Artist Profile: Billy Hedel
Billy Hedel was born and reared in Chicago and has been making art since childhood. He received fine arts degrees from Wright College and the Chicago Academy of Art. He also received training from the Art Institute of Chicago and the University of Toronto.
Influences on his artistic life were Salvador Dali, Walt Disney and the French Impressionists Henri Matisse, Claude Monet, and Toulouse Lautrec. Drawing and painting are Billy’s primary media, with a specialty in architectural and animal portraiture. His tree portraits complement another favorite subject, gardens and flowers. He also makes wire sculptures, has created several murals, and designed stage sets and costumes for amateur theatrical troupes.
Billy moved to New Orleans in 1998, where he lived in a 175 year old creole cottage. The city’s vibrant colors, unique architecture and unusual culture had a profound effect on him and his art. His work as a tour guide deepened his natural love of history and led him into many volunteer activities such as tomb restoration in the city’s cemeteries.
Billy evacuated to Evansville after spending six days in Katrina-ravaged New Orleans in 2005. He eventually decided to stay here. He has established Billy Hedel’s Studio in the 1894 Queen Anne cottage he restored in the Haynie’s Corner Arts District. He is a member of the Arts Council of Southwestern Indiana, artWorks Gallery & Artist Cooperative, the Penny Lane Art Market & Gallery, and the Patchwork community.
Billy specializes in architectural portraits of historic houses, tree and animal portraits, and has exhibited widely his collection of paintings documenting his Katrina experiences.