WESTERN CONNECTICUT STATE UNIVERSITY

M.F.A. Lecture Series: Spring 2012

(Lectures will take place at 11:00 a.m. in Viewing Room 1 in the basement of White Hall on the Midtown Campus)

 John Arthur, Painter

Tuesday, January 24

John Arthur has been acknowledged internationally as an authority on contemporary American realism and figurative painting.  His books and museum catalogues include Richard Estes: The Urban Landscape (Boston Museum of Fine Arts & Little Brown), Realist Drawings and Watercolors (NYGS-Little Brown) Realism / Photorealism (Philbrook Art Museum & University of Missouri Press), Robert Cottingham: The Complete Prints (Springfield Art Museum & University of Washington Press), Realists at Work: Studio Interviews and Working Methods of Ten Contemporary Realists (Watson Guptill), Spirit of Place:  Contemporary Landscape Painting & the American Tradition (Bulfinch-Little Brown), Richard Estes: Paintings and Prints (Pomegranate Artbooks), and Green Woods & Crystal Waters: The American Landscape Tradition (Philbrook Museum & University of Washington Press).  He has recently completed Theophilus Brown: Paintings, Collages, & Prints (Chameleon Books), which is the first monograph on the well-known Bay Area figurative painter. 

John Arthur has curated numerous exhibits, including America 1976, a Bicentennial project sponsored by the United States Department of the Interior.  It opened at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, C.C. and toured major American museums for two years.  He organized mid-career retrospectives of the paintings of Jack Beal (Boston University Art Gallery, Virginia Museum, Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art), Richard Estes (Boston Museum of Fine Arts, Hirshhorn Museum, Toledo Museum of Art, Nelson Atkins Museum of Art) and Alfred Leslie (Boston Museum of Fine Arts, Hirshhorn Museum, Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art). 

He has served as an advisor to the national Endowment of the Arts, Department of the Interior, National Science Foundation, GSA Art and Architecture Program, and the Department of State.  Since 1975 he has advised private collectors, galleries, and museums in the U.S., Europe, and Japan. 

Mr. Arthur will discuss the landscape tradition in American painting and his perspective on contemporary images of nature. (This lecture was rescheduled from September, 2011)

 

Dan DosSantos, Painter

Tuesday, February 7  

Dan DosSantos received a B.F.A. from the School of Visual Arts in New York City, where he graduated with highest honors in 2000.  Beginning his career by painting portraits out of his parents’ basement, he quickly moved into full-time illustration.  Dan’s work spans a variety of genres, including novels, comics and film.  He has worked for clients such as Disney, Universal Studios, Boeing Aircraft, Saatchi & Saatchi, Scholastic Books, The Greenwich Workshop, Penguin Books, Random House, Tor books, UpperDeck, Wizards of the Coast, and DC Comics.  Dan has been the recipient of many awards.  Recently, he has received a 2010 Silver Medal from Spectrum, the 2007 Jack Gaughan Award for Best Emerging Artist, and was the Chesley Award winner for Best Paperback Cover of 2007.  His illustrations have graced the #1 spot on the New York Times Best Seller list numerous times.  Aside from freelance illustration, Dan also co-hosts a series of instructional demonstrations called “Art Out Loud”.  

 

Anna Poor, Sculptor

Tuesday, February 21  

Granddaughter of well known Depression-era painter Henry Varnum Poor, one of the founders of the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Anna Poor grew up in a family enriched with cultural heritage.  Summers moving back and forth between her family’s homes in Maine and Cape Cod kept her closely connected with and observant of nature.  These two themes of nature and the artistic heritage inform her work, giving it an observational immediacy and ironic distance. 

