On Thursday December the 20th 2012, from 7:30pm, artist Mark Lineweaver, who is also a teacher at the Altos de Chavón School of Art and Design is celebrating the inauguration of his new art exhibit “Flora and Fauna – The Dominican Experience” at the Altos de Chavón art gallery – and you are cordially invited to join the celebration. Ahead of the opening, here we bring you a piece written by Stephen Kaplan, rector of the Altos de Chavón School of Design which will give you an insight into both Mark and his art.
Mark Lineweaver at The Gallery at Altos de Chavón by Stephen Kaplan
Any way you look at it, Mark Lineweaver is a rarity. He has been the Altos de Chavón School of Design’s teacher of both figure drawing and sculpture of the figure for more than 20 years and also teaches the fundamentals of three-dimensional design to all first-year students. Coming to Altos de Chavón as an artist in residence in 1990 and returning as an instructor soon after, he’s remained a member of the Casa de Campo community and the Altos de Chavón School of Art and Design faculty ever since. An exhibition “Flora and Fauna – The Dominican Experience” of his recent work opens in The Gallery at Altos de Chavón on the 20th of December.
I first encountered Mark’s work at the 1989 Master of Arts thesis show of the prestigious New York Academy of Art, where his figurative sculptures were the undisputed scene stealers. Best known for his figurative work, Mark has been the recipient of several commissions. Among them are a bust of magazine mogul Malcolm Forbes and several larger-than-life striding figures, commissioned by the architect Michael Graves, that animate the campus of Richard Stockton College, in Galloway, New Jersey.
Despite his training in the human figure, the pieces in this new show “Flora and Fauna – The Dominican Experience” are more about vegetal matter than flesh. The large canvasses, many of them diptychs, explode with plant life – branches, vines, and floral colors.
Mark’s wife is from the lush Dominican heartland, where forest surrounds his farm, and the stewardship of his property in Los Cacaos de Tenares has brought him into close contact with the fecundity of nature. That interface shapes the work in this show: the images of curling plant tendrils and unblushingly ripe flowers are the essence of paintings that fairly shimmer with the perfection of his technique, while proffering a room-filling romantic dialog with nature.
Mark’s adventurous earlier life included jobs where perhaps he was the only un-tattooed worker. He traveled the world after his undergraduate studies, losing himself while finding himself. Physical strength is his hallmark. This is a guy who worked oil rigs off the Cameroon coast and in the Persian Gulf. He was a member of the U.S. national decathlon team, and he can still out-run, out-swim, and out-bicycle many less than half his age. But he’s as philosophical and cerebral as they come. In stark contrast to the rougher side of his life, he has always been engrossed in everything to do with the brain and how it works, how it has evolved.
Mark Lineweaver with his students in Altos de Chavón
In keeping with this unexpected cluster of interests and attributes, Mark is a splendid teacher. His students learn the theoretical underpinning as well as the process of all that they do. His assignments are always a riddling challenge.
To watch him teach his sculpture class to render a three-dimensional likeness of the model is to witness the miracle of a great teacher at his calling. Patiently moving from student to student, he analyzes the work of each one in what seems like a split second, and on the basis of that instant assessment, he prescribes the next step, then demonstrates it. The sighs of recognition are audible, the work turns the corner, and the student feels the rush of an “Aha!” moment.
So here we have it: a gallery brimming with floral themes that demand attention, produced by a remarkable teacher, an unusual human being, and a hard-working perfectionist who imbues his canvases with energy, training, skill, and dedication. The show is a rare and delicious feast for the eyes, mind, and heart.
Article contributed by Stephen Kaplan
– Thank you Stephen!
Stephen Kaplan is the Rector of the Altos de Chavón School of Art and Design
Inauguration of “Flora and Fauna – the Dominican Experience”
When:Thursday December 20th, 7:30pm
Where: The Altos de Chavón art gallery, Altos de Chavón
Contact: (809) 523-8470
Following the inauguration this exhibit will be open everyday 9am – 6pm (closed Wednesdays) until January 21st, 2013
A component of The Altos de Chavón Cultural Center Foundation, a U.S. 501(c)(3) public charity, the Altos de Chavón School of Art and Design has been graduating students from its two-year associate-degree program, affiliated with New York City’s prestigious Parsons “The New School For Design” since 1983.
Three majors are offered: Graphic Design, Fashion Design, and Fine Arts/Illustration. In addition, The School has developed a state-of-the-art Certificate Program in Digital Design.