Capturing Life in the Studio
Exhibit at the Edward Williams Gallery
Farleigh Dickinson University
Since 2001 when I first began to teach in the public school system, I’ve been working on a series of pictures which incorporate my students in the school and in the studio.
It was a natural choice to work from the place where I teach. And given how alien teaching can be for an artist, painting the environment and the people I am with attaches the space and the people more intimately to me.
I never enjoyed school life as a young person-it was factory like, utilitarian and ugly. Not much has changed over the years. But from my perspective as a teacher I can offer an environment that is different for my students.
The art class work a space that is an alternative space for “creatives” to loosen up, think and combine that sentiment with a steady ethic of hard and joyful work. The pictures in this show are completely done on location and from life. Two of the images venture out to other areas of the school; one is near the gym and the other in the culinary arts bakery.
The young people who occupy this work space-the space that we share intrigue me and inspire me to capture them.
My paintings are what I call Realism and they show the "reality" where I work and my effort is to depict young people who are increasingly ignored as individuals with dreams. The data driven madness of institutionalized
corporatized” efficiency oriented education precludes individuality. The politicians in charge argue that this new pressure cooker called “school” is allegedly preparing young people for the “real world”.
My inspiration is to capture young people as they are with dignity.