Artist Keith Dygert (Orla Keith Dygert
Orla "Keith" Dygert
This page was last updated on: October 13, 2004
Keith Dygert was born January 29, 1926 in Kankakee, IL as a two month premie and was kept and watched over in a shoebox. That is true. He had many childhood stories , such as the one where his mom made him carry a patato stuffed in his diapers one at a time up the basement stairs.
His parents were Jack and Emma Irene Hook Dygert Dunn. He never really knew his real dad, but was raised by his mom and step father.
He joined the Navy during WWII at the age of 17 as many young men did to serve their country. A lot of his art during this time period showed up on the face of the evelope and in the letters to his mom and dad. Which was the practice of many servicemen during WWII.
On Nov. 5, 1950 he married Marilyn Ruth Beach. They had two children, Keith and Tari. Keith was seventeen when he died in the hospital after falling from a ladder in the school gym.
Keith has not had any formal training in art. He instead soaked up a lot of his learning through reading various art books and constant practice. In his earlier years, he did a lot of oil paintings and had done some pictures using acryllic and casein. He would do a lot of his painting on location at various landmarks from Kankakee area. His most popular are the "Kankakee Train Station" and the "Kankakee County Court House". These two pictures are the only pictures made into prints.
After Marilyn had died in June of 1986 of Cancer. Marilyn's doctor had contracted Keith to paint pictures of various locations in the Kankakee area. It is Dr. Lang who has a number of Keith's pictures hanging on the wall of his office and home. Many of his paintings are on the walls of friends and relatives too.
He was a member of the Kankakee Art League and on a regular/annual basis showed his paintings in the Kankakee River Valley Art Show. He did show his watercolor techniques to other members of the Kankakee Art League and/or through them to others. Do to the fact that his daugter (Tari Bird) and son-inlaw (Wayne Bird) lived in Watetown Wisconsin he has shown his paintings in Madison on the Square, Watertown, Beaver Dam, and in Oconomowoc Wisconsin.
After a long battle with cancer, Keith Dygert died Apr. 11, 1986.