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 John Arthur O'Connor  (1940 - )

About: John Arthur O'Connor
 

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Lived/Active: Florida/California/Idaho      Known for: performance art, painting, drawing, teaching

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BIOGRAPHY for John O'Connor
Facts/Data
Birth
1940 (Twin Falls, Idaho)
 
Lived/Active
Florida/California/Idaho

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performance art, painting, drawing, teaching

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
John A. O’Connor received his A.B. with Honors in Art in 1961 and his M.A.A. in 1963 in painting and drawing from the University of California-Davis. He taught art at the University of California-Davis from 1961-63, the University of California-Santa Barbara from 1963-64, Blake College, Valle de Bravo, Mexico from 1964-65, and Ohio University, Athens from 1965-69.

From 1969, he taught art at the University of Florida, Gainesville. He was named Professor of Art in 1985, a position he held until his retirement in 2005. In 1987-88, he was the Acting Chairman of the UF Department of Art. In 1980-82, John A. O'Connor was Director of the Appalachian Center for Crafts, and a Division Director of the Tennessee Arts Commission. In 1983-84 and 1988-89, he served as the Faculty Program Consultant to the Florida Board of Regents. O’Connor also founded, and was the Executive Director of the Florida Higher Education Arts Network (FHEAN) from 1985-2005. From 1988 through 2005 he was also founder and director of the UF Center for the Arts and Public Policy.

He has had thirty-six solo exhibitions of his paintings and his art has also been exhibited in more than two hundred group shows. He has received numerous awards including a Southern Arts Federation/National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in 1992-93, a State of Florida Individual Artist’s Fellowship in 1991-92, and in 2002-03, a University of Florida Professorial Excellence Program Award.

His work is in numerous public and private collections in the U.S. and abroad including the State of California Collection, the Ringling Museum of Art, the Cornell Fine Arts Museum, Bechtel Corporation, Alabama Power and Light, Cole National Corporation and IBM Corporation.

RESUME

CHRONOLOGY
 
1940 Born on January 23 in Twin Falls, Idaho, the son of John Francis and Lenore M. O’Connor. His father was a chef; his mother studied acting
 
1943 Moves to Sacramento, California
 
1957 Graduates from McClatchy High School in Sacramento and is honored as a Lifetime Member of the California Scholarship Federation
 
1957-59 Attends Sacramento City College and studies architectural design
 
Meets artists Gregory Kondos and Wayne Thiebaud and becomes very interested in painting
 
1959 Moves to San Francisco, California and works for the State Compensation Insurance Fund while continuing to paint
 
Summer. Attends Sacramento State College (now California State University, Sacramento)-Lake Tahoe Branch and studies painting and drawing with Fred Schmid who convinces him to continue his art studies in Mexico
 
1959-60 Attends Mexico City College (now University of the Americas) and studies painting, drawing, and design
 
1960 Returns to Sacramento and sets up studio
 
Summer. Appointed Student Teaching Assistant at Sacramento State College-Lake Tahoe Branch
 
1960-61 Attends the University of California-Davis and receives A.B. with Honors in painting and drawing, and art history where he studies with Joseph Baird, William Theo Brown, Ralph Johnson, Roland Petersen, Wayne Thiebaud, and William T. Wiley
 
1961 Summer. Attends the San Francisco Art Institute on scholarship and studies painting and drawing with James Weeks and Ivan Madjrakoff
 
Travels in Mexico
 
1961-63 Attends the University of California-Davis on a State of California Art Scholarship. Awarded a Teaching Assistantship. Teaches courses in painting, drawing, and lithography. Receives M.A.A. in painting and drawing
 
1962 Has first solo exhibition at Little Gallery (now the Gregory Kondos Gallery) at Sacramento City College

1962-63 Appointed Director of the Memorial Union Art Gallery at the University of California-Davis
 
1963 Marries Mallory Ann McCane
Appointed Instructor in Art at the University of California-Santa Barbara while still in graduate school and becomes the youngest professor in the University of California system. Teaches painting, drawing, and design. Photographic coverage of art class appears in the Saturday Evening Post
 
Has solo exhibition at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, California. Exhibition is reviewed in Artforum magazine
 
Has first solo exhibition in San Francisco at Hollis Galleries
 
1964-65 Appointed Tutor in Art at Blake College in Valle de Bravo, Mexico
 
1965 Son Christopher Sean Deigh born
 
Appointed Instructor in Art at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio. Teaches painting, drawing, and design
 
