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Arthur Upelnieks

by on November 21, 2014

Arthur Upelnieks, deceased Latvian-American born in Latvia 1911-1994.

Arthur Upelnieks was born in Latvia in 1911. He graduated from the National Art Institute in 1932 and was appointed scenery painter for the National Opera.  His first solo exhibition was in Riga, capital of Latvia, was followed by 14 solo exhibitions throughout Germany from 1946 to 1954.  Paintings by Upelnieks were purchased for the Bavarian State Museum in Germany during this time period.  Upelnieks moved to New York where he resided in Bell Harbor, New York until his death in 1994.  As an American artist his paintings were on permanent exhibition with the ARNOT Gallery on 57th Street in New York City, The Reading Public Museum in Pennsylvania in 1962, a solo exhibition at the Ligoa Duncan Art Gallery in 1963, and the William A. Farnsworth Museum in Maine from 1972 – 1973.  His paintings of Baltic fishing scenes with dominent reds and oranges were always in great demand.  Listed in the 1970-1971 Buyers Guide to Contemporary Art, Artists USA.  Recognized as a premier American artist in Who’s Who in American Art in 1976 in which his work is noted for his style and technique of seascapes in oil done with both palette knife and brush.  In 1972 Upelnieks was invited to join the American Artists Professional League.  He exhibited his paintings at the annual Grand National Arts Exhibitions where he won prizes for his paintings in 1973 to 1975.  In 1978 Upelnieks was awarded Honorable Mention, and in 1979 he won the Gold Medal Award.  In 1980 he won the Director’s Award and 2nd prize in 1984.  Intermittingly he served as juror, critic, spokesman, lecturer and chairman of the AAPL.  In 1993 he was honored in his native Latvia with a ceremony in the Museum E. Smilga Teatre Muzejs for the opening of a permanent display of art, reproduction and life story.

Arthur Upelnieks was a resident of Bell Harbor, New York since 1972 and painted for over 70 years.  He devoted his life to the creation of fine art.  He enjoyed spending his summers travelling and sketching the rocky Maine Coast for his inspiration to produce award winning seascapes.  Arthur Upelnieks died on July 5th, 1994.


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