Gallery Artists > Joe Abbrescia Biography :

Joe Abbrescia (b. 1936)  Artworks >>

Joe Abbrescia died February 17, 2005 at his home in Kalispell, Montana. Following are excerpts from his obituary in the Kalispell newspaper, the Daily Inter Lake. Nationally known Western painter and Kalispell resident Joseph Leonard Abbrescia, 68, died Thursday at Kalispell Regional Medical Center. Abbrescia won numerous awards in his career, including two prestigious C.M. Russell awards last year. His painting of a mountainscape viewed from the Highline Trail in Glacier National Park received both the People's Choice and Best of Show honors. He received other C.M. Russell accolades over the years. Abbrescia was known for his Western paintings and his scenic paintings of Glacier. He worked from the downtown Kalispell studio and gallery he shared with his wife, Sue. The couple's two sons, Joey and Tony, also work in the art field in Kalispell. Abbrescia grew up in Chicago and took classes at the American Academy of Art while he was in high school. In the late 1950s, he was drafted into the Army and went to Anchorage, Alaska, where he worked as an illustrator. He also taught art classes to officers' wives and found sharing his knowledge with others made him a better painter. He went on to teach later in his career. After two years in the Army, he returned to Illinois and worked as a commercial illustrator. He married Sue in 1963. The two had dated since 1960 when they met on a blind date. In 1965, Abbrescia and his brother opened an art school in Illinois, and he pursued fine art and teaching. Eleven years later the family moved to Kalispell after Abbrescia fell in love with the area after stopping out West to sell a painting. He frequently painted on location in Glacier and was an artist in residence there the summer of 1998. Glacier Park Inc. commissioned two paintings from Abbrescia, one in 1997 and one in 1999. The paintings now hang in the lobbies of the lodges at Many Glacier and Lake McDonald. Reference:

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