Michael Shane Neal received his art degree in 1991 from David Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tennessee. The Portrait Society of America awarded him its prestigious grand prize for the 2001 International Portrait Competition. Neal has painted over 500 portraits of United States senators, ambassadors, federal judges, and corporate and civic leaders. Neal has also painted the portrait of Arthur H. Vandenberg, which adorns the wall of the Senate Reception Room, along with other notable senators. In 2007 Neal completed the portrait of Robert C. Byrd. Neal resides in Tennessee near his Nashville studio.