For over thirteen years Michael Schliefke has made a living as a painter. Michael paints, shows frequently, and curates a number of small and large scale exhibitions. Among the many side projects Michael has taken on, Michael published three satirical comic books, shown in numerous spaces regularly, and worked on a variety of art projects from commercial sculpture and murals to assisting the development and production of the East Austin Studio Tour.
Michael grew up in the northeast, and studied painting at the Kansas City Art Institute. In the years following graduation, he sold hot dogs at the K, touched up over 10,000 decorative oil paintings from Hong Kong, and worked his way up from a data entry temp to an essential team member of a Fortune 500 company in Ireland, before volunteering for a layoff moving to Austin, Texas in 2002.
Painting and working in Austin, Texas for 12 years, Michael began teaching painting and drawing classes. Michael also started to curate small painting shows to help develop the Austin art scene, and these shows blossomed into award winning curated events with up to sixty participating artists. In 2007, Michael took a break from painting to create, write, and draw the satirical Really White Vigilante comic book series about the gentrification of East Austin and the rapid growth of Austin.
Michael also assisted the founding members of the Big Medium artist group with the East Austin Studio Tour during its formative years and worked many facets from web to book production for its annual event. In addition to that work, Michael was a contract artist at Blue Genie Art, working on various large scale commercial sculptures and painting projects. He also co-created and produced the Blue Genie Danger Derby, a pinewood derby race filled with a 100 foot track lined with fire pits and cartoonish obstacles that cars built by artists and the general public would compete against.
For all his efforts in Austin, Michael was inducted as a member of both Big Medium and Blue Genie Art into the Austin Critics’ Table Hall of Fame in May, 2014. In July, 2014 Michael finally returned to Kansas City. Michael continues to paint and draw and is continuing to create large art events that bring artists and the public together.