Kevin A. Short

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Kevin Short
Born (1960-08-09)August 9, 1960
San Diego, California,
United States
Nationality American
Known for Painting, Printmaking
Notable work Trestles, Santa Fe, Glare

Kevin A. Short (born August 9, 1960) is an American painter and printmaker, recognized for his modern landscapes of the Pacific Coast and American Southwest. A surfer, he is considered an integral observer and portrayer of the surfing subculture. His use of heavy brushstrokes and vivid pigments are a recognizable trademark of his painting style.


Kevin Short was brought up in a creative- and scientific-minded family, living originally along San Diego Bay, California, and later moving to Santa Barbara County. It was there that sailing, surfing, the ocean, and the beach began to fill all available time. As a boy riding his bicycle through town, he noticed surf posters with artwork by Rick Griffin stapled to the telephone poles, an early influence on the young artist.[1]

A family move to Albuquerque, New Mexico became a formative influence in Short’s work: as a profound melancholy set in, he would find respite in painting and drawing the ocean. During these years, his feelings of being trapped in the desert began to change.[2] Becoming a Hot Air Balloon Pilot and viewing the New Mexico desert from above gave Short a whole new appreciation for his new home.[3] Though his parents were supportive of their son’s early artistic interests and obvious talent, Short’s desire to follow in his father’s footsteps as a scientist was his original vocational goal. This resolve was soon dashed, however, by conflicts with a High School Chemistry teacher.[2] At the encouragement of Dorothy Black, a student of Lorser Feitelson, Short decided to reset his goals and study at the Art Center College of Design, Pasadena, CA. First, Short studied Painting at the University of New Mexico from 1978 to 1980, exploring Modernism, and Abstract Expressionism.[1] Outside of classes, he painted murals and worked for the US Department of Defense, generating artwork for the Airborne Laser Laboratory’s Boeing NC-135.

In 1980, Short moved back to California to study at Pepperdine University in Malibu as a stepping-stone to entrance at the Art Center College of Design. Before graduating from Art Center, Short introduced himself to his childhood hero, Rick Griffin, and requested an apprenticeship. Griffin responded instead with an offer of friendship. Griffin became a source of guidance and influence from this point in Short’s life.[4]

In 1984, Short graduated and began a career painting advertisements for PepsiCo, Microsoft, Xerox, IBM, The Walt Disney Company, and various newspapers and magazines.[5]

Moving back to the beach inspired Short to resume painting the ocean and other subject matter relating to the surf subculture. After being featured on the cover of The Surfer's Journal, Peter Stoessel of Blue Rain Gallery (Santa Fe, New Mexico) encouraged Short to re-explore his paintings of the Southwest. Kevin now works out of his studios in Southern California and Durango, Colorado.[6]

In 2013 Kevin Short was selected for a retrospective of his work by the Carnegie Museum of Art in Ventura County, California. The retrospective exhibition: “Diffusion- Paintings of Blinding Light" featured a collection of “glare” paintings.[5]

In 2015 Kevin Short was selected for a retrospective of selected paintings by the California Surf Museum in Oceanside, California. The retrospective exhibition: “Trestles" featured a collection of “A History of Trestles by Kevin Short” paintings.[7]


1984 Bachelor's degree Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California.[1]

Selected exhibitions[edit]

  • One Man Show –Blue Rain Gallery, Santa Fe, New Mexico (2003)[1]
  • One Man Show –Parker Ranch Gallery, Waimea, Hawaii (2004)[citation needed]
  • One Man Show –Blue Rain Gallery, Santa Fe, New Mexico (2007)[citation needed]
  • Solo Exhibition- John Wayne Airport (2010)[8]
  • Retrospective - Carnegie Museum of Art in Ventura County, California.[5]
  • Selection -100 Years of Plein Air Painting, Irvine Museum, Irvine, California (2014)[9]
  • One Man Show - Hamilton Galleries, Santa Monica, California (June 2015)[10]
  • Retrospective - California Surf Museum in Oceanside, California (September 2015)[7]


  1. ^ a b c d Jackson, Devon, “The Long and The Short Of It,” Southwest Art, December 2003
  2. ^ a b Pezman, Steve “Trestles Suite,” The Surfers Journal, Vol. 11, number 3
  3. ^ ”California artist’s trip down historic Route 66 resulted in work showing nitty, gritty reality” American Art Collector, January, 2006
  4. ^ Weikel, Dan, “Surf Art Catches a Break” Los Angeles Times, January 31, 2006
  5. ^ a b c Bellah, Suzanne, “Diffusion: Paintings of Blinding Light by Kevin Short,” Carnegie Art Museum, June 2013
  6. ^ Nordquist, Rebecca, “Power Of The Paint” SC Times, June 14, 2001
  7. ^ a b KPBS, “Trestles Paintings retrospective by Kevin Short,” San Diego, September 29, 2015
  8. ^ Frisch, Jeffrey, “Kevin A. Short” John Wayne Airport Arts Program, June 2010
  9. ^ Stern, Jean, “Now and Then:100 Years of Plein Air Painting” Irvine Museum, May, 2014
  10. ^ Long, Warren, “Glare by Kevin A. Short” Hamilton Galleries, June 2015

Further reading[edit]


  • “Documenting the Vibe” Girard, Jeff

External links[edit]