“Chasing Light,” an exhibit of oil paintings by Professor of Fine Arts Gary Shankman, will be on display from September 7 through October 31 at the Schacht Fine Arts Center Gallery at Russell Sage College, 65 1st Street, Troy, New York. An opening reception will be held on Friday, September 7, from 4 p.m. through 7 p.m.
“Trying to capture light has been the focus of my paintings since graduate school,” said Shankman, who worked at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., as he earned his Master of Fine Arts degree at American University and found himself drawn to the work of French and American Impressionists. “The strong colors, amazing light effects and bravura brushwork of these artists had a strong appeal for me. Landscape became a major subject matter in my work and I began to paint plein-air.”
Albany has inspired Shankman since he moved to the city in 1986 to join the faculty at The Sage Colleges. The Ten Broeck Mansion and its gardens, the former St. Joseph’s church and other landmarks in Albany’s Ten Broeck Triangle are often settings of his landscapes. He is also known for still lifes of toys, fruit and chocolate. “Light shimmering on metal, glass, drapery, food, and light dappling in nature has been my subject matter,” he said.
Shankman has taught Drawing I, Intermediate Drawing, Beginning Painting, Intermediate Painting and Two-Dimensional Design at Sage College of Albany and led fine art programs for high school students on Sage’s campus. He attends nearly every event at Sage, and was voted Teacher of the Year by students in 2005. He will retire at the end of the 2018-2019 academic year. “I think of this show as a farewell to Sage and perhaps my last solo exhibition in the area,” he said. “I have devoted my career to Sage and I have enjoyed it all.”
Shankman is a member of the Oakroom Artists association. His work has been shown in solo exhibitions in Antwerp, Belgium, London, Washington D.C., and Albany and in group exhibitions throughout the United States. His paintings are in the Watkins Collection, American University Museum, the Mabee-Gerrer Museum of Shawnee, Oklahoma, the Superior Court Art Trust of Washington D.C., and the National Home Furnishings Association of Chicago. He received an ITT International Fellowship to study at the Academie voor Schone Kunsten in Antwerp, Belgium, held a residency at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in rural Maine, and was an Artist-in-Residence for the State of Oklahoma and the City of Rockville, Maryland. He has taught at the Smithsonian Institution, the University of the District of Columbia, Maryland College of Art and Design and Northern Virginia Community College.
Shankman began his art studies at the age of 9, at the Corcoran School of Art in Washington D.C. He holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting from Boston University in addition to his MFA from American University.