1967 Included in the national exhibition The Cincinnati Biennial at the Cincinnati Art Museum, Ohio
 
1967-68 Appointed Director of The University Art Gallery at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio
 
1968 Travels in Canada
 
1969-2005 Appointed Visiting Assistant Professor at the University of Florida in Gainesville. Subsequently appointed Assistant Professor 1970-75; Associate Professor, 1975-85; Professor, 1985-2005. Teaches painting, drawing, design, contemporary art history, Art Law, and the Arts and Public Policy
 
1972  Has solo exhibition at the Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota, Florida. Exhibition tours statewide. Museum purchases painting for its permanent collection
 
Included in the international invitational exhibition Book at the Kemper Gallery, Kansas City Art Institute, Missouri
 
1973 Travels in England and Scotland
 
1974 Included in the national exhibition Sixth Annual Realists Invitational at the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art in Winston-Salem, North Carolina

1975 Included in the National Invitational Drawing Exhibition at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale
 
Included in the national invitational exhibition "A Pictorial History of the World" at the Kemper Gallery, Kansas City Art Institute, Missouri
 
1976 Teaches first Performance as Art course given for credit in an American university with artist Nate Shiner at the University of Florida in Gainesville
 
1978  Included in the 20th Annual National Exhibition of Prints and Drawings at the Oklahoma Art Center, Oklahoma City and receives a merit award
 
Included in the 46th Southeastern Competition: Drawing, Photography and Printmaking at the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and receives an honorable mention
 
1979-80 Included in the national exhibition the Reality of Illusion at the Denver Art Museum, Colorado. Exhibition tours to University Galleries, University of Southern California, Los Angeles; Honolulu Academy of Art, Hawaii; Oakland Museum, California; University Art Museum, University of Texas, Austin; Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York
 
Included in the exhibition Southern Realism at the Mississippi Museum of Art in Jackson. Exhibition tours to University Museums, University, Mississippi; Roanoke Fine Arts Center, Virginia; Montgomery Museum of Art, Alabama; Pensacola Museum of Art, Florida
 
1981-82 Appointed Director of the Appalachian Center for Crafts in Smithville, Tennessee, and Division Director of the Tennessee Arts Commission. (On leave from the University of Florida)
 
1982  Included in the national Annual Exhibition of American Painting at the Butler Institute of American Art in Youngstown, Ohio, and receives an honorable mention
 
Has first solo exhibition in Greater Washington, D. C., at Capricorn Galleries in Bethesda, Maryland
 
1983-84 Appointed Faculty Program Consultant in Fine Arts to the Board of Regents, State University System of Florida in Tallahassee. (On leave from the University of Florida)
 
1985-2005 Founds the Florida Higher Education Arts Network—the nation’s first—and is appointed Executive Director by the members
 
1987 Included in the national invitational exhibition "Movietone Muse: Art Influenced by Film" at One Penn Plaza in New York, New York
 
Included in the national exhibition "Mainstream America, The Collection of Phil Desind" at the Butler Institute of American Art in Youngstown, Ohio
 
Included in the exhibition "Florida Creates" at the Jacksonville Art Museum, Florida
 
1988-2005 Founds the Center for the Arts and Public Policy at the University of Florida in Gainesville—the nation’s first—and is appointed Director; Travels in Ireland
 
1988-89 Receives second appointment as the Faculty Program Consultant in Fine Arts to the Board of Regents, State University System of Florida
 
1990 Included in the 52nd Annual National Exhibition of Contemporary Paintings at The Society of the Four Arts in Palm Beach, Florida
 
Included in the national exhibition "Styles, Strands and Sequences: American Realist Paintings, and Drawings 1912-1990" from Dr. Philip Desind Collection at The University Gallery at the University of Florida in Gainesville
 
1991 Included in the 1991 Cheekwood National Painting Exhibition in Nashville, Tennessee
 
Included in the 6th Tallahassee Florida National exhibition at The Fine Arts Museum at Florida State University
 
1991-92 Receives a State of Florida Individual Visual Artist’s Fellowship
 
1992-93 Receives a Southern Arts Federation/National Endowment for the Arts Regional Fellowship for Painting and Works on Paper
 
1993 Included in the international invitational exhibition "The Faculty Invites: 35 Contemporary Artists" at The University Art Museum at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln
 
1994 Travels in Canada
 
1995 Included in the book New American Painting III, vol 1, no, 3, Open Studios Press
 
1996 Spring. Receives competitive one semester sabbatical leave to develop mid-career retrospective
 
Exhibits at two venues in Atlanta, Georgia, during Summer Olympic Games
 
1997 Has first solo exhibition in Atlanta at Art with an Attitude Gallery
 
1998  Has retrospective exhibition "Real Illusions: John O’Connor’s Blackboards and Their Origins", at the Cornell Fine Arts Museum, Rollins College, Winter Park, Florida
 
