Rick Bayers specializes in bringing the beauty of America’s landscapes into the homes of discriminating art collectors. A fine art painter for over forty years, Bayers is also a respected portrait artist who has been commissioned to capture many corporate executives and regional celebrities on the canvas. His work can be found in art galleries around the Midwest, the executive boardrooms of Fortune 500 companies, and the private homes of prominent families.
Bayers was born in Sparta, Illinois, and grew up in New Athens Illinois, a small rural and serene community that first instilled in him a love for nature and the outdoors. Rick picked up a brush at age 16 and found his passion at an early age. As he honed his painting skills over the years, he became influenced by the works of early 20th century American Impressionist painters from the well-known Hoosier Salon School in Brown County, Indiana.
Bayers has traveled the country over the past few decades in search of some of the most beautiful landscapes and scenery that America has to offer. Most recently, he has created a series of paintings that celebrate the wonder of St. Louis’ Forest Park. Paintings in this series depict the park’s splendid waterfalls, flower-lined reflection lakes, colorful lily ponds, and the popular buildings that remain from the historic 1904 World’s Fair. Bayers’ work also includes many rich scenes from the American Southwest and West Coast. Trips to the Grand Canyon, the communities of Sedona and Flagstaff in Arizona, the cities of Santa Fe and Taos in New Mexico, and Southern California have provided Bayers with inspiration for many of his paintings. From the vibrant sandstone mountains and sun-baked deserts of the Southwest to the superlative shores and vineyards found along the Pacific Coast Highway, Bayers has passionately portrayed the exquisite vistas that these areas are best known for. Bayers’ landscape work is rounded out by the rural landscape scenes that first inspired him; the farms and country communities of Missouri, Illinois, and Indiana have all been vividly captured by Bayers.
Notable subjects from Bayers’ portrait work include executives for some of St. Louis’ most well-known corporations. Most recently, Bayers was commissioned by Centene Corporation Chairman and CEO Michael Niedorff to create portraits for former Centene Board Chairman Claire Johnson and Founder and former CEO Elizabeth Brinn. The paintings will be a part of Centene’s permanent art collection and exhibited in their corporate boardroom. Other notable subjects include the children of Fox Sports broadcaster Joe Buck, as well as Mr. William Stiritz, past CEO of Ralston Purina Company. Bayers is also proud to have his portrait of the late Robert Hyland, past President of CBS Radio, included in the media archives collection at the St. Louis Historical Museum.
Bayers work can also be seen at the Kodner Gallery in St. Louis, Mo. He was recently honored to have been a part of Kodner’s “Best of Missouri Painters” exhibit at the Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis and was featured at Kodner’s “St. Louis River Keepers” exhibit in 2011. He was also chosen as one of the four artists for Kodner's "Missouri Masters" exhibit in 2011. Bayers also regularly exhibits his work at the galleries and vineyards of historic Ste. Genevieve, Mo.
Bayers currently resides at his country home and studio in Festus, Missouri, and is proud to have honed his skills at the School of Fine Art at Washington University in St. Louis. Rick is a member of the St. Louis Artist Guild, the Ste. Genavieve Art Guild, the Portrait Society of America, and Oil Painters of America.
"I wish everyone could experience the sheer happiness and euphoria I have when I paint. Only those who are blessed with this passion can know what I am talking about. I lay excited every night in anticipation, thinking about my paintings. The smell of linseed oil and turpentine is addicting to me. What’s amazing is this sensational feeling is as strong today as when I picked up my brush almost 40 years ago. In every one of my paintings you will see, in one form or another, this sincere approach to my work.
- Rick Bayers