MCCC's MEL LEIPZIG To Hold American Art Discussion 4/2

Mel Leipzig, nationally renowned artist and professor of art at Mercer County Community College, will discuss prominent contributors to the American realist art tradition in his talk, “Seven Modern American Realists,” on Thursday, April 2 at 12 noon. Leipzig’s slide lecture takes place in the Communications Building, CM 110, on MCCC’s West Windsor campus, 1200 Old Trenton Road.  Free and open to the public, his talk concludes Mercer’s Distinguished Lecture Series for the Spring 2009 semester.

Leipzig will explore techniques of noted artists William Bailey, Robert Birmelin, Lois Dodd, Edward Hopper, Philip Pearlstein, Fairfield Porter, and Neil Welliver.  “I want to engage people in the process of seeing things from different perspectives,” Leipzig said. “Some of these artists distinguished themselves as landscape, figure and still life painters. When viewing paintings, most people focus on the subject matter, not the artist’s techniques.  I want everyone to become more sensitive to various artistic approaches.  Art enriches our lives.”

Several of the artists Leipzig will discuss are featured in “Artist as Curator,” a show currently on exhibit at the New Jersey State Museum in Trenton for which Leipzig serves as curator.  Leipzig chose works primarily from the State Museum’s collection of 19th and 20th century figurative paintings.  In a second exhibit on display at the museum, Leipzig’s own recent work is featured in “Mel Leipzig: Selected Works.”  Both shows run through September 6 in the Fine Arts Galleries, located on the second floor of the museum.

Leipzig has participated in numerous one-man and group shows from the East Coast to Moscow. His paintings are often on display at the Gallery Henoch in New York City and are included in the collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art, the New Jersey State Museum, the Morris Museum, the Noyes Museum, the Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Museum at Rutgers, the Jersey City Museum, and the Architectural Archives of the University of Pennsylvania.
In 2006, Leipzig was elected to the National Academy, an honorary association of professional artists, museums and fine arts schools in New York City. He received a Fulbright Grant to Paris and four grants for painting from the New Jersey Council on the Arts. He was the first recipient of the MCCC Distinguished Teaching Award (1980), and was one of the last individual artists to receive a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (1996). Other awards include a Fulbright Traveling Fellowship, the Louis Comfort Tiffany Award and one of the last individual artist grants from the National Endowment for the Arts in 1995.  He studied at Cooper Union, Yale University and Pratt Institute, where he earned his M.F.A.

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