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Illustrator David Brinley’s talk Sept. 17 opens series featuring five artists through November: WCSU to present fall semester M.F.A. artist lecture program

DANBURY, CONN. — Five artists who have earned honors and critical acclaim for their works in illustration, painting and mixed media will discuss their artistic philosophies and creative process during the Western Connecticut State University fall semester Master of Fine Arts lecture series continuing from Sept. 17 through Nov. 18, 2019.

All lectures, sponsored by the WCSU Department of Art M.F.A. in Visual Arts program, will be at 11 a.m. in Room 144 of the Visual and Performing Arts Center on the WCSU Westside campus, 43 Lake Ave. Extension in Danbury. Admission will be free and the public is invited; advance registration is requested at

image of "Agnes" by David Brinley
“Agnes” by David Brinley

The series will begin on Tuesday, Sept. 17, with a lecture by illustrator David Brinley, an award-winning artist whose works have appeared in Time, Rolling Stone, GQ, Sports Illustrated, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times and New York Times magazines, and other major publications worldwide. Widely recognized for his distinctive cover, portrait and editorial illustrations, Brinley brings “a unique visual perspective to complicated concepts or subjects that are difficult to describe textually,” his biography observed. His works are frequently featured in arts publications including American Illustration, Communication Arts, Creative Quarterly and Society of Illustrators annuals.

Brinley has participated in 35 solo and group exhibitions at galleries and museums in New York, Connecticut, California and across the United States, including Society of Illustrators shows in New York City and Los Angeles. A graduate of the Art Center College of Design and recipient of an M.F.A. in Illustration from the Hartford Art School, his awards include a Best of Show in the 2017 Philadelphia Sketch Club juried exhibition and a fellowship from the Delaware Division of the Arts. He serves as an associate professor of Art and Design at the University of Delaware.

Other artists featured in the M.F.A. fall semester lecture series include:

  • Monday, Oct. 7: Angela Dufresne has earned international renown for works in painting, drawing and
    image of "Opening Night Lecture" by Angela Dufresne
    “Opening Night Lecture” by Angela Dufresne

    performance, which have been shown in 18 solo and more than 100 group exhibitions over the past 25 years across the United States and in Italy, Germany, Sweden, Austria, Poland and Russia. Her most recent solo exhibitions include “Making Scene” at the Kemper Museum in Kansas City in fall 2018 and “Just My Type” at the Dorsky Museum at SUNY New Paltz this year. A native of Connecticut and Kansas who now resides and works in Brooklyn, Dufresne received her B.F.A. from the Kansas City Art Institute and her M.F.A. from the Tyler School of Art. She has garnered numerous honors including Guggenheim and Civitella Ranieri fellowships, an American Academy of Arts and Letters Purchase Award, induction in 2018 as a National Academician by the National Academy of Design, and residencies at Yaddo and the Siena Art Institute. Her work has been reviewed in many national arts and general interest publications and is held in collections at the Kemper Museum and the Rhode Island School of Design, where she serves as an associate professor of Painting. Her website biographical notes remarked that her work “articulates non-paranoid, porous ways of being in a world fraught by fear, power and possession.”

  • Tuesday, Oct. 22: Rudy Gutierrez has created iconic illustrations that have appeared in diverse popular
    image of "Pablo Moses" by Rudy Gutierrez
    “Pablo Moses” by Rudy Gutierrez

    vehicles for artistic expression including the  U.S. Postal Service Jimi Hendrix stamp issue, the film “Chasing Trane: The John Coltrane Documentary,” and the cover art for Santana’s platinum “Shaman” album, which was adapted as a backdrop for the 2002 Super Bowl halftime show. During a career spanning three decades, the New York area native of Puerto Rican heritage has explored many themes through his illustrations ranging from social issues to contemporary music and children’s literature. The Society of Illustrators in New York has recognized his achievements with its Gold Medal, Dean Cornwell Hall of Fame Award and Distinguished Educator in the Arts Award. His children’s book illustrations also have been honored with the Pura Belpre Award, the Americas Book Award, the Africa Access Award and the New York Book Award. He received a B.F.A. from the Pratt Institute, where he has served on the art faculty since 1990. The arts web service described Gutierrez’s art as “wall medicine, ancient yet contemporary, urban in a sense and musical in feel. He believes that the highest honor and fulfilment is to inspire and uplift.”

  • Monday, Nov. 4: Beverly McIver, recipient of an M.F.A. from Penn State University, has been the
    image of Blinding Light by Beverly McIver
    “Blinding Light” by Beverly McIver

    Esbenshade Professor of the Practice of Art, Art History and Visual Studies at Duke University since 2014, a prestigious honor that recognizes her accomplishments as an artist and educator. Her paintings, including extensive work in portraiture of herself, her older sister Renee and other family members, are held in corporate, private and public collections including the Baltimore Museum of Art, the National Portrait Gallery, the High Museum of Art and museums in North Carolina and Arizona. The numerous recognitions for her work include a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Radcliffe Fellowship from Harvard University, a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Anyone Can Fly Foundation, a Louis Comfort Tiffany Award, and a Purchase Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. She serves as a workshop leader for Creative Capital, a nonprofit organization providing professional development services to artists. Her profile on the Duke website noted that she “is widely acknowledged as a significant presence in contemporary American art and has charted a new direction as an African American woman artist. She is committed to producing art that examines racial, gender, social and occupational identity.”

  • Monday, Nov. 18: Ellen Harvey, a British-born artist who works in Brooklyn, has gained international
    image of "On the Impossibility" by Ellen Harvey
    “On the Impossibility” by Ellen Harvey

    recognition for her mixed-media and installation art works. A graduate of the Whitney Museum independent study program and J.D. recipient from Yale, Harvey has participated in more than 170 exhibitions since 1997 across the United States as well as in 17 countries in Europe and Asia, including “Weather Report” this fall at the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum in Ridgefield. Her 30 solo exhibitions include shows at the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia, the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, the Groeninge Museum in Belgium and the Center for Contemporary Art in Poland; she will present a retrospective at Turner Contemporary in England in 2020. Her commissioned art works include projects for the New York and Chicago transit authorities, the Philadelphia Airport and the Federal Art in Architecture program, as well as works undertaken this year for the Miami Beach Convention Center, South Station in Boston and the San Francisco Airport. Describing her award-winning project “Repeat” at a war-ravaged church in Belgium, she said, “I had them remove the roof, the interior pillars and furnishings, and I made a new terrazzo floor, which shows all the elements that had been removed and the shadow of the ruins of the previous church. It exists as a memorial both to the war and to the life of the church, a tribute to the essential circularity of human endeavor.”

For more information, contact the WCSU Department of Art at (203) 837-8403.



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