Bio: Keith Ferris
Born in 1929, the son of a career Air Force Officer, Keith Ferris grew up with military aviation. He attended Texas A&M majoring in Aeronautical Engineering, George Washington University and Corcoran School of Art in Washington, DC. He began his art career as a civilian in Air Force Publications in 1947 and, after five years with St Louis art studio Cassell, Watkins Paul, Ferris became a freelance artist in the New York area in 1956 and a member of the Society of Illustrators in 1960.
His art has served the advertising, editorial, public relations, and historical documentation needs of the aerospace industry, publications, the military services, and air and space museums for 62 years.
His work has been published in advertising, magazines, books, posters, calendars and industry and military publications throughout his career. Over 40 Ferris paintings have been published in fine art print form by The Greenwich Workshop, Inc. and by Keith Ferris Galleries.
Ferris created the 25 foot high by 75 foot wide mural in oil “Fortresses Under Fire” in the World War II Gallery of the National Air and Space Museum of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC, and the 20 foot by 75 foot Evolution of Jet Aviation mural in the museum’s Jet Aviation Gallery.
Keith Ferris is a Life Member of the Society of Illustrators and a recipient of SI’s Dean Cornwell Recognition Award for his 18 years on the SI Board of Directors as Government Services Committee Chairman responsible for the Society’s Air Force Art Program, the Coast Guard Illustration Program and the Coast Guard Bicentennial Art Project. He served for two years as the Society’s Executive Vice President.
Having participated in the United States Air Force Art Program for over 48 years, Ferris knowledge of aviation has been greatly enhanced by having flown more than 300 hours in jet fighter aircraft. He has flown in most all jet aircraft types in the Air Force inventory while documenting the Air Force mission with art. There are 60 major Ferris paintings in the Air Force Art Collection.
Ferris deployed across the Pacific to South East Asia as a civilian back-seater with the first squadron of F-4E Phantoms in 1968 where he participated in missions of the F-4E, the F-105F and the B-52D. He has spent a total of eight weeks over a 25-year period flying with the USAF Fighter Weapons Schools, experiencing the employment of aircraft ranging from the F-100 to the F-15 and F-16. He holds five United States patents for deceptive aircraft paint systems.
Keith Ferris is a founder and past president of the American Society of Aviation Artists. This organization is Dedicated to the Pursuit of Excellence and Public Appreciation of Aerospace Art.
A lifelong student of perspective and spatial relationships, Ferris utilizes the science of perspective projection by descriptive geometry to achieve the three dimensional optical effects evident in his art.
Serving regularly on the faculty of the ASAA sponsored annual Aviation Art Forums, he teaches the basics of aviation art, drawing, painting, composition, light and reflected light so important in aviation art. ASAA Forum subjects also include business practices, contracts and copyright issues. Ferris is dedicated to eliminating misunderstanding or misuse by anyone of the rights of the creator of copyrightable material.
In 1995 Ferris received an honorary doctorate of Humane Letters from Daniel Webster College in Nashua, NH for his years of documenting aviation history through art. He is a member of the Aviation Week & Space Technology Laureate Hall of Fame in the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air & Space Museum and in 2004, Ferris was the recipient of AW&ST’s Laureate Award for Lifetime Achievement.
Ferris is an elected member of the Society of Illustrators Hall of Fame.
Keith Ferris is proud to represent the American Society of Aviation Artists on the board of the American Society of Illustrators Partnership.