Friday May 10
"Legacy" by Award Winning Artist Mike Wimmer - Photo Realism in Oil
Date: May 10, 2013
Time: 6-8 p.m.
Exhibit runs through June 14, 2013
Where: Gallery Grazioso, 301 W. Oklahoma Ave., Guthrie, OK, 73044
Phone Contact: 405-822-0481
Complimentary Wine and Appetizers
Live Music with Bill Merickel
Parking: Free and Convenient Street Parking
Mike Wimmer BIO Mike Wimmer was born in Muskogee, Oklahoma where he grew up like most boys: playing hard, fighting sleep, reading comic books and dreaming. “Thanks to my very active imagination and the physical development handed down to me through my grandfather, I was able to chase and sometimes catch many of my dreams.” Dreams that included one day winning a bodybuilding championship, being a football star, or living the adventures of his favorite literary characters, King Arthur, Robin Hood, or a salty high seas pirateer. His art development, with the help of comic books and boy’s adventure stories, was well nourished and supplied by his parents who themselves had no knowledge or understanding of such talents. But, in their own words, “It kept him active, out of trouble and above all, quiet.”
Without formal education or training, Mike naively set out for studies at the University of Oklahoma where the opportunity to work with Don Ivan Punchatz at his famous Sketch Pad Studio in Arlington, Texas availed itself. While working as an apprentice for two and a half years, Mike learned the business end of illustrating while also learning the painting techniques and working methods of many of the local Dallas illustrators. Afterwards Mike moved back to Norman, Oklahoma, where he could set up his studio to begin his life as an illustrator and artist.
Mike Wimmer’s career started out slow but it wasn’t long before his portfolio was full and his workday busy. Most of his clients were local in the beginning but after a whirlwind tour of New York he began working more on a national scale and his work began to take on a broader audience. Mike has illustrated many children’s book covers and is the illustrator of “Train Song” by Diane Siebert, 1991 NCSS/CBC Notable Children’s Trade Book in the field of Social Studies and a Redbook Best Book for 1990. He is also the illustrator of “Flight: The Journey of Charles Lindbergh” by Robert Burliegh, published by Putnam Philomel who was the winner of the Orbis Pictus Award for Outstanding Nonfiction for Children 1990. “All the Places to Love” by Patricia MacLachlan was published in 1994 by Harper Collins and has become a favorite of every generation. It also won the Oklahoma Book Award for Best Illustrated Children’s Book for 1995. “Homerun: The Story of Babe Ruth”, Mike’s second book with Bob Burliegh, was published in 1997 by Harcourt Brace and has been included on many state book award lists. In 1999 Simon and Schuster published “Summertime”-from Porgy and Bess by George and Ira Gershwin with Dubose and Dorothy Hayward. “Will Rogers” written by Governor Frank Keating was released in August of 2002. It has been awarded the 2003 Spur Award from the Western Writers Association of America. My newest book “Theodore”, written by Frank Keating was released in January of 2006 and has already received a starred review in the MARCH 2006 ISSUE OF SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL. Theodore has also received reviews in Kirkus, review December 1, 2005 and Publishers Weekly, favorable review, January 23, 2006. “Stealing Home”, written by Robert Burliegh, published by Simon and Schuster, 2007. The book has received two starred reviews from PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, December 2006, and the January 2007 STAR REVIEW. “The Trial of Standing Bear”, written by Frank Keating, published by The Oklahoma Heritage Foundation, 2008; was awarded the SPUR Award by the Western Writers of America in 2009. “One Giant Leap”, written by Bob Burleigh, published by Putnam Penguin Philomel Books for Young Readers, 2009 and was voted as a 2010 NSTA/CBC Outstanding Science Trade Book. “Pilgrim’s Progress”, written by John Bunyan and reedited by C.J.Lovik, published by Crossway Publishing, 2009. I recently launched my new book “George”, written by Frank Keating and published by Simon and Schuster, on George Washington’s 280th birthday celebration at Mt. Vernon on Presidents Day February 20, 2012. It was an incredible visit where I signed some 600 books over the weekend. Click on the link below to view a short video about George. The book has garnered much acclaim and was recently named as an Oklahoma Book Awards Finalist for 2013.
Mike’s workday starts early: arise, get in his workout and sit down with a hot cup of tea and a little reading, usually a new manuscript, the latest murder mystery or catching up on some correspondence. “It gets me in a creative frame of mind.” Then it’s off to work on one of the many diverse projects that course through his studio. From creating the new more kind and gentle Mr. Clean to the colorful and proud Simba on Pride Rock for the Lion King soundtrack packaging, or the large historic murals commissioned to hang in the Oklahoma Capitol Building. He is constantly conversing with his many clients throughout the day about upcoming deadlines or changes called for by anxious editors. Mike has worked for some of the largest corporations in the world, such as: American Airlines, Procter & Gamble, Reader’s Digest, Disney, Kimberly Clark, Southwestern Bell, AT&T, and just about every major publisher in the United States. The list goes on and on, but Mike finds his greatest artistic pleasure in creating images for his many children’s books and fine art prints. “They allow me to have the final say so in the creative process. It is still very much like being that little boy lying on the floor with an empty drawing pad and a full box of crayons.”
His goals have remarkably stayed the same throughout his career: ” I want to bring my imagination to life so that everyone else can see what I have to say”. His palette is full but each color is lovingly applied with the tender touch of someone who loves his work and his life.
Where: Gallery Grazioso
Address: 301 W. Oklahoma