Born and raised in Clifton, Texas, Martin Grelle and his wife, Joyce, live on a small ranch a few miles from town. His studio sits in the picturesque Meridian Creek Valley, surrounded by the oak and cedar-covered hills of Bosque County, just a short distance from his home, but also within a few miles of the family and friends who are so important in his life. He has two sons, Josh and Jordan, who live in the Dallas area, but stay in touch frequently.Grelle’s parents, Ervin and Ella, have both passed from this life, but he still has his brothers, Carl and Marvin, living nearby, as well as his sister,Mary, who lives in Ft. Worth. Joyce’s 3 sons, Zach, Emitt and Carl, and their families are also close, and visit the ranch often. Martin Grelle began drawing and painting when he was very young and was fortunate to have James Boren and Melvin Warren, two professional artists and members of the prestigious Cowboy Artists of America, move to the area when he was still in high school. It has had a lasting impact on his direction and career.Mentored by Boren, he had his first one-man show at a local gallery within a year of graduating from high school in 1973.In the 45years since that time, he has produced over30 one-man exhibitions, including annual shows at Overland Gallery in Scottsdale, Arizona from 1989 through 2014,and most recently at Legacy Gallery in Scottsdale in November, 2017. He has also won awards of both regional and national importance at shows around the country.
Grelle was invited into membership with the Cowboy Artists of America in 1995, fulfilling a dream that began in the early 70’s when he first met Boren and Warren.That same year he was invited to participate in the first Prix de West Invitational at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City.Since that time he has won the Prix de West Purchase Award twice (one of only seven artists to do so), the Nona Jean Hulsey Rumsey Buyers’ Choice Award twice, and his CA awards include the People’s Choice Award in 2002, the Ray Swanson Award in 2008, the Buyers’ Choice Award in 2011, 2012, 2014, and 2018, the Silver for Water Solubles in 2012 and 2014, the Silver for Oils in 2017, and the Gold for Drawing in 2018. He was awarded the Legacy Award by The Briscoe Museum in 2012, for his impact on western art and was presented the Spirit of the West Award by the San Dimas Festival of Arts in April of 2016. He was honored with a retrospective showing of his work, along with fellow CA artist, Herb Mignery,for the Gilcrease Museum’s Rendezvous Show 2013.He has twice served on the board of directors for the CA organization, as President for 2014and 2018, Chairman of CAA 50th Anniversary Events during 2015,and as co-volume editor of The Sons of Charlie Russellbook released in 2015 to celebrate the CAA’s 50th year.He is also involved with The Joe Beeler Foundation, founded by the Cowboy Artists of America to coincide with their mentoring program, which provides scholarship opportunities for artists seeking to improve their skills.He has served on the Board of Directors for the past several years and as President during 2014-2015.
Martin Grelle has a real sense of responsibility to his collectors, which fills his heart every morning when he walks into the studio, believing that what he does is a gift entrusted to him from God and must not be left unused or taken for granted, but developed and improved upon.His parents, Ervin & Ella, and Jim & Mary Ellen Borenall set that example for him –an example of not only striving to be the best artist he can be, but the best man he can be as well. Beyond his studio Grelle strives to pass on what others have passed to him.He has given multiple demonstrations around the country, teaches an annual weekend workshop along with his good friend, and fellow CA, Bruce Greene –which they have done for 26 years –and mentors other aspiring artists by critiquing their work. He has donated work to fundraisers for a large number of organizations to aid in their progress, including The Bosque Arts Center in Clifton, Texas, and the Scottsdale Artist’s School in Arizona.
You can pick up your 54th Anniversary Souvenir Program at the show or by stopping by our box office at 1514 5th Ave, Canyon, TX. The program includes 20 plus copies of Grelle's paintings.