Michael Shane Neal (Born November 23, 1968) recently completed portraits of such luminaries as Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, former Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham, former Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne, U.S. Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus, U.S. Senators Arlen Specter, Robert C. Byrd, and Bill Frist, Federal Chief Judge Anthony Scirica, and Actor Morgan Freeman. His recent commissions include: Sir Malcolm Colquhoun of Luss, Scotland for the Colquhoun Museum and Heritage Center; Ambassador Charles Rivkin for the American Embassy in Paris, France; Martha Rivers Ingram for Vanderbilt University; Fredrick and Lena Meijer for the Meijer Sculpture Gardens in Grand Rapids, Michigan; and legendary American screenwriter Edward Albee for the Player’s Club in New York City.
Listed among 20 contemporary artists “On the Rise” in The Artist’s Magazine’s annual survey in 2004, Neal’s unique, sensitive and insightful paintings display a commitment for portraying not just the outer likeness of his subjects, but their character and personality as well. A self-described “people person,” Neal enthusiastically shares his excitement for interpreting his clients on canvas in a traditional yet painterly style. Since beginning a full time career as an artist at the age of 21, he has completed more than 600 portraits on display around the country. Of particular note was the commission to paint Senator Arthur Vandenberg for the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C. Vandenberg’s portrait is the first commission of its kind in nearly 50 years, and upon receiving the commission at the age of 32, Neal is among the youngest artists ever commissioned by the United States Senate. Receiving his B.A. from David Lipscomb University, Neal recently received the “Young Alumnus of the Year Award” from his alma mater. He has also studied at the Santa Fe Institute of Fine Arts, The Scottsdale Artist School, the Lyme Academy of Art, and is a protégé of America’s most celebrated figurative and portrait painter, Everett Raymond Kinstler. His work has been featured in publications such as American Artist, International Artist, Sketchbook, The Artist’s Magazine, Art News, Fine Art Connoisseur, Art Collector Magazine, and Nashville Arts Magazine.
Neal is a member of the board of directors of the Portrait Society of America, The American Patrons of the National Library and Galleries of Scotland, The Scottish Society of Middle Tennessee, and the Norman Rockwell Museum’s National Council. He served for 6 years as a member of the Executive Board of Trustees of the Cheekwood Museum of art. He is an Exhibiting Artist member of the National Arts Club in NYC and is a member of the Allied Artists of NY, the Artist Fellowship of NY, the Cumberland Society of Painters, the Audubon Artists, the Salmagundi Club of NYC, the Lotos Club of NY, and the Sloane Club of London.
Neal is a member of the Economic Club of Nashville and serves as a deacon at his church. He enjoys community outreach projects, golf, plein air landscape painting, travel, and reading with a particular interest in history. Neal is the father of two daughters, and he and wife, Melanie, are the present owners of a historic Nashville home, “Lone Oak, a 100 year old English manor-style country house where Neal maintain his studio on the property.