Scottsdale artist Kenneth Freeman receives Arizona Art Alliance Lifetime Achievement Award


Impending Decision – Oil on canvas – Ken Freeman’s most famous painting

Art Alliance Gallery – Fine Arts

The grand prizes awarded to Kenneth M. Freeman are a testament to the importance of this artist based in Scottsdale, Arizona. For artist Kenneth M. Freeman, the cowboy hat and boots weren’t a gimmick or a shtick. Neither did his attitude in Arizona. Ken Freeman may have grown up in a traditional Jewish home in Chicago, Illinois, but make no mistake… he was a cowboy.

In April 2006, Kenneth M. Freeman was the featured artist of the Art Alliance Art Show held at the Scottsdale Civic Center. On December 4, 2010, Freeman came full circle with an awards ceremony at the Holiday Artists Reception held at the “Art Alliance Gallery – Fine Art” located at the Scottsdale Pavilions Shopping Center.

John Fontana, founder and chairman of the Arizona Art Alliance board recently spoke about Freeman.

“Most of our members are emerging artists,” Fontana explained. “Having a successful artist, with a recognizable name that Ken Freeman had, set an example with his talent and the quality of his work. It was good for our members. Ken was always generous with his time and his efforts. advice, sharing his experience with members of the Art Alliance.He had a wonderful wry sense of humor, a larger than life character and was very proud to be called a Jewish cowboy.

“Ken painted each room three times,” said Bonnie Adams, curator of The Kenneth M. Freeman Legacy. “First Ken sketched on canvas or board with a pencil, then did a full value burnt umber painting where he worked out all the values ​​and the final composition. When the burnt umber was dry, he deposited the color.

Adams adds: “It was the style of the old masters and members of the press nicknamed Ken Freeman The Rembrandt of the rodeo.”

Ken was a graduate of the American Academy of Art in Chicago ( He began taking classes at the American Academy of Art in the summer of 1950 at the age of 15. He won a scholarship for the Latham Foundation school. He studied with the famous artist Haddon Sundblom.

“He was a man you could never forget. His enthusiasm for life and art was contagious. Of all the Academy artists I have met over the years, Ken really stood out. as a one-of-a-kind artist, ”said Aron Gagliardo of the American Academy of Art.

“The technique of Ken’s old masters took a long time, but the result is extraordinary. That’s the only way to get the depth of color and warm content layers that will stand the test of time. This painting technique will last for hundreds of years, ”said Edward Holmes, president of Western Artists of America, whose organization awarded Freeman a Lifetime Achievement Award, hereafter referred to as the Freeman Lifetime Achievement Award.

Save this date:

Date: December 4, 2010

Time: 6 pm-9pm… Award ceremony 8 pm

Arizona Art Alliance Gallery

Scottsdale Pavilions

9011 E. Indian Bend, Suite E-1 (next to Sports Authority), Scottsdale, AZ

Contact: 602.503.1686

Recent Kenneth M. Freeman Awards of Excellence:

  • Lifetime Achievement Award from Western Artists of America (January 2010)
  • Western Heritage Award of Parada del Sol Rodeo (March 2010)
  • Cowboy Spirit Award from the National Festival of the West (March 2010)
  • Special Prize for Oldest Rodeo in the World – Prescott, AZ (July 2010)
  • Arizona Art Alliance Lifetime Achievement Award – Scottsdale, AZ (December 2010)

Kenneth M. Freeman Legacy Museum Exhibition Schedule:

Two collections are traveling retrospectives of the late Kenneth M. Freeman (1935 – 2008) who had a prolific career as both illustrator and artist, depicting primarily the American West. Artist at Work and Portraits of the West present a sample of Freeman’s entire body of work and range of mediums. In 2010, the exhibits were presented at the Booth Museum, a Smithsonian affiliate museum, and the Phippen Museum in Prescott, AZ.

CURRENT EXHIBITIONS: A selection of Artist At Work can now be seen in Wickenburg, AZ’s Desert Caballeros Western Museum through February 2011. Another selection of Freeman’s masterpieces will be on display at the Pearce Museum in Corsicana, TX in January / February 2011 with the 7th Annual Exhibition and Sale of Western American Artists.

About Kenneth M. Freeman

About the Arizona Art Alliance

The Arizona Art Alliance… Enriching Life Through Art

The Arizona Art Alliance is a nonprofit organization of more than 4,500 artists from over 31 art groups statewide. Founded in 2000, the Alliance is committed to the promotion and appreciation of the fine arts and the enrichment that art brings to the community. As part of its community enrichment commitments, the Alliance sponsors community outreach programs such as: Caring Through Art: A joint effort with Desert Sage Artists, this arts education program benefits older people with disabilities and residents with disabilities. Alzheimer’s disease at Life Care of Paradise Valley; The kids count: a special education alternative art program for physically and mentally disabled students of all grade levels in the Cave Creek Unified School District; and Spirit of Art: The Paradise Valley Artists League partnership adopted the Valley of the Sun School to fund the school’s art supplies. Operating as a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization, the Alliance is made possible through annual membership fees and generous donations from businesses, individuals and states. For more information on the Arizona Art Alliance, visit or call 602.503.1686.

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