Kenneth Riley is dedicated not only to authenticity, ethnography and history, but also to allegory and spirituality. His work has been called classical, sophisticated, gentle and sensitive. Riley was a self-taught drummer, and gained some success touring with Eddie Lain and His Orchestra. But art turned out to be his true career and he pursued it to the Kansas City Art Institute, where he studied drawing with Thomas Hart Benton for a year, developing his skill in interlocking shapes and rhythmic patterns. He was also influenced by teacher Harvey Dunn, who studied with Howard Pyle. World War II found Coast Guard Specialist Sec\ond Class Kenneth Riley on duty as one of the conflict’s most honored combat artists. Following the war, Riley found fame as an illustrator, starting with The Saturday Evening Post and later working with Life and National Geographic. After he was chosen to paint Teton and Yellowstone National Parks as part of the Society of Illustrators’ Artists in the Parks program and was invited to teach at Brigham Young University in Utah, Riley decided to move West to pursue a fine art career. Since then, Riley has shown his work at the Royal Western Watercolor Exhibition, the Tucson Art Museum, the Driscol Collection of American Western Art in Beijing and the Denver Historical Society. His many awards include Silver and Gold Medals, the Stetson Award, the Museum Roundup Award and Best in Show by the Cowboy Artists of America. His paintings can be found in the permanent collections of the White House, the Smithsonian Institution, the Air Force Academy and the West Point Museum. He won the Prix de West, Western art’s highest honor, in 1995.
The horse culture of the Plains Indian revolutionized their mobility. Indians became dependent upon the animal, using them as transportation in search of food and in warfare. They came to symbolize wealth and prestige, and the warrior respected and admired their strength, speed, and intelligence. When painted and decorated for battle, the Indian and his mount had to work as a team. They were as one.
Each year Crow Indians gather near the historic Little Big Horn River for horse races, ceremonial dances and other traditional pastimes. To pay tribute to their ancestors, a few Crow wear native dress for the event. CA member Ken Riley, renowned for his authentic portrayals of Native American people, regularly attends the fair to study crafts and costumes. When he spotted some men on horseback against a teepee’s vivid outlines, he instantly felt the presence of the past, a vision he powerfully conveys. We introduced Ken’s initial works as Greenwich Workshop Textured Canvases™. Now, we’re proud to release Crow Fair as a limited edition print on paper, the first ever to bear his signature and our name.
His paintings are in the permanent collections of The White House and the Smithsonian, he´s the 1995 winner of the coveted Prix de West award and a member of the Cowboy Artists of America—Ken Riley´s list of accolades is impressive, and we are proud to publish another of his fine art textured canvases.
The Plains Indians of the 19th century, ever respectful of wildlife and land, used many natural materials in their ceremonial regalia. Feathers, porcupine quills, animal claws, beads, bones and skins all had symbolic meanings. This warrior carries on an ancient custom with his horned headdress; it shows his power and strength, and was usually reserved for men of high rank.