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Hartford Art School Hosts Alumni Who “Challenge the Myth of the Starving Artist”


Posted 02/21/2013
Posted by David Isgur

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The Hartford Art School at the University of Hartford will hold the second part of a two-part series of alumni forums, with the over-arching theme “Challenging the Myth of the Starving Artist,” to explore the various ways in which alumni have used their training and skills to make their way in the world and achieve success. The panelists, all successful artists, will discuss their careers and how their start at the Hartford Art School led them to success in Fine Arts.

The event will take place on Friday, Mar. 1, from 5 to 6:30 p.m. in Wilde Auditorium at the University of Hartford, and is free and open to the public. A reception will follow, offering current students and others an opportunity for further discussion with the speakers.

Alumni taking part in the forum will be:

Mark Dion BFA ’86, co-director of Mildred’s Land, an innovative visual art education and residency program in Pennsylvania. He is currently is working on the visual art programming and redesign of the Seattle Waterfront. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including the ninth annual Larry Aldrich Foundation Award and the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s Lucida Art Award. Dion has had major exhibitions at the Miami Art Museum, Museum of Modern Air in New York, Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art in Ridgefield, Connecticut, Tate Gallery in London, and the British Museum of Natural History in London.

Ellen Hackl Fagan MFA ’05, an interdisciplinary abstract painter who uses synaesthesia, digital media and interactive performance as tools for developing a corresponding language between color and sound in her work. Since graduating, she has had 12 solo exhibition and more than 20 group exhibitions nationally, and is still seeking gallery representation.

Carole P. Kunstadt BFA ’73, co-founder of Kennedy/Kunstadt Tapestries, which was commissioned by Gloria Ross to weave a tapestry after the Helen Frankenthaler painting, This Day. She has recently been exhibited in the first International Santorini Biennale of Arts in Greece and has also participated in numerous group exhibitions throughout the United States.

Nancy Bergman-Pantirer BFA ’77, has maintained a studio in Tribeca, New York for the last 20 years and has evolved as an artist who is most at home doing large-scale, site-specific installations. Recently her works have been commissioned for corporate and public spaces, including The Continental in New York, The Metrotop in Woodbridge, New Jersey, and The Robert Treat Hotel in Newark. For the last 10 years she has been producing and curating salons, allowing her to work with a variety of visual and performing artists, writers, and musicians.

Also, the forum will be moderated by Janice La Motta BFA ’78, currently the artistic director at Charter Oak Cultural Center, a multicultural, nonprofit arts organization in Hartford. LaMotta has more than 30 years of professional experience in the fine arts field in both commercial and nonprofit sectors.

At one time the term “artist” was limited to describing someone who wielded a paintbrush, charcoal, etching tool, or chisel. Today it encompasses a vast array of techniques, tools, media, applied application, educational endeavors, commercial ventures, design products, and ideas limited only by one’s imagination. The Hartford Art School invites all to join this series of alumni forums to challenge the myth of the starving artist.