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Madison - This year, to celebrate the Professional Dairy Producers of Wisconsin’s 25th anniversary, the group commissioned Wisconsin artist Larry Schultz – known for his atmospheric paintings of dairy cattle, rural scenes and horses – to produce art that will be auctioned off during the PDPW’s annual business conference March 15-16 in Madison.
            “We are very excited about this event,” said Shelly O’Leary, the group’s communications and outreach specialist.
            The business conference has for years featured a silent auction, but the painting produced by the artist will be auctioned off live, offering dairy producers and others at the conference the chance to bid on the item in real time, she explained. “This is something that will probably not happen every year.”
            Schultz, a native of southern Wisconsin, has been a fixture for years at the Midwest Horse Fair with his paintings and prints featuring teams of horses and ponies at events like carriage shows in Columbus and at the Villa Louis in Prairie du Chien. He has also shown his work at World Dairy Expo, which has included paintings of various dairy cattle breeds.
            O’Leary said he also plans to have a booth at the PDPW conference and will be selling framed print.
            “As this was a project for our 25th anniversary he was coached to capture the past, present and future of dairy farming,” she said. “We never want to pin down our producers to a certain kind of dairy production system, but we wanted a painting that would speak to how we take care of our animals and the land, not just because we have to but because we want to.”
            Schultz was chosen to paint this artwork for the PDPW because of his sensitivity to the project and to the rural landscape. He grew up inspired by his mother’s drawing and she encouraged him to develop his own natural talent.
            He has been an art teacher and conducted painting workshops, along the way designing huge murals for theaters, homes and public spaces and he has participated in countless juried exhibitions. His works have sold all over the United States, in Belgium, Germany, Japan and China.
Schultz, whose business is called Sunny Beach Farm Studios, grew up in a small town in Wisconsin and developed a keen eye for his rural surroundings. He says that what has influenced him most artistically was his love for nature and the outdoors.
He has found that sometimes studying the smallest details hidden in the grass or the grains of wood in an old barn can expand his view of creation, leading him to apply what he saw to paper and canvas.
Schultz’s strong interest in art began in boyhood and continued as he developed his artistic career. He took as many art classes as he could through grade school and high school, advancing his art education with degrees in Commmercial Art and Art Education.
He has been the recipient of numerous awards and honors and much of his art has been featured on magazine covers, posters, specialty items and fine art prints. For years he has painted the cover art for the Midwest Horse Fair’s annual program.
He is accomplished in a variety of mediums including watercolor, pencil, pen and ink and sculpture, but says that oil painting is what brings him the most enjoyment. It was that medium that he used to produce his PDPW commemorative painting.
Whether painting landscapes, animals, portraits or figurative works, his sensitive works express the balance between the emotion and connection he feels with nature and the detail and mood of his subject.
O’Leary said that a select few from the PDPW organization have viewed Schultz’s commissioned work for the 25th anniversary. Everyone else will have to wait for the annual business conference to see it.

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