Rick Akers is a true Appalachian. He was born in Kingsport, Tennessee. His early childhood was divided between time in Kingsport and his grandparents home in Gate City ,Virginia; approximately a half hour drive from Kingsport.
To get to his grandparent’s home, his dad had to park the car off the main road. Then, the family meandered through woods and wild pastures, followed a stony creek with waterfalls, and climbed large rocks that sometimes had snakes sunning on them. The path passed by one tobacco barn and went directly through another. Along the way, they would stop at a spring to get a drink out of an old dipper. After crossing a small bridge Akers could see their house in the distance back in the holler upon a high knoll nearly a mile away.
The sights, the sounds, the shapes, the colors encountered along the way influenced his adult life and his art.
Rick and his dad spent a lot of time in the woods while he was growing up. His dad would point out some of the most interesting things about nature. It was a lesson in color theory, design and detail ….way before college.
Rick is a University of Dayton graduate in commercial design. His entire career has been in the art field. He started painting as a result of his collecting of antiques & vintage paintings. He has been heavily influenced by the Impressionists & Post- Impressionists. His paintings are done totally with a palette knife and on location mainly; “en Plein Air”, french for under the open sky. He has over 500 pieces in great collections here and around the country. Rick also donate artwork to organizations such as Art of Recovery, Bravo for Children and Art for Life among others. His paintings have taken honors a the state and national levels. Most recently Rick was honored to be one of the twelve artists to be selected for the “Artists of the Winding Road A-Z” exhibition at the Decorative Arts Center of Ohio.
And now, Rick is back in Appalachia and loves it. After hearing about Somerset, Ohio from a close friend, Rick chose to live there. His home and studio are in an 1822 federal brick located in the heart of the down town historic district. Rick says of Somerset and the surrounding area, “As a plein air landscape painter, there a painting everywhere I look out here”.
To read Rick Akers’ artist statement click here.