Oswego artist Ted Watts has been invited as the adjudicator for the 56th annual Verdigris Valley Arts Exhibit. The event will open with a critique Friday, April 24 at 7 p.m. at the Independence Museum.

The public is invited to attend. All entries will be on display beginning Saturday, April 25 through Saturday, May 2.

Watts, is the sole proprietor of his own independent free-lance art studio since May 2, 1972. He has received many awards, honors and recognitions during his 40 year professional career. The small town artist with the big city talent has almost anonymously become one of the most popular and prolific portrait painters and illustrators in American history.

He is the only artist alive to have painted art gallery portraits of every one of the Heisman Trophy winners and cover illustrations for three NCAA Basketball Championships ‘Final Four event program covers.

Watts received his AA degree from Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College in Miami where he studied under famed Oklahoma naturilist and lithographer, Charles Banks Wilson. He received his bachelor of fine arts degree in 1966 from Pittsburg State University.

He has gained experience in a variety of art related fields that include: product illustration, architectural rendering, commercial art, graphic design, photography, copy writing, feature writing, printing, newspaper illustration and cartooning.

Today, Watts is among the last of a dying breed of classically trained traditional media artists whose Old Masters art style, techniques and art materials applications separate themselves from the computer slick illustrations of twenty-first century artists and the multitude of Photoshop craftsmen who populate the art marketplace these days.

Sports Illustrated senior writer, Douglas S. Looney, paid tribute to the versatile Kansan by stating “On college campuses, Ted Watts is easily the best know sports artist in the land…”

The works of Ted Watts hang in five Halls of Fame and fifteen colleges and universities around the United States. There are 172 portrait series that are on display at Allen Field House in Lawrence.

Those wishing to enter their work can do so from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday, April 17 and on Saturday, April 18, form 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. forms may be acquired by calling the Independence Museum at 620-331-3515.