Department of Art Alumni

Western Connecticut State University

MFA Lecture Series: Fall 2012


Lectures will take place at 11:00 a.m. in Viewing Room 1

in the basement of White Hall, midtown campus.



Grier Torrence: Painter

Wednesday, September 5, 2012


Grier Torrence was educated at Yale University where he received an MFA degree, and at Rhode Island School of Design where he earned his BFA degree.  He also studied at Stanford University.  During the past 45 years, he has taught at several art schools and is currently the Visual Arts Director at the prestigious Miss Porter's School in Farmington, CT. 


Torrence is a recipient of numerous grants and awards, among them a Ford Foundation grant, an Ingram Merrill Foundation grant, and 4 Vermont Studio Center residencies.  His works have been shown in many solo and group exhibitions and he is currently represented at the Bowery Gallery in New York. 


In his own words, Torrence is "interested in the world within, the psychology of being, the spiritual.  This is devotion and a process.  Interiors and buildings interest me.  There is a parallel.  Light comes into a place.  There is depth.  Many of the images are of places where I have lived and worked.  The work is metaphorical."



Alan Feltus: Painter

Tuesday, September 18, 2012


Alan Feltus received his MFA from Yale and his BFA from Cooper Union.  He has been represented by Forum Gallery in New York since the mid 1970s, with numerous exhibitions in the US and abroad.  A recipient of a Prix de Rome fellowship, he worked at the American Academy in Rome from 1970 - 1972.  He has also received a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship, a Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation grant, two Pollock Krasner Foundation grants, and the Augustus Saint-Gaudens Award at Cooper Union.   


Since 1968, Feltus has been a teacher and visiting artist at many schools in Italy and the US, where he taught at American University in Washington, DC for 12 years.  He has lived near Assisi in Italy ;since 1987.


In his artist's statement, Feltus writes, "Everything is possible in painting, subject to our abilities, of course.  In art nothing is really new, or untried.  There are variations or differences because no two of us are entirely alike.  So in that sense, yes, there are new things in art.  However, I believe it is a mistake to try to make something new in order to be noticed.  Wrong motive.  The results tend to be unimportant.  What we make should come from within us and in that, it is not about being new.  It is about finding who we are."



Stanley Lewis: Painter

Tuesday, October 2, 2012


Stanley Lewis has an impressive reputation among painters and is one of the most highly respected art educators in the country.  He has MFA and BFA degrees from Yale, and a BA from Wesleyan.  He was the recipient of a Danforth Fellowship from 1963-67.


Lewis has been a teacher and visiting artist at a long list of prestigious schools, among them: Dartmouth, Smith, Vassar, Mount Holyoke, Swarthmore, Bard, Yale, Wesleyan, The Art Institute of Chicago, Vermont Studio School, New York Studio School, and Chautauqua Institute.  Since 1990, he has been professor of painting and drawing at American University.  He exhibits widely on a national level and biennially at Bowery Gallery in New York.


In a review of his 2008 show at Bowery, Morgan Taylor wrote, "Lewis is a master colorist.  His unfailingly authoritative skill for painting real, rich and crystalline light, joined to his muscular composition, is key to his power and success. . . His gloppy paint surfaces are aggressive and sensual, . . involved with a direct naturalistic transcription of the casual, disheveled, white bread American subjects.  These he paints directly and laboriously on the spot, including everything in his field of vision, weeds, trash, cars, power lines, etc.  . . .he's an alchemist who can turn trash to gold."




Nancy Stahl: Illustrator

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


Nancy Stahl is a highly recognized illustrator who was recently inducted into the 2012 Hall of Fame of the Society of Illustrators.  She studied at the Art Center College of Design in California, and then moved to New York City, where she still resides, to begin her freelance career in 1971.  She continued her studies at The School of Visual Arts and Parsons School of Design, and over the past decades, her work has become woven into our culture. 


In describing her creative process, Stahl spoke about a stamp design for the USPS.  "For the 2007 Christmas stamps, I was told only to do something non-religious that would be warm and cozy.  I began drawing angels, elves, ribbons, and kept sketching various holiday items.  At one point, I thought of mittens and then cropped in closer and closer until it became just the knitted motifs.  Knitting is a passion so I was excited to knit my final art in that case."  Stahl's assignments have ranged from editorial to packaging, to corporate identity, postage stamps and television commercials; they have brought her work into the mainstream of our everyday visuals.



Judy Glantzman: Painter

Tuesday, October 30, 2012


Judy Glantzman is a native New Yorker and a 1978 graduate of Rhode Island School of Design.  Shown in New York since 1983, she first received critical attention for her early shows in the East Village with Gracie Mansion and subsequently at Blum Helman and Hirschl & Adler Modern.  She had a 30 year retrospective at the Dactyl Foundation in 2008.  Among numerous awards, she received a Guggenheim fellowship, 2 grants from the NY Foundation for the Arts, a Pollock Krasner Foundation grant and a NY Artist Space exhibition grant.  Since 2006, she has been represented by the Betty Cuningham Gallery in New York.


From a recent Cuningham show, the following was published:

"For Judy Glantzman, now in mid-career, figuration is a kind of imperative.  In her latest, exuberant oil paintings, tiny heads are arranged in dense clusters, stacks, rows and daisy chains, their sheer multiplicity distinguishing them from portraiture yet freeing her to make psychologically rich statements about human experience and interaction. . . Her painting style, with fraught brushwork, masterfully sketchy drawing and scumbled passages, seems spontaneous, emotionally charged in the modes of Ensor and Bacon.  Her loaded images convey raw feelings." 



Ross MacDonald: Illustrator

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


Ross MacDonald is a self-taught artist, whose illustrations have appeared in numerous publications, including The New York Times, The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, and Rolling Stone.  His work was the subject of a one man retrospective at The New York Times, and has been honored in many competitions of design and illustration, among them the Society of Illustrators, American Illustration, Print Regional Design Annual, Society of Publication Designers, Communication Arts, and AIGA.  In 2011, he received the gold medal from the Society of Illustrators. 


MacDonald has written and illustrated several children's books, along with the recent adult parody In and Out with Dick and Jane, a Loving Parody.  (This he co-authored with James Victore.)  He has also worked on many movies, among them "Sea Biscuit" and "National Treasure", as an illustrator, prop designer and consultant on period design, printing, paper and documents.  He is currently involved with the HBO series, "Boardwalk Empire" and resides in Newtown, CT.




Susanna Coffey: Painter

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


Susanna Coffey has an MFA from Yale and a BFA from UCONN at Storrs.  Her work has been shown extensively since 1982 throughout the US and internationally inFrance, Spain, Italy, Greece and Korea.  She has received awards and grants from theAmerican Academy of Art and Letters, the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Connecticut Commission on the Arts.  Her work has been discussed and reviewed in Art in America, Art News, The New York Times, The New Yorker, Boston Globe and Chicago Tribune.


In her own words, Coffey states, "I've always been interested in representations of the feminine within the history of painting. . . You might say that painting is a signifier for beauty itself, and the realm of the aesthetic.  The subject of "feminine appearance" has also to do with categories of beauty and aesthetics.  So I feel these two things "painting and representations of women" are important to one another, and for me are worthy of a lifetime's investigation.  And it's particularly interesting for me to be doing it as a woman when painting has been declared dead.  As an act of resistance, I'm very interested in being a painter."




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