Don Oelze is a widely recognized and highly respected oil painter, renowned for depicting traditional Native American culture. A portal into the Old West, Don’s impressionistic masterpieces commemorate time-honored Native life and allow viewers to relive history; as he demonstrates keen precision in anatomy and composition; each painting telling a story. Born in New Zealand, Don showed an early fascination with the American West and exhibited natural artistic talent since childhood. When he and his family relocated to the United States, Don studied painting and drawing at Franklin Pierce University in New Hampshire. As a young adult, his friendship with a Native American artist in Seattle was a pivotal moment in Don’s career, as his friend encouraged him to paint native life. For the next ten years, Don continued painting American Indians, refining his technique while living in Japan. In 2004, Don returned to the United States with his wife, Utako, and settled in Montana, where he actively explores the country and the people he loves to paint.
A member of “Oil Painters of America,” Don won the 2016 Art of the West “Choice Award” at the 42nd annual Western Art Show & Sale. In 2015, Don was awarded “First Time Entrant Award” and “2nd Place Winner in Oil” at the 30th Bosque Art Classic in Clifton, Texas. He also recently received “Gallery Choice Award” at the ‘Traveling the West’ Art Show & Sale in Dallas. Don is a three-time “Best of Show” winner, “Juror’s Choice Award” winner, and “Collector’s Choice Award” winner at the Calgary Stampede Western Showcase in Calgary, Alberta. In addition to the numerous awards he has won at the Red Bluff Western Art Show, Don is a paramount participant at national and international juried art conventions including “Western Artists of America,” and “American Artists of the West Show.” A best seller at Settler’s West Gallery, Legacy Gallery, Trailside Gallery, and Altermann Galleries, Don’s success continues to impress and fascinate both jurors and collectors alike.