Kansas Academy of Oil Painters (KAOP) began in 1985 at the urging of the Wichita Center for the Arts, formerly the Wichita Art Association, which had been sponsoring an annual small oil painting show for several years. The annual show at the center was a national competition of oil paintings varying in size from 5 x 7 inches to 16 x 20 inches. Kansas artists were encouraged to found an organization to further stimulate an interest in oil painting for both the artist and the viewer/collector.
In order to ensure a standard of high quality work, the Kansas Academy of Oil Painters was formed in 1985 with 52 members, all of whom had been accepted in three of the Wichita Center for the Arts National Small Oil Painting Competition by three different national jurors. When the National Small Oil Painting Competition was discontinued in 1995, the members of KAOP determined it necessary to revise the by-laws to allow new members to be accepted by submitting ten slides or photographs of current work to be judged by the board of directors of the organization. The membership of KAOP includes prize-winning artists, most of whom are proficient in many other areas of art from sculpture to pastels, stained glass, graphics, and photography.
In recent years, the National Small Oil Painting Competition was reinstated as a biennial event at Wichita Center for the Arts. Currently, membership in KAOP can be gained by either submitting 10 photographs or a CD of the artist’s work to the Board of Directors for judging and approval, or by having been accepted in any three separate National Small Oil Painting Competitions.
As KAOP has evolved, the principal goal has been to encourage each other to achieve excellence in painting through Member interaction, sharing of information, and painting demonstrations. Anyone wishing to join us in celebrating this beautiful age-old medium is encouraged to apply for membership.