Billyo is a Missourian - born and raised in a family of nine children approximately 70 miles west of St. Louis near the Missouri River - in Warren County. The family farm was surrounded by two landowners with over 14,000 acres. Consequently, his boyhood was spent living a "Huck Finn" kind of life roaming the forests and streams, fishing, hunting, and creating art.
His artwork as a child and young man has led to many adventures in his current life such as taking him on a cruise up the Hudson River on the Forbes family yacht and to Cumberland Island to stay in the Carnegie family mansion, which gave him an opportunity to paint the island. He has also had the honor of painting the St Louis Symphony Orchestra during a full dress rehearsal, the Roswell Symphony Orchestra in New Mexico, and the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. His book "Painting Missouri" authored by Karen Glines, is to receive the Governors Book Award for 2009. This project took 7 years to complete painting in every county in the state of Missouri.
Billyo is recognized as one of America's leading landscape painters by several prestigious plein air invitationals, and was included in a traveling exhibit and book, "Sea To Shining Sea," curated by the Haggin Museum in Stockton, CA and comprised of 50 of America's top landscape painters.
But, he takes the greatest pride in having been honored at the Governor's Mansion in Jefferson City for an unveiling of a selection of his 115 paintings in the book, "Painting Missouri," authored by Karen Glines - depicting the 114 counties in Missouri and the city of St. Louis which is currently on display at the downtown library in Kansas City.
2012 Best of Show Award, 14th Annual Laguna Beach Plein Air Painting Invitational
2012 Guest Artist to paint in Maine with the Plein Air Painters of America
2012 Missouri Arts Councils "Independent Artist Award" presented in the Rotunda of State Capital by First Lady Georganne Nixon.
2012 - 2011 Best of Show and Wine Label Award Big Cedar Lodge Paint Out
2009 Missouri Humanites Gvoernors Book Award
for "Painting Missouri"
2005 – 20012 Maui Plein Air Painting Invitational
2009 "Artist Choice" Lanai Plein Air Invitational.
2009 "Best of Show" and "Quick Draw Winner" Maui Plein Air Invitational.
2007 Selected to created an ornament for the White House christmas tree.
2006-Best Body of Work 2006– Maui Plein Air Invitational
2006 King of Frames, – Maui Plein Air Painting Invitational.
2003 Advocacy Award by the Missouri Citizens for the Arts
1999 National Oil and Acrylic "Best use of Light and Color"
1996 Painters' Society Exhibition - Design selected for the State of Missouri license plate
1996 Missouri State Community Colleges Award "Achievement in the Arts Artwork" selected for use by Austria's Board of Tourism
1994 Artwork selected for the cover of the Japan's Creators' Association Annual, a publication of work from artists from around the world
2008 One of ten artists curated group show, Stock Farm Club, Hamilton, MT.
2006-2007 One man exhibition, Mike Carroll Gallery, Lanai, HI.
2006-2007 Group exhibition, Helen Fox Fine Art, Charleston, SC.
2006 Irvine Heritage Invitational, Joan Irvine Ranch, CA.
2005 Curated into a group of 10 artist to paint on Cumberland Island staying in the last family owned mansion on the Island.
1999-2006 - LPAPA and Laguna Art Museum CA, one of 50 of America's top Plein Air Painters' Invitational
2003-2004 – Haggin Museum in CA Exhibit “Sea to Shining Sea” 50 of Americas leading Landscape painters.
2001 Invited guest aboard Forbes family yacht New York, NY
2001 - Kodner Gallery, St. Louis, MO, One-man show
2000, 1999, and 1997 - Oil Painters of America National Exhibit
2000-1996 - California Art Club Outdoor Painting Festival, San Juan Capistrano Mission
2000-1998, 1996 - National Oil and Acrylic Painters' Society, Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri Artwork in many corporate collections
1998-1997 - Northern Colorado Artists' Association National Exhibit
1998 - Arts for the Parks, Top 200, Jackson Hole, Wyoming
1991-1989 - Society of Illustrators New York, NY, Society of Illustrators Los Angeles, CA.
Margaret Harwell Art Museum (2005), Poplar Bluff Missouri
St. Louis University Museum of Art, St. Louis Missouri
Ella Caruthers Dunnegan Gallery of Art, Bolivar Missouri
: St. Louis Artists' Guild- 1997-2004 Board of Directors, California Art Club - out of State Artist Member, National Oil and Acrylic Association - Signature member, Board Member Missouri Citizens for the Arts
2001- 2007 COMPLETED PAINTING MISSOURI PROJECT
2006-05 – Painted Milwaukee Symphony
2004 – Creation of a painting, “Departing From the Village of La Charrette,” May 25, 1804, in honor of the Marthasville Lewis & Clark Bicentennial Committee’s efforts in recreating the Village of La Charrette.
2001 - Involved in a project called Painting Missouri www.PaintingMissouri.com where artist has collaborated with writer, Karen Glines. He is painting each of Missouri’s counties 115, on location, for a book that will also include an essay on each county. This project has taken him on a journey throughout the state encompassing thousands of miles and experiencing hundreds of stories. Articles have appeared throughout the state (available on the website above) as well as on TV/radio programs.
2001 - 2002 – Founder of “Artists Along Missouri” where a group of artists traveled in the spring and fall to a specific region and painted in plein air. Locations have included Clinton, Clarksville, Marceline and Hermann, Missouri.
2003 – Painted Roswell Symphony Orchestra as it rehearsed along with renowned cellist, Julian Lloyd Webber. Both artists were recognized at a reception in New Mexico.
2003 – The Haggin Museum in Stockton California selected 50 of the leading American landscape artists to create paintings for a traveling exhibit “From Sea to Shining Sea” including New York City and the Hudson River Valley, Big Sur in California, and the St. Louis region – where Billyo led the group of artists. American Artist Magazine will dedicate a future issue in entirety to this event.
2005, 2004, 2003, 2002 - American Heart Association Annual Christmas card
2002 - Art of the West Magazine article in September/October
2001 – First artist to paint Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra as it rehearsed with original paintings on exhibition and images used for promotional purposes for the symphony.
2001-2000 - Founder of "Artists Along the Katy Trail" - an innovative project involving the Katy Trail in Missouri, the longest rails to trails conversion in the United States (227 miles) where 200 artists from across the state of Missouri painted along the trail. A curated exhibit traveled throughout Missouri in 2000 and 2001. This event received major regional attention and became the model for projects like this across the United States through the National Endowments for the Arts. The event took place for 16 days each year.
1999-1997 - Organized the "Forest Park Paint Out" in Forest Park, St. Louis, Missouri, one of the most beautiful city parks in the United States.
Billyo Originals Gallery, Chesterfield Mall, (next to Dillard's) Chesterfield, MO
Helena Fox Fine Art, Charleston South Carolina,
The Arts Company, Nashville Tennessee
Mike Carroll Gallery located on the Island of Lanai,
Kodner Gallery, St. Louis Missouri – 9650 Clayton Rd., Ladue, MO 63124