Kenneth M. Freeman
While an illustrator, Freeman's interest in portraits and subjects of the West intensified. John Singer Sargent has always been his idol as a portrait artist, and Ken has maintained a portrait style in all his art forms including oil, bronze, and most recently in etched glass. His models are unanimously impressed by his ability to capture on canvas that essence of humanity. Freeman won first prize for a portrait of his daughter at the Illinois State Fair.
Other accolades include winning the Salmagundi Show in New York City, the Union League Club of Chicago, being chosen five times as artist for the Parada del Sol Rodeo in Scottsdale, Arizona and having a painting selected for the 1988 Prescott Centennial Rodeo. That painting was used as the inside cover of Arizona Highways.
He was also famous for painting original art for the Hashknife pony express ride three years running from which posters have been made and sold in the post offices. Senator Jon Kyl of Arizona chose two of these posters for display in the Library of Congress and to be included in the Legacy Project.
Southwest Art has also written feature articles about him and displayed many of his rodeo and native American pieces which are well recognized and respected. Freeman earned the honor of creating the art for the 50th anniversary of the Orange Blossom Festival Rodeo in Davey, Florida. Ken's painting entitled "Heluva Good Morning" won Pick of the Show in "The Cowboy" at San Diego Museum of Fine Art.
He was known affectionately as "Rembrandt of the Rodeo"
by members of the press. Television and radio frequently interviewed Freeman and showed his colorful and masterful works to the public.