Jack Koonce received a Bachelors degree from Weber State University in Utah, then taught art and biology prior to embarking upon a fulltime career as an artist. He has held past memberships in the" Society of Animal Artists", New York, NY, Oil Painters of America, Chicago Ill, and is currently active in the "Artists for Conservation group. His work has been shown in dozens of museums nationwide, and is exhibited at numerous galleries. He has received several awards Including the Sam Houston Migratory bird award in the Art for the Parks exhibition, and a purchase award at" Art and the Animal Kingdom", Bennington Center for the Arts, Bennington, VT. Living today on the Eastern edge of Idaho's Smoky Mountains near Sun Valley,Idaho Koonce finds spiritual and artistic inspiration in his rugged backyard. "My approach is conceptual in its construction, always ending as a compilation of current discoveries and past experiences." That approach to life, and now his life's work, has left him regretless.
Raised in the sagebrush hills and mountain peaks of central Idaho, Jack spent a childhood rambling through the wilderness that was his backyard. Fishing, hunting, hiking, skiing and sketching all combined to forge a deep bond with nature. His stunning canvases are evidence of that profound connection. Jack's work is alive with memory and insight, informed by years of observation of the natural world. His early years were filled with trips to the backcountry in summer and the famous ski slopes of his home near Sun Valley, in winter. Countless hours spent in the practice of ski racing did much to forge Koonce's character and painting style. In his work, he clearly draws upon the self-reliance, perseverance and awe, which the mountains demand of all those who travel them. For him skiing was about the mastery of craft as a way to discover beauty... and avoid disaster. That same attention to mastery is his guide to finding truth in the expression of painting.
While I have given time and artwork to many organizations working to conserve wildlife. I am currently most interested in using my work to expand awareness of habitat. As a former biology educator it was always evident that when wildife was offered a place to thrive on their own terms they were inevitably successful. One of the groups that I prefer and believe are doing amazing things in my area is the Nature Consevancy. The're aqusition af land for multi use purpose has been very successful in the promotion of wildlife habitat in conjunction with recreation and agrcultural uses.