BP Portrait Award, 2017
National Portrait Gallery, London
22 June - 24 September 2017
David Stanger's portrait of the artist "Jerome Witkin" will be exhibited as at the National Portrait Gallery in London as part of the BP Portrait Award 2017. Stanger's painting was selected for from 2,580 entries by artists from 87 countries around the world and is one of of 6 artists from the US.
The BP Portrait Award 2017 exhibition will run at the National Portrait Gallery from 22 June to 24 September 2017. Now in its thirty-eighth year at the National Portrait Gallery, the Award continues to be an unmissable highlight of the annual art calendar and represents the very best in contemporary portrait painting.
The exhibition will travel to:
Exeter City Art Gallery
4 October – 4 December, 2017
Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Edinburgh
11 December, 2017 – 19 March, 2018
Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens
26 March – 11 June, 2018
Artist David Stanger work chosen for prestigious London exhibit
Mary Thomas, July 7, 2017
David Stanger, a Monroeville native who lives in Squirrel Hill and is an associate professor of art at Seton Hill University in Greensburg, is one of six artists based in the U.S. whose work has been selected for the BP Portrait Award 2017 exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery in London.
Mr. Stanger’s oil portrait of Jerome Witkin, his undergraduate art professor at Syracuse University, was among 53 portraits chosen from 2,580 entries from 87 countries.
The portraits were selected by a panel made up of the National Portrait Gallery director and contemporary curator, a journalist, and three other art world professionals.
This is the 38th year of the prestigious exhibition, which honors the best in international works of portraiture. After the exhibition closes Sept. 24 in London, it will travel to the Royal Albert Memorial Museum and Art Gallery in Exeter, England; Scottish National Portrait Gallery in Edinburgh, Scotland; and Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens in Sunderland, England.
Mr. Stanger, 41, holds a master’s degree in fine arts from the Hoffberger School of Painting at Maryland Institute College of Art in addition to his bachelor’s degree in fine arts from Syracuse.
He has exhibited regularly with the Associated Artists of Pittsburgh, including at Carnegie Museum of Art, where he received the museum Purchase Award in 2000; at Westmoreland Museum of American Art; and at the Butler Institute of American Art in Youngstown, Ohio, where he also exhibited in the National Midyear Exhibition.
Mr. Stanger has also shown at Mattress Factory, an institution that he said had a “profound effect” upon him as he was trying to find his way through a “pluralistic art world.”
He had been making and exhibiting conceptual mixed media installation and other work but turned more intensely to oil portraiture after his son was born, he said.
“I started exhibiting them, doing so kind of quietly,” he said. When the response to his paintings in a couple of exhibitions was positive, he thought he may be on to something. “I’d had a love of painting since childhood. It slowly won out.”
It had been on Mr. Stanger’s mind for a while to paint Mr. Witkin. They remained in touch after Mr. Stanger left Syracuse and, while his teacher was surprised by the request, he agreed to sit for his former student.
In the summer of 2015 he spent 2½ days in studio session with Mr. Witkin in Syracuse, surrounded by his mentor’s paintings. Mr. Stanger decided to depict his subject in “deep reflection” as he concentrated upon his own art making, some of which is referenced in the portrait background.
“By the end of [the session], we were talking sort of like old friends. He was very generous. I won’t forget the experience, that’s for sure.”
Mr. Stanger completed the 16-inch by 20-inch painting in the spring of 2016 in Pittsburgh. His initial motivation was to reconnect with Mr. Witkin and honor him for the direction he provided a young artist. When he saw how well the portrait had been realized, he decided to make it his first submission to the competition, and the rest is resume history.
M. Thomas: email@example.com or 412-263-1925.
Seton Hill University Art Faculty Member David Stanger Selected for BP Portrait Award 2017 Exhibition in London
Stanger is one of six American artists selected for the international exhibit
Greensburg, Pa. - Seton Hill University Associate Professor of Art David Stanger has been selected to have his work displayed at the BP Portrait Award 2017 exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery in London, England this June.
Stanger’s piece, a 16” by 20” portrait of Jerome Witkin, his undergraduate art professor at Syracuse University, was one of 53 portraits selected from among 2,580 entries from 87 countries to the exhibition, which honors the best international works of portraiture. He is one of six United States based artists selected for the exhibit.
“I am absolutely elated to have my work chosen for the BP Portrait Award exhibition,” said Stanger, a Monroeville, Pa. native who now lives in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood of Pittsburgh. “It gives me confidence, and it puts wind in the sail. Doors have opened for many artists who have been in this exhibition, so it’s really exciting.”
“All of us at Seton Hill are thrilled at David Stanger’s international recognition through the BP Portrait Award exhibition,” said Seton Hill University President Mary C. Finger, Ed.D. “As a working artist as well as a professor, David serves as an excellent example to his students of what they can accomplish in the art world someday.”
“David’s beautiful work is well-deserving of this tremendous international honor, and we are fortunate to have someone of his talent on our faculty at Seton Hill,” said Curt Scheib, chair of the Division of Visual and Performing Arts. “David is passing on his passion for art to a new generation of students, just as his own mentor did for him.”
The BP Portrait Award, one of the most important platforms for portrait painters in the world, is in its 38th year at the National Portrait Gallery in London. The BP Portrait Award 2017 exhibition will run at the National Portrait Gallery from June 22 to September 24. The exhibition will then go on tour, appearing at the Royal Albert Memorial Museum and Art Gallery Exeter; Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Edinburgh, and Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens.
Stanger’s piece is an oil on canvas portrait of Witkin, his former art professor and mentor at Syracuse, where Stanger earned BFA in painting. Stanger also holds an MFA from the Hoffberger School of Painting at Maryland Institute College of Art.
Stanger traveled to Syracuse in the summer of 2015 and spent 2 ½ days in studio session with Witkin. He worked on the piece over the next several months, completing it in spring 2016.
“Working in his home studio, Jerome and I talked for hours,” Stanger said. “When we were silent, his eyes fixed on his own work in progress. That is that state in which I’ve chosen to depict him, in deep reflection.”
“This piece is very much about my relationship with Jerome, but it is also a timely summation of my thoughts as a painter. At its best, portraiture shows us both the sitter and the artist, a commingling of lives, fixed in paint."
Stanger decided to enter this portrait over his other works because of its meaning to him.
“This painting provided an opportunity for me to reconnect with him, honor him and credit him for shaping my life as a young artist.”
Stanger, who joined the faculty at Seton Hill in 2008, will travel to London in June with his wife, Susheela Nemani-Stanger and their son, Ravi, for the opening of the exhibit.
He hopes this accomplishment will help to inspire his students in his studio arts courses at Seton Hill as Witkin did for him.
Stanger’s work has been exhibited regionally and nationally at such venues as the Carnegie Museum of Art, the Mattress Factory, the Butler Institute of American Art and the Westmoreland Museum of American Art, as well as Manifest Gallery, Seraphin Gallery, and the University of North Carolina at Asheville. His work can be found in many private collections and is most notably in the collections of the Carnegie Museum of Art.
“It’s important for my students to see I’m a professional artist and that I’m out there working,” Stanger said. “They can learn things implicitly through that process.”