In the catalogue for her 2010 show at the Provincetown Art Association Museum, Maura Coughlin writes:  “Poor’s recent series, Imaginary Artifacts, Fakes and Fragments, interrogates the cultural power of an object and encourages thought on contemporary issues of appropriation, ownership, and destruction of cultural objects.  She is fascinated by the shifts in meaning that occur as restorations of ancient sculptures (curators grafting a Renaissance ear to a Cycladic head for example) produce uncanny grotesques, and revered Coptic antiquities are revealed to be skilled forgeries.  Her source material and associations that include looted and smuggled antiquities hawked on ebay, fossilized rats, the reverence accorded the story of Van Gogh’s amputated ear (but perhaps not his tapeworm) reveal a critical and often ironic position on the notion of the authentic sculptural object and the public’s desire to associate it in an indexical relationship to the artist.  Her sterling silver rat is titled “Self Portrait”.  Associating sculpture with the physical nature of the human body through that most literal of revered objects, the relic, Poor’s work is often at once seductively beautiful, excessive, lavish and grotesque.  The tactile qualities of her objects result from frequent and irreverent mixtures of sculptural mediums: gilded wax, painted bronze or stone, and alabaster forms with beeswax skin”. 

Anna Poor received her B.F.A. in Sculpture from Massachusetts College of Art and an M.F.A. from University of Massachusetts at Amherst.  She has taught or lectured at many colleges and art schools, and has, from 1972 to the present, been a visiting associate professor at the Art Institute of Boston.  She is represented by the James Graham Gallery in New York and the Art Strand Gallery in Provincetown. 

 

Tom Kidd, Illustrator

Tuesday, March 6

 Tom Kidd, an award-winning Illustrator, received a scholarship to Syracuse University for his fantasy illustrations.  After attending for two years, he left for New York, where he pursued illustration full time.

His most recent publications include two technique books titled “Other Worlds: How to Draw and Paint Epic Scenes” from Impact Books and “How to Draw and Paint Dragons”.  He is also the subject of a monograph titled “Kiddography; The Art and Life of Tom Kid” from Paper Tiger Books.  He has worked for a number of publishers including Baen Books, Random House, DAW Books, Warner Books, Doubleday, Ballantine Books, Marvel Comics and Tor Books.  He has illustrated two books:  “The Three Musketeers” (1998 – William Morrow) and “The War of the Worlds” (2001 – Harper Collins), and there are two books of his art: “The Tom Kidd Sketchbook” (1990 – Tundra) and “Kiddography: The Art & Life of Tom Kidd” (2005-Paper Tiger).  His art has won him a World Fantasy Award (Best Artist 2004) and seven Chesley Awards.  Kidd has also done design work for film, theme parks, entertainment products, and all types of conceptual design work for such clients as Walt Disney, Rhythm & Hues and Universal Studios.  His work has been displayed in a wide array of venues, including The Delaware Art Museum, The Society of Illustrators and the Science Fiction Museum & Hall of Fame.   


Don Kimes, Painter

Friday, March 30 

Artist-educator, Don Kimes will discuss a haunting body of work, which varies from realist landscape painting to large iconic metal pieces and intimate mixed media collages.  The variety of techniques and styles are unified by a consistent obsession with the process of nature and the passage of time.  Mr. Kimes’ work has been exhibited nationally and internationally, including at the Chautauqua Institution, the National Academy of Science, the New York Studio School, the Baltimore Museum, the Brooklyn Museum, Kouros Gallery, and Denise Bibro Gallery, Extra Moenia di Giulan Dorazio in Todi, Italy and the National Academy of Design and the Corcoran.  In both 2001 and 2003 he received the Medici Medal at the Florence Biennale.  He has an upcoming exhibit scheduled at the Palazzo Maidoff in Florence this fall. 

Don Kimes has served as director of the prestigious New York Studio School, as Chairman of the Art Department at American University, as founder and director of the American University M.F.A. program in Italy, and as Artistic Director of the Visual Arts at the Chautauqua Institution.  Each of these institutions has received national and international recognition under his leadership.  In 2004, he received the American University award for “Outstanding Contributions to Academic Development.” He is a member of the Advisory Board of the M.F.A. program at Western Connecticut State University. 

He is represented by Denise Bibro Gallery in New York, where he had a one-person show in spring, 2011.

