Farewell to Hartford Art School Associate Dean Tom Bradley and Professors, Gene Gort and Jim Lee
The Hartford Art School congratulates three esteemed colleagues a happy and creative retirement. HAS and UHart thanks Tom Bradley ’77, Gene Gort ’79, and Jim Lee for their commitment and years of continued service.
More about Tom Bradley ’77
Tom Bradley ’77, Associate Dean of Administration and Finance at HAS started his career with HAS as a student, and was attracted to the University of Hartford because of his interest in art, music, and engineering. While at UHart, he studied 2-D Design, photography, and printmaking at HAS; trumpet at The Hartt School, and even considered pursing Mathematics. He graduated with the Centennial class of the Hartford Art School and later returned to ENHP to receive his M.ED in Educational Technology.
In addition to his multiple staff responsibilities, Tom taught in the Printmaking and Sculpture departments as well as the University’s College of Engineering. In 1977, he started Tom Bradley Associates, a design/build consultancy with a focus on the construction and renovation of artists’ studios, gallery and museum displays and custom furniture. His clients included the Dorsky Gallery (NY), Museum of American Political Life (CT), John Dempsey Hospital (CT), Joseloff Gallery (CT), University of Connecticut Medical Center (CT) as well as numerous artists and private patrons.
Tom’s contributions to the Art School are innumerable. He has seen the school through four reaccreditations with NASAD, served on innumerable Art School and University Committees and was a founding member of the University of Hartford Health and Safety Committee. He has served as college representative on a broad range of capital improvement projects for the studio spaces, offices, and buildings while often helping to secure funding for those projects. Over the years he has played an integral role in the revision and adoption of school curricula including the development and ultimate University, State, and NASAD approval of many new degree programs ranging from Media Arts to the three low residency MFA programs.
Tom has served as a juror for local arts organizations including the Canton Artists Guild, Greater Hartford Arts Council, Connecticut Commission on the Arts and in 2005 and 2006 he chaired the Collinsville Arts Initiative Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition.
Most of all, Tom is known for his extraordinary patience, integrity, humility, work ethic, and commitment both to the Art School and the University as a whole. But most essential to him, he has helped countless students over the years to navigate their best path to success both as artists and scholars.
In his retirement, he will now have time for himself in his home studio. His wife Susan, also a multiple degreed alumna of the Art School and the University, taught many art classes as an adjunct and recently served as Coordinator of the “Art on Campus” initiative. Susan and Tom are both looking forward to enjoying each other’s company more often.
More about Gene Gort ’79
After 31 years with the Hartford Art School, alumnus and professor Gene Gort ’79 retired as of June 30. A visual artist, video producer, media programmer, and educator, Gort lives in Torrington, Connecticut with his husband, artist/designer Patrick Kennedy. Having been educated in the 1970s and 80s, he has been influenced by artists and movements associated with Conceptualism, Performance Art, Minimalism, late Modernism, and Post-Modernism. Gort has been producing video, installation, digital media, and collaborative projects for almost 40 years and previously held the position of professor of Integrated Media Arts. His current work concentrates on collaborative multimedia performances. Lately, Gort’s explorations have turned to the use of coding and interactivity as creative processes, while maintaining these aesthetic connections.
Gene wrote and initiated the Integrated Media Art Program at the Hartford Art School and taught courses in visual culture, video, sound art and media.
His interests lie in examining the ordinary or quotidian, and what it has to offer us. He is an avid gardener, carpenter, and (a self-proclaimed) hack musician!
Professor Ken Steen said, “As a colleague and artistic co-conspirator, Gene has been a brilliant multidisciplinary scholar, a rigorous and generous collaborative spirit, as well as a tireless HAS ambassador at Hartt and elsewhere on the University of Hartford campus.” He continued, “As a teacher Gene always supported and challenged his students - our students - to take meaningful artistic and personal risks in their development of individual artistic voice and practice. Significantly, this also extended to supporting individual risk in the pursuit and development of true collaborative practice and creativity. I’m certainly going to miss his presence on campus, but the collaborative art-making isn’t stopping anytime soon!”
More about Jim Lee
Jim Lee retires from The Hartford Art School after 38 years of outstanding teaching and service. Born in the Mid-West, he received his BA from Bethany College in studio arts and an MFA in printmaking for the University of Wisconsin-Madison. At HAS, he taught printmaking, drawing, and book arts.
Landscape has been at the core of his work. Recent work has been based on the landscape of Ireland, New England, and Maritime Canada and often begins a series of work with pastel, watercolor, and pencil drawings on-site. He is interested in the people who inhabit the locations he depicts, weaving references to their history and culture into his work. Humor and satire also often show up in various ways.
Since 1984, Professor Lee has been the co-Director of the Hartford Art School Print Workshop, a yearly program that publishes editions of prints by important visual artists in residencies in the HAS printmaking studio, often in collaboration with commercial fine art printers and with printmaking faculty. Last year the Art School celebrated the 40th Anniversary of the workshop with a retrospective exhibit entitled “Pressed” in the Joseloff Gallery. Professor Lee also instituted and developed the Book Arts component of the Printmaking program, in which students produce hand crafted and letterpress printed books and broadsides in the Book Arts Studio.
Retired printmaking professor and colleague, John Willis, recollected Jim saying, “fine printing starts, where good printing ends,” which he learned from his mentor, Walter Hamady at the University of Wisconsin. Jim pursued fine printing in his own work and demanded the same from his students. He would often look, pause and then say to a student, “I think it needs just one more run.” The student, knowing he was right would roll their eyes and go back to the press and run one more color, and sure enough he was right.
Jim Lee’s work has been exhibited in many national and international print and artist’s book exhibitions and his work is in many important print and book collections, including: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The National Portrait Gallery, The Getty Art Center, The Wadsworth Athenaeum, The Boston Athenaeum, The Art Institute of Chicago, The Guangdong Museum of Fine Art, China, and many special collections including The New York Public Library, The Boston Public Library, Yale University, and Harvard University.
Please join HAS in congratulating Tom, Gene, and Jim, and in wishing them well on the next chapter in their lives.