Jay O'Meilia
Play • 1 hr 48 min
Philip Jay O’Meilia was born in 1927 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Between military stints during WWII and Korea (serving as a Navy artist), he attended the Art Students League in New York and the Chicago Academy of Fine Art.

O’Meilia’s work has been displayed in galleries and museums across America, including the Smithsonian Institution, the National Academy of Design in New York, and the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City.

His sculptures, paintings, serigraphs, and prints are in the permanent collections of more than 500 private and corporate organizations worldwide. 

In 1965, he won first place in a national competition sponsored by Abercrombie & Fitch for his painting Night Baseball, which began his rise to prominence as one of the country’s finest sports artist.

O’Meilia is highly regarded for his artistic depiction of professional and collegiate football, particularly the University of Oklahoma.

In 1970, he created his first sculpture, On Deck which began yet another phase of O’Meilia’s career.

After starting small, he graduated to greater-than-life-size monuments, beginning with his first commissioned piece, Roughnecks, which stands in Tulsa’s Mid-Continent Building. The Oil Patch Warrior which resides in England’s Sherwood Forest, was O’Meilia’s first international monument. 

O’Meilia has won twenty-six regional and national awards for both oil and watercolor. He has been a member of the American Watercolor Society since 1965, and is a member of the Watercolor USA Honor Society. He is also a colleague of the National Sculpture Society in New York. 

In 1999, O’Meilia was inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame.

Jay died January 26, 2022 at age 94.
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