Brian Jarvi was born February 15, 1956, in Floodwood, Minnesota. His father Ralph worked for the Great Northern Railroad. His mother Virginia, a talented artist, chose to be a homemaker, raising their nine children. As far back as he can remember, Brian was drawing and sketching, encouraged by his gifted mother.
His fascination of the natural world, and his passion for art gradually merged, and his lifelong dream of becoming a professional wildlife artist was fulfilled in 1985, when at the age of 29, he won the Minnesota Migratory Waterfowl Stamp Competition. Jarvi’s success continued the following year when he won the Minnesota Pheasant Stamp contest, making him the first artist in history to win the two competitions in consecutive years. In 1988, Jarvi made the decision to end his 13 year career with the Burlington Northern Railroad to become a full time artist.
Soon after, Jarvi’s career took a pivotal turn following a month long safari to Kenya and Tanzania. His passion for the flora and fauna of Africa has beckoned him back another 12 times and consequently the wildlife of the Dark Continent has gradually come to dominate his works. The universal appeal of the great iconic species he paints has created a broad international audience for his work, and he is now considered one of the World’s premiere painters of Africa’s Wilds.
Brian Jarvi’s career has spanned more than a quarter century and he has received numerous honors and awards in that time, including twice being named Safari Club International’s Artist of the Year, and more recently receiving the prestigious “Award of Excellence” for the second time. His work has raised millions of dollars for numerous conservation organizations, and his concerns run deep for the future of the natural world.
The artist now lives on a pristine lake in northern Minnesota with his wife Raelene, where they raised their two daughters, Haley and Morgan, not far from the place of his birth.