Charles Wysocki – American Celebration


Charles Wysocki was born in 1928 in Detroit, Michigan. From the time he was a little tot, he always wanted to be an artist. His father was an immigrant from Poland who worked on the assembly line at Ford Motor Co. for over 35 years. His father was not thrilled about his son’s artistic aspirations. Most of his encouragement came from his mother. She fully supported his artistic tendencies. Charles went to high school at Cass Technical High School and focused on their art program. For a time he worked as an apprentice in Detroit art studios. Then Uncle Sam snatched him up.

CharlesWysocki-HawkRiverHollowAfter leaving the Army, Charles attended Art Center in Los Angeles (it is now in Pasadena) on the G.I. Bill. After completing his studies, and majoring in design and advertising illustration, Charles joined the staff of freelance artists at McNamera Brothers in Detroit in 1955. He lived at home with his parents during this time. Charles moved to Los Angeles in 1959.

There he formed an advertising agency with three other artists called “Group West” and was very successful doing freelance commercial artwork. Some of his clients included General Tire, Unocal, Carnation, Chrysler, United California Bank, Otis elevator company, and Dow Chemical Co. to name a few. During this time he won numerous awards for his illustrative talents. Then he met Elizabeth, and she unleashed the primitive artist that was buried within him.

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His published numerous prints with them during this time from 1979-1993.  He also traveled around the country and made personal appearances at galleries all over the United States.  Charles won many awards for his work including one he is most proud of, receiving the medal of honor from the National Society Daughter’s of the American Revolution, the society’s highest national honor.  Charles also published two books during this time, “An American Celebration” in 1985 and “Heartland” in 1993.

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He also appeared in People magazine July 7, 1986, and was invited to the White House Independence Day celebration in 1981 (for which he did a painting that supposedly still hangs there).  Then he needed a break.

Charles painted his whole life, and up to his death at the age of 73.

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