Melvin J. "Mel" Brenner (1920-1998)
Mel was born in Oakland in 1920, attended schools in Vallejo, and has been an artist all of his life. He earned a Bachelor's degree from the Oakland College of Arts & Crafts. He joined the US Army during WWII. He was classified as an artist and served three years. After the war ended Mel attended Stanford University, earning his MFA as well as lifetime teaching credentials. Brenner went on to advanced studies with Yasuo Kuniyoshi, Philip Guston, and other distinguished artists affiliated with the Art Students League of New York City.
Besides his artistic pursuits, Mel worked as an illustrator for the Stanford University Press and as a scenic designer for numerous theatres in the Bay Area. In 1969 he settled in Lodi, California where he painted and taught composition, drawing, and painting for many years.
Brenner had six one-man shows from 1959-1965 at galleries in San Francisco, Stanford, and Santa Fe, New Mexico. He won a First Prize for an oil painting at the El Cerrito Art Festival in 1962, First Prize in Prints in 1949 at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D. C. and Honorable Mention in watercolors in 1949 at the annual Kingsley Exhibition at Crocker's Art Gallery in Sacramento, California.
Subjects of Brenner's work include landscapes, seascapes, & cityscapes. His painting style included representational as well as abstract.
Obituary, Lodi News clippings, Lodi Art Center
Information courtesy of Kurt Kasten