Steve Kestrel grew up in southern New Mexico, where he and his family raised and trained American Quarter Horses. He studied natural sciences at Eastern New Mexico University in Portales, New Mexico, and sculpture at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado.
Kestrel won the Gold Medal for Sculpture in 2011 and 2012 at Phoenix Art Museum’s The West Select. Awards at the National Museum of Wildlife Art’s Western Visions Show in Jackson, Wyoming, include the People’s Choice Award in 2007 and the Red Smith Award in 2008. Kestrel was the featured artist at the 2011 Coors Western Art Show in Denver, Colorado, and in 2005 and 2008 was awarded their Best of Show. More recently, he was honored with the Purchase Award for Desert Solitaire at the Briscoe Western Art Museum’s Night of Artists in San Antonio, Texas. In 2013, Kestrel’s sculpture Desert Timeline was awarded the Prix de West Purchase Award.
Kestrel resides with his wife, Cindi, on a 62-acre “wildlife preserve” in Colorado’s Redstone Canyon.