Over the past twenty plus years, Kevin Barton of Petoskey has become one of northern Michigan’s most well-collected artists with paintings hanging in collections across the nation. In addition to winning awards and accolades, including the Manoogian Museum’s Gold Medal Award, Signature Member status with the American Impressionist Society, and Best of Show at the Crooked Tree Arts Center annual paint-out in 2014. Mr. Barton’s work has often been featured or chosen for covers, publications and prints celebrating known events.
Barton is glad to reside in northern Michigan with its wealth of subject matter befitting his tastes and talents with painting. From the Great Lakes with its boats to its diverse architecture, gardens, townscapes and sunsets, it provides endless opportunities for his artwork. His painting has also taken him to places like Sedona, California, Chicago, New York City (with a group show at the prestigious Amsterdam Whitney Gallery) and most recently to Key West and Naples Florida.
“It looks just like it … but it doesn’t.” — Elementary age child on Mackinac Island
This was one of those instances where kids say the darndest things. The word “art” means different things to different people and could range from photo realism to abstract expressionism. Yes, Barton enjoys capturing the specific details of a subject, yet he wants people to know they are looking at a “painting.” To look at his style is to see the world made of paint. The heavily textured and brightly colored paintings that result engage the viewers imagination and uniquely instill in them a sense of participating in something timeless while the sense of loose detail always gives the collector new things to find in a piece. He enjoys plein-air not only for the quality and sensitivity to light it brings, but also for the sense of spontaneity and creative solutions it brings to the process and brush work.
2011 Manoogian Mackinac Art Museum – Gold Medal Winner
2013 & 2016 – Manoogian Mackinac Art Museum – Second Place
2014 – Crooked Tree Arts Center Paint Out – Best of Show
2015 – Crooked Tree Arts Center D’Art for Art – Featured Artist
2015 – Awards Judge for Paint Dexter Plein Air Festival
2016 – Crooked Tree Arts Center Solo Exhibition, Twenty Years in Retrospect
2016 – Awards Judge for Crooked Tree Arts Center Annual Paint Out
2017 – Crooked Tree Arts Center Paint Out – Best Farm Scene
2011, 2012, 2017 & 2018 – Winner Mackinac Island Lilac Festival poster contest