"Across the Arroyo"
Charles Muench is an artist living in between the Sierra Mountains and the high plains desert of Nevada. He received a Bachelor of Fine Arts-with great distinction degree from San Jose State University. He studied primarily under Maynard D. Stewart, a student of Frank Vincent DuMonds and the son of renowned Utah landscape painter, LeConte Stewart. After receiving his degree, Charles attended classes at the Art Students League with David Leffel, Michael Burban, Jack Faragasso, and others. In 1992, Charles moved to Madrid, Spain, where he painted the city and countryside, studied Velasquez, copied master works in the Prado, and attended classes at the Circulo Bellas Artes.
Charles has a feature article in Tahoe Quarterly Mountain Home 2017 and the Nov/Dec 2016 issue of Art of the West article Celebrating Our National Parks. He was the featured cover artist in the April 2013 issue of Southwest Art magazine. He has been included in the July 2012 issue of Art of the West magazine and has been featured in the June 2010 American Art Collector, June 2007 and the June 2003 issue of Southwest Art, as well as the December 2011 and May 2005 issue of Plein Air magazine.
Charles’ artwork will be featured in the 2016 Small Works- Great Wonders Exhibit at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum. His work was included in the prestigious 2014-2015 Coeur d'Alene Art Auction, the largest auction of western art in the nation. His painting, “Crystal Cove Patterns,” is now in the Irvine Museum’s permanent collection. Charles received the Patron’s Choice Award at the 2013, 2008, and 2005 Maynard Dixon Country Invitational. In 2012, Charles was honored to receive the Irvine Museum Gold Medal Award at the California Art Club's 101st Annual Exhibition. His painting was purchased by the historic California Club, in Los Angeles, CA, and hangs in their permanent collection. Charles also received the Southwest Art Award of Excellence at the 100th Annual Exhibition in 2010 and the Edgar Payne Award for Best Landscape at the 99th Annual Exhibition in 2009. He was unanimously elected a Signature Member of the California Art Club. Charles received the First Place Award at the 2008 Heritage Art Exhibition presented by Joan Irvine. Charles was awarded the First Place Award and Best Painting of the Cove Award at the 2007 and 2005 Crystal Cove Alliance Invitational in Laguna Beach, CA. He also was honored with the Best of Show/Artist’s Choice Award at the 2006 Telluride Plein Air Show. Charles received the Gold Medal Award at the San Luis Obispo Plein Air Event in October 2002.
“The philosophy of The Irvine Museum is that the great works created by artists of the late 19th and early 20th centuries are antecedent to the great works created by contemporary landscape painters and Charles is one of the best examples of that philosophy. I have long admired his work. I have always believed that landscape painting is the most noble of pictorial arts. Certainly, the most difficult goal of landscape painting is to paint the light, but few artists are capable of doing it perfectly, and Charles is in that elite group.”
-Jean Stern, Executive Director, Irvine Museum, CA.
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