Kenneth J. Wyatt passed away on May 24, 2021, just a few weeks before his 91st birthday. The artist, best known for his Cowboy Art, also painted many religious and spiritual subjects and authored several books. In the 1980s, Dr. Wyatt was commissioned to paint “Offer Them Christ” which for many years was used as The Foundation for Evangelism’s logo and hung in The Upper Room Chapel in Nashville before coming to the Foundation’s headquarters at Lake Junaluska, N.C.
Dr. Wyatt explained that his talent with brush and paint was “strictly a gift from God…. I see paintings in my soul, and I just push the paint around until it looks like what I see inside.” His nearly 9,000 paintings hang in offices, churches in over 90 countries, museums, and are part of the collections of everyone from farmers to presidents! One journalist stated that “Wyatt is the Norman Rockwell of cowboy art, and his biblical paintings may be without peer.” (Jon Mark Beilue, Amarillo Glob-News, Aug. 10, 2013 https://www.amarillo.com/article/20130810/NEWS/308109779)
Wyatt’s paintings were also an inspiration to many artists and, with their story-telling quality, inspired those who saw them as well. He was a gifted speaker, having spent 30 years as an ordained Methodist minister before feeling the call to preach in a different medium. Spiritual paintings, including his portraits of the 12 Apostles and scenes from the life of Jesus Christ, hang in many churches worldwide. Fellow artist Jack Sorenson said, “He taught me two very valuable lessons as an artist. He said, always do paintings that have a story, because people remember the story more than they remember the painting, and always give it a clever title…. He was a wonderful man. I can’t say enough good things about him.”
Kenneth Wyatt was preceded in death by his wife, Veda, and is survived by his two children. The family has asked that in lieu of flowers memorial contributions be made to the Wounded Warrior Project.