Kirk Richards studied with prominent American painter and teacher Richard Lack in Minneapolis from 1976-1980 after earning his BFA and MA degrees in art from West Texas State University. Kirk returned to Amarillo with his wife Linda in 1981. The following year he founded Atelier Richards and taught there until 1988 when he was commissioned to paint three murals for the centennial of First Baptist Church in Amarillo.
Also well known for his still life and genre paintings, in 1984, Richards was one of only 24 artists nationwide to be certified by the American Portrait Society and has painted many of Amarillo’s noted citizens including James Setapen, director of the Amarillo Symphony, operatic soprano Mary Jane Johnson, Dr. James Rauscher, chairman of the music department at Amarillo College, Sister Olivia Prendergast, founder of Saint Anthony’s Hospice, and the late Metropolitan Opera tenor, Timothy Jenkins.
As a member of the American Artist Professional League he won the Lee M. Loeb Memorial Award for Excellence in 1987, as well as many other national awards and recognitions, including the Jurors choice awards in boththe Salon International Exhibition in Jackson Mississippi and the Night Walker National Juried Exhibition in Fort Collins Colorado. He has exhibited in prestigious exhibitions including a 4 man exhibition with artists Richard Lack, Don Koestner, and Stephen Gjertson at the Newington Cropsey Foundation in Hastings on the Hudson New York entitled, Beauty: A Rebirth of Relevance; An exhibition of the American Society of Classical Realism (ASCR) Guild, also at the Newington-Cropsey Foundation in February, 2001; Acollaborative exhibition of the ASCR Guild and the California Art Club entitled: East Coast Ideals-West Coast Concepts; a private showing at Sotheby’s in New York City; group shows such as Classical Realism - The Other 20th Century, and Painters of Light, the art of the Boston School. He was a contributing author to the book Realism in Revolution: The Art of the Boston School. He has been profiled in the Volume 3, 2001 issue of the American Society of Portrait Artists Portrait Signature magazine; in the June/July 1991 issue of International Fine Art Collector, and in theClassical Realism Quarterly. He wrote an article for the Classical Realism Journal concerning the classical training of Joseph H. Sharp, E.I. Couse, and Bert Geer Phillips, three of the artists of the Taos Founders entitled “From the Academy to the Pueblo.”
He has held memberships in several professional organizations including the American Artists Professional League, The American Portrait Society-certified, The American Society of Portrait Artists, Oil Painters ofAmerica, and was the only artist ever to be elected to join the original roster of the ASCR Full Guild of Artists. He is currently a member of the re-organized Artists Guild of the ASCR.
His work can be found in numerous private and public collections. He and his wife Linda live in Amarillo. They have two children, Katy and Joel.