 

Jerry Pinkney,  Illustrator

Tuesday, April 10  

Jerry Pinkney is a native of Philadelphia, where he studied at the Philadelphia College of Art (aka University of the Arts) receiving the Alumni Award in 1992. He has been illustrating children’s books since 1964, working on over 100 titles in over thirty years. He has been recognized for his accomplishments with the rare distinction of five Caldecott Honor Medals, Five Coretta Scott King Awards and three Coretta Scott King Honor Awards. 

His work has been translated into eleven languages and published in 14 different countries. He has also been honored by the Society of Illustrators with four gold medals, four Silver medals and the Hamilton King Award. In 2003 he received the honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree from the Art Institute of Boston. Furthermore, he has received seven awards for a body of work. 

In addition to his publishing career, Mr. Pinkney has had over thirty one-man retrospectives at venues ranging from the Art Institute of Chicago to the California African American Museum in Los Angeles. He also has exhibited widely in over one hundred group shows, nationally and internationally.

 His clients include the U.S. Postal Service, National Park Service, National Geographic, the Bologna Book Fair in Bologna, Italy and the John F. Kennedy Space Center. In 2001 he was to illustrate and design the White House Christmas Program. In 2003, President Bush appointed him to the National Council for the Arts. 

He has taught at Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, NY, the University of Delaware, Newark, Delaware, and the University of Buffalo, Buffalo, NY.

 His works have been featured in the New York Times, Arts Section, American Artist Magazine, The Horn Book Magazine, The CBS Sunday Morning Show and PBS Reading Rainbow Room. Pinkney is also a trustee for the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art and the Katonah Museum of Art. He lives with his wife author Gloria Jean, in Westchester County, New York.

 About his work and life Jerry Pinkney comments:

"In December of 2009 I turned seventy. This year, 2010, marks fifty years of getting up in the morning, and on most days entering my studio for a day of making pictures. It has been an extraordinary way to fulfill one’s calling, and a rewarding way to make a living.

"Ever since The Lion and the Mouse was announced for a Caldecott Medal, I have been overwhelmed in a good way by the attention and rich possibilities for future projects. This book has garnered the 2010 New Picture Book,” Indies Choice. The owners, staff, and members of the American Booksellers Association voted for this award. Also as of May 13, 2010, it has been on The New York Times Book Review’s ‘Children’s Best Sellers List’ for twenty-seven weeks……”

 

William Bailey, Painter

Tuesday, April 24           

William Bailey studied at Yale where he received both his B.F.A. and M.F.A degrees. He is known particularly for his still-life paintings. Although unlike other still-life painters, Bailey composes his paintings on the canvas from his imagination, adjusting the light source and relative scale of each object as he paints.  

Writing in the New York Times, Karen Rosenberg says:

                “William Bailey, who studied with Josef Albers and taught at Yale for decades, is one of painting’s undersung veterans. He makes convincingly volumetric still lifes and figurative tableaus, working mostly from mental pictures. His art hasn’t changed much in the last few decades, but its discipline and concentration are exemplary.

                Mr. Bailey’s still lifes have a touch of Morandi’s austerity; his figurative works, meanwhile, evoke the perfect proportions in Ingres and the                 awkward sensuality of Balthus. He’s a classicist, in other words, but his influence extends in some ultra-contemporary directions; John Currin and Lisa Yuskavage are among his former students.”

  In the New Criterion, James Panero writes:

          “The meaning of Bailey’s work as it relates to the history of art has been a    subject of debate since his painting first appeared on the cover of Newsweek in the early 1980s. At the time Bailey was hailed as one of the new artists ‘of the real.’ … Like Giorgio Morandi, another great modern realist, Bailey imbues quiet paintings with intense energy. … Bailey’s work is so surprising, so novel, when compared to the canon of modern art because its fecundity shows no limit or irony.”

 William Bailey’s work can be seen in a host of public and private collections, most notably the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA; Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY; the Phillips Collection, Washington, DC; National Museum of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY.  Bailey is the subject of two monographs, one by Mark Strand and the other by John Hollander and Guiliano Briganti. He has been exhibiting in New York since the late 1960’s.  He lives and works in New Haven, Connecticut and Umbria, Italy.


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