Noted sports and western artist Kelly Akins grew up in Laguna Beach and has been exhibiting his artwork at the Sawdust Festival since 1977.
After graduating from Art Center College of Design in 1980. Kelly became a successful illustrator, doing movie poster, book, animation and advertising art.
He has traveled extensively around the world to gather inspiration for his paintings. Many of his journeys have been around the Western U.S. where he visits Native American and working cowboys.
His sports paintings have been commissioned by the NFL, NBA and Major League Baseball. His paintings and prints are in the collections of: Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Clyde Drexler, Corey Pavin,Harmon Killebrew and Chuck Noll, to name a few.
For Ten years he taught classes at the Laguna College of Art and Design and currently is the art teacher at Lakeside High School in Lake Elsinore, CA.