1999 Retrospective exhibition "Real Illusions: John O’Connor’s Blackboards and Their Origins", is exhibited at the Schmidt Center Gallery, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, Florida and at the Thomas Center Main Gallery, Gainesville, Florida
 
Receives Professorial Excellence Program Award for 1998-99 from the University of Florida (the second visual artist so honored)
 
2000 Retrospective exhibition "Real Illusions: John O’Connor’s Blackboards and Their Origins", is exhibited at the Kendal Campus Art Gallery, Miami-Dade Community College, Florida
 
2001 Included in the 33rd International Festival of Painting at the Château Musée (Mediterranean Museum of Contemporary Art) in Cagnes-sur-Mer, France (one of sixteen American artists invited)
 
Included in the 50th Annual All Florida Invitational, Boca Raton Museum of Art, Florida (one of fourteen Florida artists invited)
 
Receives Fine Arts and Humanities Scholarship enhancement Fund grant for catalog for upcoming retrospective in 2003 from the University of Florida
 
2002 Retrospective exhibition Palimpsests is exhibited at the Alexander Brest Museum of Art at Jacksonville University, Florida
 
Receives a State of Florida Individual Visual Artist’s Fellowship
Included in the book New American Painting 40, vol 7, no, 3, Open Studios Press

2003 Retrospective exhibition John A. O’Connor: "Conceptual Realism 1968-2003" is exhibited at the Pensacola Museum of Art and the University of West Florida Art Gallery
 
Receives Fine Arts and Humanities Scholarship enhancement Fund grant for catalog for project to develop new Faux Oriental Screens from the University of Florida
 
2004  Included in the 2002-2003 Visual Art Fellowship Exhibition, Polk Museum of Art, Lakeland, Florida, The Art Center Galleries at Okaloosa-Walton Community College, and The Lowe Art Museum, Miami
 
2004 One of fifty Florida artists selected by the Florida Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs, and the Florida Arts Council to be included on the new Southern Arts Federation website, SouthernArtistry.Org. This is a joint effort of the Southern Arts Federation and the Center for Arts Management and Technology at Carnegie Mellon.
 
2005 Retrospective exhibition John A. O’Connor: Conceptual Realism 1968-2003 is exhibited at The University Art Gallery, University of Florida, Gainesville
 
Retrospective exhibition "My Life, My Art: Twenty Years of Paintings" by John O’Connor is exhibited at the Thomas Center Main Gallery, Gainesville, Florida
 
Included in the book American Art Collector, vol 1, no, 4, Alcove Books
 
Received Lifetime Achievement Award from the Florida Higher Education Arts Network
 
Retired from the University of Florida and named Professor Emeritus
 
2006 Included in the book American Art Collector, vol 2, no, 4, Alcove Books
 
2007  Travels in Ireland and Northern Ireland
 
2008-09 Exhibits in Liquid Muse: Paintings from the St. Johns Region at the Thomas Center for the Arts, Main Gallery, Gainesville, Florida; the Alexander Brest Museum of Art, Jacksonville University, Florida; Tallahassee Museum, Florida; Art Gallery, Florida School of the Arts, Palatka, Florida; and The Museum of Florida Art, DeLand, Florida

2010: Founds website with wife, Mary Mallory McCane O'Connor
 

PUBLIC COLLECTIONS
Cornell Fine Arts Museum, Rollins College, Winter Park, Florida
Edinboro State University, Edinboro, Pennsylvania
Ringling Museum of Art, Sarasota, Florida
State of California, Sacramento
University of California-Davis
University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire
 
CORPORATE COLLECTIONS
Alabama Power Company, Montgomery, Alabama
Bechtel Corporation, San Francisco, California
Cole National Corporation, Cleveland, Ohio
IBM Corporation, Armonk, New York
Industrial Indemnity Corporation, San Francisco, California
 
