Wayne Sealy (1948) USA, TX, CA, NE
Known for: illustrator, commercial art, educator, caricature
Wayne Sealy was born in Dallas, Texas in 1948. At an early age he moved with his family to California where his Aunt Ethel was an artist and became his greatest early influence in three-dimensional art. He was raised in Los Angeles. In 1955 Walt Disney was building his amusement park in Anaheim. This is where Sealy observed the development of Disney's amusement entertainment while playing army in the piles of dirt.
Sealy's passion for the visual arts continued through elementary school and on into high school. Harley Hoag was his California high school art instructor. Sealy took every class offered under Hoag, which included eight levels of commercial and eight levels of fine art. Hoag's reputation was for developing craftsmen who often were hired right out of high school as art directors in the California commercial art industry. Sealy won the Art Banner Award in high school and continued to college pursuing his interest in art and drawing. He selected Woodbury College because it was the only college with a Bachelors of Arts degree whereas the three other California art school programs offered only a certification in the art.
The Vietnam War was raging and the draft lottery assigned him a very low number. His number was literally up. With the knowledge and advice of his college fraternity brothers he decided to join the US Air Force. After basic training everyone had one day of free time. Instead of heading to the day room with the other airmen, he visited the base photographer. Sealy explained he was an illustrator and thought photography might be the same career field. The base photographer told him about the career program 223X1. So when superiors asked him about a bypass test the answer was 223X1. No one had ever heard of 223X1 for an illustrator, but after looking, he found a dusty book that outlined the program. This gave him a direct duty assignment to Vandenberg Air Force Base because of illustrating skills, and his first assignment was 4315 combat crew training squadron.
He started his tour at Vandenberg Air Force base. There were 10 illustrators in the art department at Vandenberg. As an illustrator, Sealy learned from Bill Runyon a GS14 (civilian). He traveled worldwide with his art. Then SAC called him to Omaha, Nebraska to be art editor for Combat Crew Magazine. In this capacity for four years, he literally reached international fame. While stationed in Omaha, Sealy studied life drawing at Bellevue College and graduated with distinction with a degree in Fine Arts in 1975.
Sealy served two tours of duty in the US Air Force developing his craft and then returned to civilian life as an art director. He served on the executive board for the March of Dimes in Denver, Colorado for three years, and Omaha, Nebraska for four years. For nine years he was an art director at Richmond Gordman retail stores and created advertising campaigns and all other forms of printed materials for retail sales. His freelance contributions in layout and design continue to be used by many area organizations and businesses.
Part of his artistic life includes being a magician, an actor and various creator of mascot adventures. He has dressed as a mouse for Shakey's Pizza, a cockroach for Ortho's chemical promotions in the Earl May Stores, and a chicken at Caniglia's restaurant, charities and other events. While entertaining as a mascot he would occasionally draw caricatures.
As an executive board member for the March of Dimes in Denver and Omaha, Nebraska, he created and designed many haunted houses that became the setting for the annual charity fund raising event for the March of Dimes.
In 1983 the opportunity to develop Mystery Manor presented itself. Sealy became the director and with the assistance of partners Mystery Manor was created in Omaha, and character actors and illusionists make the mystery happen at the Manor, which dates back to 1886. Mystery Manor continues to evolve and has operated for over 21 years.
Sealy's illustrative craft continues to develop with commissioned projects. He can produce ten caricature portraits in one hour, a skill that entertains people at golf tournaments, home shows, county fairs, special events, sporting events, conventions, auto clubs, retirement parties, Renaissance fairs and other commissions. On these occasions he uses paper, pen and ink to draw each portrait with details that make each subject unique. He has many repeat events annually, which provides opportunity for caricature portraits of the same people over the years. Many people have a personal collection of his works. These include different family's members including children as they grow, highlighting interests that change annually throughout a childhood.
Today Sealy teaches life drawing classes at his studio in his Omaha, Nebraska. He teaches students to see, which frees the students to be more relaxed with their skill in development of their craft and to grow and learn from their mistakes. He also teaches basic art to children including cartoon workshops.
Sealy's portfolio of commissioned work include illustrations for community centers, area churches, country club calendars, Boys Town-Father Flanagan, Ak-Sar-Ben, Dow Agro Science, advertising layouts for Richmond Gordman, Nebraskaland Glass, designs for the March of Dimes, Adventureland, retired employee caricature portraits for the Omaha US Post Office, Durham Western Heritage Museum special events, and illustrations for Denver's CBS Records of Pink Floyd, Neil Diamond and Billy Joel.
The studying of the masters influenced his art, but the key artist influences were Harley Hoag and Bill Runyon. The joy of Sealy's art is the freedom to create new projects and work with new clients on a daily basis.
Written and copyrighted August 2005 Janet Gwendolyn Smith, art consultant, art historian, art authenticator and independent curator. The biography is based upon personal interviews with Wayne Sealy, the artist, in July and August of 2005.
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