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Carey Pelto

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 An avid artist since childhood, Carey’s early cartooning skills were  not always appreciated in school.  Teachers often failed to recognize the satire in his caricatures, but encouraged him to pursue his artistic efforts.  In an effort to focus his talents, he enrolled in the College of Wooster as a Studio Art major- but neither his satirical cartoons, nor his interest in Realism impressed his Art professors much.  In his junior year of college, with an Art major nearly finished, he had an epiphany and decided to go to medical school instead.  He graduated from the Ohio State University College of Medicine in 1985 and started doing freelance medical illustration while he was a General Surgery resident.  After switching to Emergency Medicine as a specialty, Carey’s cover medical illustrations appeared on a number of medical journals, magazines, and advertisement in the 80’s and 90’s.  His medical computer animations won two awards in 1988 at the Bay Area Developers Conference.  And his artwork for TeamHealth, the nations biggest physician staffing organization, landed his posters in hundreds of emergency departments nationwide in 2008.


Although he continued to freelance in medical illustration, Carey’s creative style was slowly evolving. Late in 2017, he had another epiphany.  This time it brought him back to his artistic roots.  “One day I ruminated about the fact that everyone has access to a camera on their phone, 24/7- and suddenly, photorealism just didn’t seem relevant anymore.  The art that inspires me now is art that evokes emotion, through light and value and contrast- and leaves the viewer to fill in the blanks with their own minds. My goal now, with an increasingly looser style, is to frame the moment but leave the details to the viewer’s imagination.  I am often impressed with the rich variety of interpretations of my art that are shared by viewers.  In this respect, the visual arts and music share a beautiful similarity- the mutual appreciation of sensory input, but with uniquely personal interpretation.  That is something I never experienced in medical illustration!”


Carey works in a variety of media, but currently is working mostly in oils and pastel.  His work has been accepted into juried competitions in Colorado, and he was the featured new artist in the “Passionate about Pastels- National and International” Facebook site, where his artwork was featured on the cover page in 2018. Carey won four awards at the 2018 Victor Celebrates the Arts Festival (VCTA) for his pastel works, including the People’s Choice Award, the Poster Award, and the Heritage Award.  In January 2019, Carey was a featured artist on the BoldBrush Art Collectors online newsletter.  In May, 2019 his pastel painting "Enough", was juried into the Mile High National Pastel Exhibition, where it received an Honorable Mention Award.  In September, 2023, he won Third Place at the VCTA, as well as the June Bradley Interior Award and the Mardi Davis Award. In September, 2023, he won First Place at the Pikes Peak Pastel Society national show for his pastel painting “Makin’ Waves.”


Carey works out of his home studio in Old Colorado City.  His work has been featured in galleries in Colorado Springs, Old Colorado City, Steamboat Springs, and Woodland Park.  Contact the artist with any questions. He may have prints available of his orginal works!

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