Often the story is told of young men leaving the mountains to seek their fortunes in the city. Michael Wheeler did the opposite, and we are the beneficiaries. Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1952, Wheeler was educated at the Carnegie Institute Museum and continued at the Carnegie Mellon University. He received a Bachelor's degree in 1974 and went on to graduate school at Ohio University. After finishing his education, Wheeler worked as a church volunteer in Kentucky where he met his wife Becky, and settled with her in the foothills of Appalachia, and that's where his journey as an artist begins. Wheeler's parents were artists themselves, and encouraged young Michael to develop his own artistic talent. He chose American landscape as his main subject, and drew inspiration from the environment where he lived. His portrayal of nature is harmonious and effortless; peaceful and inviting; never exaggerated. He lives among the trees he paints. He breathes the air and feels the sunlight he paints. He walks the paths and climbs the hills he paints and then... he invites us to enjoy the journey with him through his canvases. Wheeler became famous for illuminating each painting with light, and then contrasting it with shadow. The effect is so unique to him, it cannot be duplicated by anyone. The quality of his work has earned him numerous awards across the country: Gold Medal, National Scholastic Art Exhibition, New York, 1970: winner in the Kentucky Artist Postcard Series, Bowling Green, 1984: US Art Magazine Award, Arts for the Parks, Jackson Hole, Wyoming, 1989.