Kenneth Ness has left a profound mark on North Carolina both as an artist and as an advocate of the arts in our state. Ness founded and chaired the University of North Carolina Arts Council and was instrumental in the development of the Ackland Art Museum in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. This museum is part of the University of North Carolina and its mission since the inception in 1958 is to bring the citizens of North Carolina and artwork together.
Ness studied at the University of Detroit, the Wicker School of Art in Detroit and later at the Detroit Art Institute where he graduated in 1932. The Art Institute of Chicago awarded him the Robert Jenkins Memorial Prize, a prestigious traveling scholarship.
During his lifetime, Ness exhibited throughout the United States including Chicago (Chester Johnson Gallery), New York, San Francisco, as well as Chapel Hill, Raleigh and Charlotte, North Carolina. Kenneth Ness had prominent solo shows at the Art Institute of Chicago, and at the Golden Gate Gallery in San Francisco.