Santiago Michalek


Santiago H. Michalek was born near Buenos Aires, Argentina. His artistic ability presented itself early in life, following the influence of his grandfather, who introduced him to drawing. Santiago warmly recalls how, as a child, he and his grandfather drew horses while sitting on the veranda of his childhood home. Those intimate moments sparked a lifelong passion in Santiago, who has been advancing his craft as an artist and a painter ever since.

In 2003, Santiago started his own business, restoring vintage models of Volkswagen beetles and buses. He successfully turned his hobby of tinkering and love for VWs into a profitable business with multiple restoration projects. He also began to notice that VW owners shared a certain common quirk: each was completely devoted to Volkswagen vehicles, often passionately so. This fierce devotion resonated with Santiago, whose fondness for VWs compelled him to become a master on the vehicles, with a near encyclopedic knowledge of their makes and models throughout the car company’s history.

Though Santiago’s VW paintings naturally reflect his love for VWs, he also enjoys painting and drawing a broad range of subjects, particularly the human figure. In his work as a figurative painter, Santiago strives to capture the essence of day-to-day existence, rendering unforgettable figurative images with the clarity and refinement present in his VW paintings.

In 2009, Santiago’s self-taught skills and formidable talent, as well as a lifetime of painting and preparation, coalesced under the guidance and encouragement of Sean Diediker and Justin Taylor at the Bridge Academy of Art. His work has since been exhibited at the Springville Museum of Art, and the Meyer Gallery in Park City. He has also received an Award of Merit in the Springville Museum of Art’s 2010 Spring Salon.

He currently resides in Provo, Utah, with his wife Elizabeth, their son – a budding artist who loves to draw VW buses with his dad, and their new baby girl.

Springville Museum of Art, UT, Spring Salon, 2010, 2011, 2013
Springville Museum of Art, UT, Spiritual and Religious Art, 2012
Logan Center for the Visual Arts, UT, Fine Art Salon, 2011

Meyer Gallery, UT- Automation, Dec 2016
Blue Rain Gallery, NM- May 2016
Meyer Gallery, UT – Collective, 2017
Meyer Gallery, UT – Road Trip, Nov 2014
Meyer Gallery, UT- Combustion, 2013

Meyer Gallery, UT 50th Anniversary, June 2015
Meyer Gallery, UT The New Old West, July 2013
Meyer Gallery, UT December 2011
The Bridge Academy, UT May 2011

Calgary Stampede, AB, Canada, Best in Show, 2017
Sausalito Arts Festival, CA Best in Show, 2015
ArtPrize, MI, People’s Choice, Top 25, 2013
Springville Museum of Art, UT, Spring Salon, Award of Merit, 2010, 2011, 2013
Southwest Art Magazine, Artistic Excellence Competition, 2nd Place, December 2012
Sausalito Arts Festival, CA, 2nd Place Painting, 2012
Logan Fine Art Salon, UT, Honorable Mention, 2011
Artist’s Magazine, 28th Annual Artist Magazine Competition, December 2011

Fine Art Connoisseur Magazine – “Ways to Travel” June 2016
DAS Auto Magazine, January 2012
Goncourt Brothers, A Critical Catalogue of the 86th Annual Spring Salon, 2010
Southwest Art Magazine, 21 Over 31, November 2010

Daily Herald Art Columnist
Bass Pro Shops
Larry H. Miller Group
Canadian National Railways
McKenna Volkswagen

Artwork to be Showcased