Ken Salaz was born in southern California and spent his youth living with his family in Mexico, the Southwest United States, and the Appalachian Mountains of West Virginia. His ancestral heritage is a rich blend of Native American and Irish. Growing up in these diverse locations, Salaz was constantly inspired to draw the changing landscapes and people of his youth. After scoring a coveted scholarship at Carnegie Mellon, Salaz earned his MFA from Cooper Union. He spent several years traveling through Asia, Central and South America, and Europe painting landscapes and studying the masterworks at many of the great museums.


Salaz continued his education with Leonid Gervitz of the Repin Academy and Nelson Shanks. He trained three years at the rigorous Water Street Studio of Jacob Collins and spent two summers with him at the Hudson River Fellowship in the Catskill Mountains. He is currently a Senior Fellow and instructor at the Fellowship.


Salaz’s mastery of technique shows a diverse flexibility of expression, allowing him to capture a wide range of light effects. Additionally, his solid background in traditional techniques used by the Old Masters lays the groundwork for him to create works with a unique poetic expression. His artwork is held in numerous prominent collections across the United States and has been featured in notable magazines and publications such as “Fine Art Connoisseur” and “Plein Air.” Salaz is a unique voice emerging from the tonalist tradition and breaking new ground with his own modern voice of Poetic Realism.


In addition to painting, Salaz is a highly accomplished magician, mentalist, and pickpocket, entertaining such celebrities as Bruce Springsteen and Jimmy Fallon.