lawrence St. Gallery, Pontiac MI
Birmingham Unitarian Church Gallery, Birmingham, MI
Gallery 890, Port Huron, MI
Helen Cunniff Gallery, Lake Orion, MI
American Society of Aviation Artists annual exhibition. C.R.
Smith Museum, Fort Worth, Texas
Birmingham Bloomfield Art Center. Group exhibition of the Creative Arts Council. Birmingham, MI
Tawas Bay Waterfront Art Fair, Tawas MI ( 2nd place award, oil category Greenmead Art Show, Livonia, MI ( Best of Show, 2D category )
Ferndale Art Festival, Ferndale, MI ( Best of Show, 2D category )
East lansing Art Festival, East Lansing, MI
Portside Art Fair, East Jordan, MI ( Award of merit, Oil category)
Boston Mills Art Festival. Peninsula, OH ( Ist place, Oil-Acrylic category)
M t. Gretna Art Festival, M t. Gretna, PA ( Judges Choice award )
Round the Fountain Art Festival, Lafayette IN
Canterbury Village Art Fair, Lake Orion, MI ( 1st Place overall )
West End Art Festival, La Grange, IL ( Merit award )
Art over the Interstate, Oak Park, MI ( Best of Show )
Flint Art Fair. Flint, MI (2nd place overall)
Summerfair, Cincinnati, OH
Madison Chautauqua. Madison, IN
Fourth Street Art Festival, Bloomington, IN (Purchase award)
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