Ben Keys earned a degree in Marketing at Virginia Tech and worked for a start-up during the dot-com bust of 2000 before changing course to pursue his passion of painting full time. He studied painting and drawing at the Torpedo Factory, the Art Institute of Chicago and the International School of Painting in Umbria, Italy. While in Chicago, Keys apprenticed at Tres Jolie Studios creating murals & interiors. In 2005 he moved to Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina to begin a series of architectural portraits for Wright Holman Construction Company. Today he is based in Charleston, SC. .
Keys' approach to painting is grounded in both his academic training and professional experiences in the plein air landscape. He is inspired by the brushwork and light of French Impressionism, and draws from many other sources inside and outside the world of art which inform his signature, contemporary approach to painting. You may have spotted Keys at his easel on the sidewalks and coastlines interpreting the changing moments of light and shadow in paint.
A full-time artist since 2005, Keys' paintings are collected internationally. His pieces are is included in the collections of PPD, Duke Raligh Hospital and the Wrightsville Beach Museum. His artwork has graced the the covers of Encore and Currents Magazine, and been featured in the feature film“The Choice” by Nicolas Sparks, The New York Times, Garden & Gun, Martha Stewart Weddings, Cottage Style, The Knot Magazine, Raleigh News & Observer, Wilmington Magazine, Wrightsville Beach Magazine, Wilma Magazine, and Focus on the Coast.