Creativity has always been a source of healing and freedom in my life. I want to create art that brings freedom and healing to others. As I have found more and more freedom in my own life, I have realized the extent of slavery in this world. Slavery comes in many forms. Examples of slavery include addiction, worry, materialism, debt, and forced labor. My wife and I feel called to fight for the freedom of others not only in a spiritual way, but also in a physical way. Although, I am not a soldier with firearms, I am armed with paintbrushes and inspiration. I will create art with meaning. I will share my art and my life with others.
When you purchase my creations, you are not only investing in art, you are investing in me, and most importantly you are investing in the fight for freedom.
Ivan Vesely was born in Nairobi, Kenya. The story of how Ivan’s ancestors ended up in Kenya is not too uncommon. During World War II, Ivan's paternal grandparents immigrated from Europe to East Africa in order to escape the Nazi invasion. In 1937, Ivan’s maternal grandfather brought his family from Denmark to East Africa in search of gold.
Ivan’s parents Ruth Petersen and Milan Vesely met in Kenya. They married and started a family there. Ivan grew up surrounded by the natural beauty of Kenya and the bold patterns and designs of African tribes. One of Ivan’s first artistic memories was the Spirograph he was given at the age of six. He was enthralled with the infinite designs he could create.
Due to the unstable government, Ivan’s family could not remain in Kenya. The government seized Ruth and Milan's passports. On several occasions, Milan was detained in prisons near and within Nairobi. In 1981, the Kenyan Air Force attempted a military coup. At the same time, Ivan’s mother’s passport was returned without explanation. The military unrest caused an immediate threat to Ivan’s family. Ivan’s mother fled to the United States, taking Ivan and his younger sister Sacha while leaving behind Ivan’s imprisoned father, their home, and all of their possessions.
In 1982, the false charges against Ivan’s father were dropped. Milan was released from prison, and he reunited with his family. Ivan and his family first lived in Arizona and became U.S. citizens. They then moved to Texas.
Ivan’s terrifying experiences as a child, left him anxious and confused. Ivan was 9 or 10 when he first came to the States. Adjusting to a drastically different culture was not an easy task. Ivan found ways to fit in, but not always with the right crowd.
Ivan’s artistic ability became more evident during his high school years. He took advanced placement art classes at Grapevine High School. From there, Ivan took two years of art courses at Tarrant County Junior College, thus ending any formal training.
Continuing to excel in creativity, Ivan works out of his home studio. He has shown in galleries, art shows, and fine arts festivals throughout the Dallas Fort Worth Metroplex. Ivan is determined to continue to paint and create art for the rest of his life, no matter what his circumstances are. Ivan and his wife Carrie are committed to using their creativity as a message of freedom.