Jake Keeler February 21, 2018 – Posted in: From Our Community, Reel Service, Special Projects – Tags: hand painted, Jake Keeler Art, reel service, vedavoo
Minnesota based artist and avid fly fisherman, I grew up learning to fish on the Mississippi River, while spending the rest of my free time drawing dragons, Wolverine, cyborgs, dragon-cyborg-Wolverines while listening to a rotation of heavy metal and classic hip hop cassette tapes with my brother.
I have an MFA in painting and drawing from the University or Wisconsin-Madison, and an undergraduate degree from Macalester. My work has been shown all over the U.S. and has been used by outdoor apparel and gear companies like Simms and Patagonia. I’m active in conservation and advocacy efforts involving clean water, public lands, and positive community building; I use my art to not only raise awareness about these issues, but also raise money by donating at least 30% of the revenue made from my art to various organizations fighting for clean water and environmental protection.
The work itself spans my life as an artist and fisherman, exploring the intersection of the intangible and almost religious qualities of fly fishing, and the emotional power of primordial nature and a good riff. It’s a feeling hard to describe in words, although many great writers have done so. For me, the work acts as an expression of something that should evoke a sense of wonder, fright, excitement and pure energy that comes from time spent interacting with fish through line and rod, all while submerged in the places these dragons and beasts roam.
1. Leverage my position as an artist
2. Get involved
3. Be accountable
Part of item #1 is my commitment to donate at least 30% of the revenue I make from art sales to organizations that fight for environmental causes I believe in.
I signed on to the Reel Service project because I believe that as an artist I have a responsibility to use my work to do good in the world. What Vedavoo is doing by partnering with Project Healing Waters and other great causes is a shining example of how we as fly fishing folk, artists, makers and organizers can help raise awareness, money and action towards making this world just a little bit better. I’m a firm believer that a collection of small actions can create lasting impact and change; it doesn’t always need to be a grand endeavor, or even gesture. To lend a hand on this project through my artwork is just one of many ways I hope to make a positive impact as an artist, and as a person.