Mickalene Thomas (B.F.A. Painting ’00) will serve as a faculty member for this year’s residency program at Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture from June 8–August 10. Based in Brooklyn, Thomas recently gave a tour and in-depth interview of her studio practice to Artsy.net. Her recent work in collaboration with David Antonio Cruz formed a part of the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s group exhibition, March On!, exploring the civil rights journeys of African Americans over the last 50 years.
Robert Wilson (B.F.A. Architecture ’65), internationally renowned artist and director of such iconic experimental theater works as Einstein on the Beach, is director of a new chamber opera. Zinnias: The Life of Clementine Hunter was commissioned by Peak Performances and premiered January 26 at Montclair State University, New Jersey. In an interview with the New York Times, Wilson revealed his choice to devote the new work to Clementine Hunter saying, “She was the first artist I ever met in my life.” Wilson also continues to serve as Artistic Director of the Watermill Center, a laboratory for performance and the arts which he founded in East Long Island, New York.
Ellsworth Kelly (Technical Arts ’44) is the recipient of the College Art Association’s 2013 Distinguished Artist Award for Lifetime Achievement. The Award honors Kelly for his 70-year career and contributions to American art as a draftsman, painter, sculptor, and photographer. Celebrated as one of America’s most influential artists, Kelly’s works were the subject of major exhibitions at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Morgan Library & Museum in the summer of 2012. And in celebration of his 90th birthday, The Museum of Modern Art will exhbit his Chatham Series from May 25–September 8. Kelly continues to create works in his studio in Spencertown, New York.
Mort Künstler’s (B.F.A. ’50) acclaimed works of historical art are on display at the Reading Public Museum in Reading, PA. The exhibition of over 30 paintings, etchings, and sketches, Remembering the Battle of Gettysburg: The Civil War Art of Mort Künstler, is on view until July 28. Mort Künstler lives in Oyster Bay, NY.
Ellen Wallenstein (M.F.A ’78), adjunct associate professor, has just published a book, Respecting My Elders, which features portraits of creative artists over the age of 80 who have affected our culture. Some of the people pictured are Edward Albee, Wolf Kahn, Romulus Linney, Philip Pearlstein, Francine du Plessix Gray, and others. The book is available through her website and you can see a full preview at magcloud.com.
Garrett Burke (B.F.A. Communications Design ’85) was featured in an interview by public radio’s Marketplace discussing the design of an unconfirmed “Trillion Dollar Coin” in response to the debt crisis. Burke is the concept designer of the California State quarter honoring John Muir in Yosemite, selected for minting by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2004. A half-billion coins were minted and continue to circulate as currency.
Il Lee’s (M.F.A. ’82) innovative artworks in ballpoint pen have garnered much international recognition during his career of more than 30 years. New works by the artist were recently featured in Il Lee: New Work, a solo exhibition at Art Projects International, in New York. Lee’s work is currently featured in Ballpoint Pen Drawing Since 1950, a series of exhibitions at The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum through August 25. Lee continues to work from his studio in Brooklyn, New York.
Sabine Schoenberg (M.F.A. ’85), luxury homebuilder and designer, is author of Kitchen Magic, the first volume of the Improve your Home, Improve your Life series. Schoenberg is host of Homes & Estates: Today and Tomorrow, a Cablevision series interviewing accomplished architects and designers. She is also founder of the in-depth home design and construction site SabinesHome.com. Schoenberg’s home and practice are in Greenwich, Connecticut.
Mario Robinson’s (B.F.A. ’92) captivating works of realist portraiture are currently on exhibit at the Bedford-Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation’s Skylight Gallery, through May 31. Robinson was selected in 2006 as one of The Artist’s Magazine’s Top 20 Realists under 40, and was declared a “Living Master” by the Art Renewal Center. Robinson also instructs at Scottsdale Artist's School in Arizona.
Text: Bay Brown, Luke Degnan and Ashley Kelleher