My Professional work outside the studio reflects a growing interest in large-scale collaborative projects that engender a sense of community. I have drawn upon my wealth of experience as a visual arts instructor, public works innovator and fine arts program director to fund and create dozens of murals and other installations in the Bay Area, Mexico and Los Angeles. My Professional work outside the studio reflects a growing interest in large-scale collaborative projects that engender a sense of community. I have drawn upon my wealth of experience as a visual arts instructor, public works innovator and fine arts program director to fund and create dozens of murals and other installations in the Bay Area, Mexico and Los Angeles. For the past three years I have worked for the Wiseburn Unified School District providing a quality visual art program at 3 public schools. This sequential and in-depth program includes residencies, family workshops, community events and a series of collaborative murals.
It has been my great fortune to have been nurtured as an artist since childhood. I owe to my grandmother, Judith Deim, a familiarity with paint, studio and travel. I currently reside and maintain a private studio in Los Angeles, making yearly painting trips to Mexico. My oil paintings are in galleries and collections in California, New York, Mexico and the Pacific Northwest. I have also created more than 20 permanent public mural installations in Southern California, the Bay Area and Mexico.
I began formal training as an oil painter with Karl Benjamin at Pomona College in Claremont, California, before moving to New York City where I attended the Art Students League. In 1995 I arrived in San Francisco and found a mentor in Glen Moriwaki, a well-known artist who introduced me to the techniques and theories of the Bay Area Figurative Movement. With a deeper understanding of the human form I found more freedom to work with otherworldly themes and produced several large bodies of work.
It was at this point that I began teaching art and working in community. The bulk of my experience as an arts educator took place in San Francisco, where I was the Director of the Arts Program at the Creative Arts Charter School until 2011. At Creative Arts – as well as at nearby schools Harvey Milk, Rosa Parks and Grattan – I created murals and installations with my students and developed enduring fine arts programs. I have been awarded numerous grants to fund these programs and projects, most notably a California Arts Council Individual Artist grant for 3 year-long collaborative projects including a 15′ windmill installed in San Francisco’s City Hall.
As subjects or inspiration, children have always played a key role in my artistic life- their originality and creative spirit are infectious and working with them is a constant reminder that exploration is necessary for growth in art.
Peter Burnett Elementary School
Project funded by ADBD, P.S. ARTS and the Wiseburn Education Foundation
16′ x 8′