Born and raised in Escanaba, Michigan, and Seattle, Washington, Kevin Neal Gardner currently lives, paints, and teaches in Berea, Kentucky. Gardner earned a B.A. in Liberal Arts-with an emphasis on philosophy and the history of mathematics and science-from St. John's College, Annapolis; a Certificate in Painting from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia; and an MFA in Painting from Indiana University, Bloomington. In addition to his time in Philadelphia studying art, Gardner worked administratively for many years with the Philadelphia Mural Arts Program, a celebrated public art and arts education organization.
Gardner is currently Associate Professor of Painting and Drawing at Berea College, which serves promising, diverse students of financial need through a tuition-free education, where he teaches all levels of painting and drawing as well as a writing seminar focused on literature and philosophy. Since 2012 he has taught drawing through travel courses in Italy, Ireland, Spain, and Turkey.
Gardner has exhibited in solo and group shows nationally and is the recipient of numerous awards and accolades for his art.