Every year Monroe County Community College, my Alma mater where I first decided to become an artist hosts two visiting artists. The artists come from all over the country and do a workshop in their selected media with a class of students followed by an audio/visual presentation of their work which is open to the whole community. Additionally the artist hosts an exhibition of selected works for a month. While I was teaching at the college from 2016 to 2019 I was often asked to suggest artists for visiting artist participation.
In April of his year I was delighted to be asked to serve as a visiting artist. But instead of simply showing my current work I decided to present my work beginning when I entered college as a freshman in 1971. At the time I had no idea of majoring in art, but a counselor suggested I take a basic drawing course. That class changed the direction of my future and career path. Shortly thereafter the college granted me a full art scholarship paying for my first two years of college, except for books and supplies. Later I transferred to Siena Heights University where I again received 3 separate art scholarships and attained a BFA degree. I then decided to get a Masters degree (MFA) in painting and drawing from Eastern Michigan University.
I titled my presentation “50 Years as an Artist”because I showed work from all three of the educational institutions I attended. I followed my student work with samples from my 30+ years as a commercial illustrator, and ended with the fine art you see here on my website. I wanted to show the broad scope of my arts career hoping to encourage current students that a full-time future in the arts is attainable with a lot of determination and hard work. The talk was well received based on the interest and the number of questions asked after my talk. Finally each artist is asked to donate a work or art to the permanent collection of the college and I donated my framed drawing “Tribulation.”