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Ted Watts

Ted Watts from Oswego, Kansas is a retired free-lance artist/illustrator/writer who specializes in portraiture and display paintings for exhibit (most with a sports, western, entertainment or history theme) and now publishes fine art reproductions, books and 'Collectibles' for sports and art collectors .

TED WATTS, b. December 12, 1942 in Anthony, Kansas is an American artist specializing in sports themed display paintings, illustrations and murals. He is most famed as being the only artist alive to have painted art gallery portraits of every one of the Heisman Trophy winners and rendering cover illustrations for three NCAA Basketball Championships ‘Final Four’ event program covers.

Ted Watts’ Catalogue Raisonné contains everything from hand-drawn and painted logos, cartoons and drawings for stadium cups, T-shirts and postcards to Fine Art portraits, display paintings and elaborately detailed sports venue murals for public display.

NUMBERS: During his forty-eight year professional career (1959-2007) and seven years of 'retirement'. . .Watts' sports art production "statistics" have been prodigious. He has completed over 6,000 pieces of finished art.

Among that number, Watts has done over 1,250 book, magazine, game program and media guide cover illustrations (including 65 national award winners as selected by CoSIDA from 1973-2007; 1,500 plus display paintings and portraits; 600 posters and calendars; 95 limited edition art prints; and three murals.

CLIENTS: His art studio client list includes the United States Olympic Committee, the National Collegiate Athletic Association; the NCAA Publishing Service; the National Football Foundation and College Football Hall of Fame; and over 160 college and university athletic departments from coast-to-coast. Twenty-six professional sports teams and fifteen national sports publications are included among 250 plus ‘other’ patrons of Watts' studio over the past 40 + years.

HALLS OF FAME: His works hang in the College Football Hall of Fame; Pro Football Hall of Fame, Canton, OH; Major League Baseball Hall of Fame, Cooperstown, NY; Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame, Springfield, MA; and USA Wrestling Hall of Fame, Stillwater, OK. Fifteen colleges and universities exhibit permanent collections of his paintings.

ARCHIVED: Replicas of Watts' most noteworthy art are permanently archived in the 'KANSAS COLLECTION' in the Leonard H. Axe Library on the campus of Watts' alma-mater, Pittsburg State University in Pittsburg, Kansas.

Original Art * Fine Art Prints * Reproductions * Collectibles

NOTEWORTHY: Nationally, both the fine arts world and sports fans recognize Watts' unique artistic style from the series of art portraits entitled “The Heisman Trophy Winners Art Gallery” originally on display in the College Football Hall of Fame - South Blend, IN (1996-2013); a panoramic 33' x 10' Oklahoma Sooners Football mural on display within the Barry Switzer Center on the University of Oklahoma campus - Norman, OK; a series of 172 art portraits for the University of Kansas Athletics Hall of Fame on display or archived in ‘Phog’ Allen Fieldhouse on the KU campus in Lawrence, KS; and a panoramic 72' x 10' Wichita State Shockers Baseball mural on display at Eck Stadium on the WSU campus - Wichita, KS (the largest on-campus mural in the United States); and a mural art tribute to TCU (Texas Christian University) Football on display in the John Justin Center on the TCU campus in Fort Worth, TX.

WORKING ALONE: Watts has always been known by the public and the media more for his portraiture, detailed compositions and distinctive trademark "lightning bolt" artistic signature than his rare public appearances.

Notoriously reclusive, Watts seldom leaves the friendly confines of his 'favored' five-state area of Kansas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Arkansas and Texas preferring to work on art projects at home rather than travel.

EDUCATION: Ted is a Miami, Oklahoma High School graduate (Class of 1960); Northeastern Oklahoma A&M; College (NEO) - Miami, OK Alumnus (AA Degree - May 1962); and received his Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degree from Pittsburg State University (then - Kansas State College of Pittsburg) on January 27, 1966.

PITTSBURG STATE HONORS: Watts graduated from Pittsburg State in January 1966 and received his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree (BFA 1966) that May.

He was voted as an Outstanding Young Alumnus of PSU (1976); named a PSU Meritorious Achievement Award winner (1988) and enshrined as a member of PSU's Athletic Hall of Fame (1999). In addition, he is a past president of the Pittsburg State Alumni Association (1982-83) and was a charter member of the PSU Athletic Advisory Committee.

MILITARY: While a senior at PSU, Watts joined the Kansas Army National Guard in 1965. He served on active duty in the US Army in 1966-67 rising to the rank of infantry platoon sergeant E-5 and when deactivated, served in the KARNG until being honorably discharged in January 1972.

During this time, Watts worked in the fields of advertising, sales and newspaper production for three Oswego-area companies before opening his own business in May 1972. He gained experience in a variety of art related fields that included: product illustration, architectural rendering, commercial art, graphic design, photography, copywriting, feature writing, printing, newspaper illustration and cartooning.

STUDIO HISTORY: The artist has been the sole proprietor of his own independent free-lance art studio since May 2, 1972. His office and studio archives are located in the Blair-Watts Building in downtown Oswego, Kansas.

PERSONAL: Watts and his wife, FAYE (née Newbanks) were married August 26, 1967 and have lived in Oswego, Kansas all of their married life. They have two sons, THOM Watts, his wife SARAH, granddaughter, LILY and grandson TEAGAN all of Pittsburg, KS and son, BRAD Watts of Oswego, KS.

Ted & Faye (May 25, 2010) – MHS Class of 1960 -50th Reunion Photo

RECENTLY: Since his retirement on December 12, 2007 (his 65th birthday) - Ted has been cataloguing his archived original art, prints and collectibles; working on fine art projects of his own choosing and updating annual art 'series' for 'favored collegiate clients' of the past forty years. He continues to develop a non-published portfolio of non-sports theme drawings and paintings for his immediate family and three of his closest friends.

FORTY-FIRST ANNIVERSARY: Ted Watts Art Studio celebrated forty one years as an independent creative work place on Thursday May 2, 2013.

SPRING/SUMMER 2014: Watts is currently working on three sports art book projects (both writing and editing) while assisting Faye, Thom and Brad with the administration of their family owned graphic arts publishing company and the operation of Ted Watts Art Gallery in Oswego.

BIO: Last Updated by Ted – April 9, 2014

Ted’s ‘Triple Self Portrait’ © 1996 (After Norman Rockwell's February 13, 1960 Saturday Evening Post Cover)

(December 12, 2009) - Ted Watts visited the Heisman Gallery exhibit at the College Football Hall of Fame for one last time. ~ Photo by Brad Watts

1972 - 2014