I have been fortunate to be a full-time practicing artist for over sixty years.
I am a West Virginian by choice. I carefully chose a remote mountain top where there is a richness of:
- PRIVACY, no interruptions, devoid of all man made distractions;
- TIME, to work, to be introspective;
- SPACE, to breathe freely and search for answers.
In 1977 as a recognized artist and teacher, I consciously sought the above. To realize a dream… to find an unspoiled natural environment, design and build a home and studio in order to focus exclusively on my creative endeavors.
The year 2017 will mark two key milestones in my life. I will be 80 years young and will have lived half of those years on a remote mountain top in rural West Virginia.
Recently I was in the process of updating my résumé when it occurred to me that a résumé is as impersonal as the paper it is written on. It is a lot of dates and events. These events, however, are the results of dreams, desires, and passions which in reality is a more accurate portrait of whom this person is. In recent years, the who and why has become far more important than the what.
I can honestly say, at this point in my 80 years of life, the egocentric drive for artistic recognition has declined. As I have matured, I have come to understand that perhaps recognition of self by self is the substances of actuality and authenticity.
On this journey called life as we become older and more accepting of our selves. The need to prove or validate our existence through other people is no longer consequential. All that matters is the truth of whom we are and loving that person along with our fellow human beings unconditionally. I personally feel the single beneficial motivation of life centers upon the compassion of the connections we share with our fellow humans.
The creative soul is different and pays a heavy price for that difference, generating an inequity from the point of view of the artist.
The very real personal hunger and sacrifice contained in the creative act becomes a commercial commodity. The artist’s life made manifest on canvas becomes a decorative accessory. Is a man’s art simply another person’s ornamental trophy?
Are the owners of a Van Gogh reminded, when they look at his paintings, of his short life? Are they reminded of how he ended it? Or is the work’s significance recognized only as a financial investment? Perhaps in the polite society of collectors one does not deliberate on the intimate life behind the creations hanging on their walls. Yet, the images are a documentation of its creator’s innermost thoughts.
I recognize that all art must stand on its own merits. The life of its creator is incidental in the long run.
In time my memory may fail me,
In time memory of me.
But, the paintings will never forget.
PROFESSIONAL CHRONOLOGY (abridged)
Huntington Museum of Art, Huntington, WV – Opening July, 2017 ~ February, 2018
“For The Joy of Light” Interactive Multimedia Installation
Collaborative installation involving large scale paintings, accompanied by dynamic sound and viewer interactive lighting; original music composed by German musician, composer Dan Morro. This exhibition brings together nearly fifty years of experience: “I seek a means of involving, all human beings, not as viewers, but as participants in the ageless impact of the creative emergence. A means of uncovering the core of our intuitive understanding and cumulative experience ingrained and transmitted through generations since the dawn of time . . . . . . These paintings document my search for our shared universal awareness.
2015 – Landes Art Center, Petersburg, WV (30 Year Retrospective)
2009 – One of 51 contributors to the book Tea with Elisabeth celebrating the life of Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross.
2005 – Honor . . . Recipient of The State Journal’s “55 Good Things About West Virginia.” Article . . . in the State Journal
2003 – “Until I Become Light” Award winning film documentary aired on PBS and other venues across the country. Produced by Real Earth Productions.
1987-88 – Artist in resident – DeSisto Schools, Howey-In-The-Hills, Florida – Established an art department for Desisto College and held evening classes for the local community.
1985 – 1995 – Served on the Board of Directors of the Elisabeth Kubler-Ross Center.
1983 – One week Master Class, Huntington Museum of Art – Huntington, West Virginia, sponsored by the Tri-State Arts with assistance from the West Virginia Arts and Humanities Department.
1980-82 – Two year Artist in Residence, Grant County, West Virginia. Sponsored by the Grant County Arts Council with assistance from the West Virginia Arts and Humanities Department.
1986 – Benefit show – Donated twenty nine works to raise funds for Maitland Art Center, Maitland, Florida.
1983 – Twenty-Five Year Retrospective, catalog published by Maitland Art Center, Maitland, Florida.
1977-87 – Represented by Vorpal Gallery, New York, New York and San Francisco, California. Ten One Person Shows at the New York gallery.
1977 – Inclusion in book titled Twenty American Landscape Painters, Watson Guptill, Publisher.
1977 – Hunter Museum of Art, Chattanooga, Tennessee. One person show. (Multimedia Light and Sound production – “First Light”)
1976 – Feature article in American Artist Magazine.
1976 – Special presentation, John F. Kennedy Center, Washington, D.C. (Multimedia Light and Sound production – “First Light”)
1973 – Listed in Who’s Who in American Art.
1972-74 – Artists at Work, touring invitational show – throughout U.S.A.
1972 – Film documentary – WMFE PBS, Orlando, FLorda, PBS.
1971-72 – North Carolina National Bank, touring group graphics show.
1970-74 – “MacDowell Fellow”; MacDowell Colony, Peterborough, New Hampshire.
1970 – Mint Museum, Charlotte, North Carolina, Juried group graphics show, two purchase awards.
1966-71- Fifteen Best of Show and First Place awards, juried competitions.
Works have gone into the permanent collections of Museums, Corporations and private collections as far away as France, Japan and New Zealand. List of collections can be provided.
1955/56 – College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, Virginia
1956/57- Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia
Studied painting under Theresa Pollock, a student of Hans Hoffman.
1961 – Smithsonian Institute, Washington, D.C., Internship to study museum presentation. Under the auspices of the Jamestown Foundation and the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Other Creative Skills
Architecture, Drawing, Graphic Design, Installation Art Design & Production, Painting, Photography, Public Art Design & Production, Sculpting, Sound