PRIVATE COLLECTIONS
Mr. and Mrs. Ronald Abramson, Rockville, Maryland
Mr. and Mrs. Harold Blaiweis, Bethesda, Maryland
Mr. William Theo Brown and Mr. Paul Wonner, San Francisco, California
Mr. and Mrs. Buzz Cohen, Potomac, Maryland
Mr. Philip Desind, Silver Spring, Maryland
Mr. Roger DesRosiers, Cathedral City, California
Mr. and Mrs. Michael Fong, San Francisco, California
Mrs. Erin and Mr. Brent Ferraro
Dr. and Mrs. Stephen Ginsberg, Potomac, Maryland
Mr. Frank Goad, Santa Barbara, California
Dr. and Mrs. Neal Green, Potomac, Maryland
Mr. Gerard Haggerty, New York, New York
Dr. and Mrs. Sidney Harvey, Briarcliff Manor, New York
Dr. and Mrs. Norman Holland, Gainesville, Florida
Mr. and Mrs. Marvin Hollis, San Francisco, California
Ms. Jacqueline Hume, San Francisco, California
Mr. and Mrs. H. Kaminsky, Bethesda, Maryland
Mr. and Mrs. Jerome Kaplan, Bethesda, Maryland
Mrs. Bea Katzen, Bethesda, Maryland
Dr. Caleb King, Gainesville, Florida
Mr. Gregory Kondos, Sacramento, California
Dr. and Mrs. Richard Lambert, Santa Barbara, California
Mr. and Mrs. Colm Lanigan, New York, New York
Mr. James Leedy, Kansas City, Missouri
Mr. Peter Marin, Santa Barbara, California
Mr. Robert Mason and Catherine Lampert, London, England
Mr. and Mrs. Robert Mason, High Springs, Florida
Mr. and Mrs. Christopher O’Connor, Chattanooga, Tennessee
Mr. Andrew Parker, Washington, D.C.
Ms. Elizabeth Schilling, San Francisco, California
Mr. Charles Schwartz, Toledo, Ohio
Senator and Mrs. Alan Sieroty, Beverly Hills, California
Mr. Edgar Sinton, Hillsborough, California
Mr. and Mrs. Brad Smith, Gainesville, Florida
Mr. Ira Steinberg, Rockville, Maryland
Mr. and Mrs. Al Suwalsky, Bethesda, Maryland
Mr. Wayne Thiebaud, Sacramento, California
Mr. Wade and Dr. Kathy Tyler
Mr. and Mrs. George Varian, Palo Alto, California
Mr. Steven Whitacre, Kansas City, Missouri
Mr. and Mrs. Robert Zakroff, Potomac, Maryland
 
BIOGRAPHICAL LISTINGS
 
Who’s Who in the World
Who’s Who in American Art
Who’s Who in the South and Southwest
Dictionary of International Biography
Outstanding Educators in America
International Who's Who in Art and Antiques
Community Leaders and Noteworthy Americans
Personalities of the South
Who’s Who in the South and Southeast
Who’s Who in Education
Men of Achievement
International Who's Who in Education
American Artists of Renown
The Directory of Distinguished Americans
International Directory of Distinguished Leadership
Personalities of America
International Leaders in Achievement
Men and Women of Distinction: Fourth World Edition

 
MAGAZINE PUBLICATIONS
Artforum, 1963-64, 1966
Art Week, 1972, 1979
Art Voices/South, 1979
Art Voices/South Newsletter, 1979
New West Magazine, 1979
Westword, 1979
Paw Print, 1979
Los Angeles Times Home Magazine, 1979
Gainesville Sun Scene Magazine, 1979, 1988-99
Washington Gallery Calendar, 1989
UC Davis Magazine, 1991-92, 1998-99
CAA News, 1991, 1997-99
New Art Examiner, 1993
Il Museo, 1998
The San Francisco Art Institute Magazine, 1997-99
Art Expressions, 1999
Ft. Lauderdale Weekly Magazine, 1999
 
NEWSPAPERS
Sacramento Bee, 1961-62, 1966, 1974, 1979
Sacramento Union, 1961-62
Santa Barbara News-Press, 1963-64
San Francisco Chronicle, 1964, 1966, 1969, 1971-72
San Francisco Times Herald, 1966
Toledo Blade, 1967
San Francisco Examiner, 1969
Gainesville Sun, 1970-
St. Petersburg Times, 1973, 1989
Miami Herald, 1973
Tampa Tribune, 1973, 1989
Winston-Salem Journal, 1974, 1978, 1980
Jacksonville Times Union, 1974
San Diego Union, 1979
Pasadena Star News, 1979
Denver Art Museum Notes, 1979
Denver Herald Dispatch, 1979
Los Angeles Herald Examiner, 1979
Denver Post, 1979
Charlotte Observer, 1980
Tallahassee Democrat, 1988
Orlando Sentinel, 1998
 

Submitted November 2013 by Mallory O'Connor, wife of the artist.
 


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