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 Donna Frances Dennis  (1942 - )

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Lived/Active: New York      Known for: architectural installation, sculpture, painting, educator

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Although she is highly recognized for her sculptural work and architectural installations, Donna Dennis began her career as a painter, and has been involved in various forms of art education.

Dennis was born in Springfield, Ohio in 1942.  She attended Carlton College in Northfield, Minnesota where she graduated with her degree in 1964.  Later that same year she began her education abroad through the College Art Studies Abroad program.  Following her time spent in France, Dennis returned to the United States and began attending the Art Students League in New York where she was instructed by Stephen Greene until 1966.

Before she became a Professor of Art for the Purchase College State University of New York, School of Art and Design, Dennis was an instructor at several educational institutions, including the Museum School of Boston in Massachusetts, the Maryland Art Institute, and the Skowhegan School of Art at Princeton University.

Among her other achievements as an artist, Donna Dennis has been the recipient of numerous fellowships, grants, and awards throughout her career. Beginning with a grant from the New York State Creative Artist Public Service (CAPS) in 1975, she went on to receive four fellowships in sculpture from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), a fellowship from the Guggenheim in 1979, as well as a fellowship in painting and a fellowship in sculpture from the New York State Foundation for the Arts.  She was also given a Bard Award of Merit in the 1980s from the City Club of New York and the Bessie Award in 1992 for her stage setting design.  In 2001, and again in 2005, she received a grant through the Pollock-Krasner Foundation.

Solo Exhibitions of her work have been organized by institutions such as the Brooklyn Museum in New York; Delaware Art Museum in Wilmington; Florida International University in Miami; Holly Solomon Gallery in New York City; Indianapolis Museum of Indiana; Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston, Massachusetts; Muhlenberg College in Allentown, Pennsylvania; Neuberger Museum at the State University of New York (SUNY) at Purchase; and the Sculpture Center in New York City.

Dennis has been a part of group exhibitions in the United States in Corpus Christi, Texas; Fullerton, California; Joplin, Missouri; Minneapolis, Minnesota; and New York City.  She has also participated in group shows held abroad in Aachen, Germany; Halifax, Nova Scotia; London, England; Surrey, British Columbia; and Venice, Italy.

Examples of her work can be found in the United States and in the permanent collections of art institutions in Europe, such as the Neue Gallerie-Sammlung Ludwig in Aachen, Germany and the Geneva Art Museum of Switzerland.

Submitted by Jenna Wuensche, Researcher

Sources include:
Jules Heller and Nancy G. Heller, North American Women Artists of the Twentieth Century

George Melrod, "Donna Dennis at the Sculpture Center: Installation Art, New York", New York, Art in America, October 1993

Internet Resource:
Donna Dennis, Artist Home Page:  Biography,

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