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 John Whalley  (1954 - )

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Lived/Active: Maine/New York / Brazil      Known for: illustration, graphite drawing and still-life painting

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Ad Code: 4
AskART Artist
from Auction House Records.
Still Life with Pitcher and Quince on Stone Wall
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1954, John Whalley had an artist mother, graduate of the Pratt Institute, who encouraged him to draw and paint from an early age. He completed his first oil painting at eight years of age at his childhood home in upstate New York, amid the beauty of rural countryside with its woods, hills, and lakes.

After considering a career in architecture, Whalley pursued formal art training at the Rhode Island School of Design, where he majored in illustration and minored in drawing and painting. In 1976, he moved to Bridgewater, Massachusetts, where he regularly contributed artwork to a number of New England publications, including Atlantic Monthly and Yankee magazines. At this time, he taught painting workshops at the Brockton Art Center.  In 1979, he moved to Lima, New York, and then to Harrison Valley, Pennsylvania, in 1981. In Harrison Valley, he helped develop a therapeutic art program for abused and abandoned children at an orphanage set on a private 300-acre farm. It was the remote and rustic setting of this farm and its surrounding hills that inspired many of Whalley's early works.

After the birth of his two sons, the Whalleys moved to Standish, Maine, near where Whalley spent many summers as a youth. Here he completed a series of paintings in oil and egg tempera and began working on an extended series of large-format graphite still lifes. He also pursued a special interest by participating in several short-term outreaches to homeless children in El Salvador, Colombia, and the Amazon region and served as a volunteer worker and teacher from 1997 - 2003 at the New Horizons Youth Ranch in central Brazil.

Over the years, Whalley's work was exhibited widely in the museums of the Rhode Island School of Design, Purdue University, The University of Wisconsin at Eu Claire, University of Florida, and the University of Georgia at Athens. Exhibitions of his work have also included the Sheldon Swope Museum of Art, Dedland Museum of Art, The Fort Lauderdale Museum of Art, South Bend Regional Museum of Art, the Tampa Museum of Art, and The Coral Springs Museum of Art.

He had a solo exhibition of his drawings and paintings at the Office of the Speaker of the House at the State Capitol in Augusta, Maine and was awarded a 2005 Good Idea Grant by the Maine Arts Commission.Whalley currently lives and works in Damariscotta, Maine. 

John Whalley was featured in a filmed segment on a Boston news program recently.  As part of the series called On the Road, Peter Mehegan of Channel 5 News Boston interviewed the artist in his Damariscotta studio, discussing both John's considerable art career and his recent history in Central and South America working with disadvantaged children in the arts and in their lives.  The television host became interested in Whalley's story after seeing an article written by Bob Keyes in the Maine Sunday Telegram (8/14/05) on Whalley's work and recent life story.  Part of that story involved John's exhibiting 8 of his paintings and drawings in a show called What Needs to be Retrieved: The Marriage of Tools, Art, and History, at the Davistown Museum in Liberty.


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