Oelze, Don

Don Oelze
Born 1965 in Invercargill, New Zeland; lives in Clancy, Montana

DON WAS BORN IN NEW ZEALAND to American parents. From an early age, he developed a fascination with America, especially with the lifestyle and representation of cowboys and Indians. In primary school, he started drawing Native Americans; he remembers getting in trouble for drawing Indians in class instead of paying attention to his New Zealand history teacher. When he was eight years old, his parents moved back to the United States where he continued to draw and paint throughout high school and university. Don completed his art education at Franklin Pierce University in New Hampshire.

In 1992, while living in Seattle, he met a Native American named Everett who produced native art and Totems. While working with Everett, he created his first major painting depicting a Native subject. After trying many different subjects, he knew that painting Native Americans was what he loved to do most. In 2004, he and his wife, Utako, moved from Japan, where he had been working, back to the U.S. He currently lives with his family in Montana, studying the country and people that he loves to paint.

Notable Awards and Achievements
2022 Briscoe Wester Art Museum, Night of Artists, Patron’s Choice Award and Sam Houston Award for Painting
2021 The Museum of Western Art, Roundup Exhibition and Sale, Artists’ Choice Award
2016 Phippen Museum, 42nd Annual Wester Art Show & Sale, Art of the West Choice Award
2016 Mountain Oyster Club, Contemporary Western Art Show and Sale, Member’s Choice Award
2015 Southwest Gallery, Traveling the West Art Show and Sale, Gallery Choice Award
2015 Bosque Art Center, 30th Bosque Art Classic, First Time Entrant Award
2014 Red Bluff Wester Art Show, Third Place in Painting category
2013 Calgary Stampede, Creative Arts and Crafts Competition, Best Flat Artist and Jurors Choice Award

Oil Painters of America

Gallery Representation
Legacy Gallery
Settlers West Gallery
Illume Gallery
Coeur d’Alene Gallery


Museum Info

Monday – Saturday:
10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Noon – 5 p.m.

500 W. Washington St.
Indianapolis, IN 46204