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 William E. Elston  (1949 - )

About: William E. Elston


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Lived/Active: Massachusetts/Washington/Idaho      Known for: city scene, buildings, landscape, figure

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William E Elston
An example of work by William E. Elston
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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
The following information, submitted December 2004, has been provided by the artist:

William E. Elston was born on June 18, 1949 in Spirit Lake, Idaho. He received formal training in painting and drawing between the years 1969 to 1975, at Fort Wright College of the Holy Names, in Spokane, Washington; the California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland, California, and privately in New York and Boston.

He has resided in the Seattle area since 1985, and is best known for his landscape and urban landscape paintings. He was part of a loosely affiliated group of landscape artists that formed in Spokane, and which included Charles W. Palmer; Tom Holt of Silver City, NM; Curtis W. Hanson of Connecticut; W. Stanley Taft, Jr., now at Cornell University; and Robert Herreshoff of California.

While living in Boston in the early 1980s, he was affiliated with a group of painters that had been students of the late R.H. Ives Gammell, including Paul Ingbretson, David Lowrey, Sam Rose, and others. This group exhibited at the Parkman House Mayoral Residence in Boston, and at Tichnor Library at Harvard.

In the early 1990s William Elston was a founding member of the short-lived but influential Northwest Figurative Artists' Alliance. This organization had over 40 members, published a bimonthly journal, mounted exhibitions and was generally patterned after the New York Figurative Artists' Alliance, whose meetings he had attended in the late 1970s. The Northwest Figurative Artists' Alliance was featured,
along with Mr. Elston and artist Gary Faigin, in an article by Bruce Barcott in the January 1994 issue of "The New Art Examiner", Chicago, as well as in feature articles in the "Seattle Times" and the "Seattle Post Intelligencer". Work from the NFAA Journal was reprinted (without permission) in Harpers Magazine.

Mr. Elston has also written extensively for regional arts pubications, including "Vision: A Journal of the Arts"; "Northwest Artpaper Illustrated" and "Reflex". In 1993 he co-authored, with artist Charles Krafft, the "Resurgent Regionalist Manifesto", which was published in "Reflex Magazine".

He has taught painting and drawing at Fort Wright College, The Spokane Art School, The Seattle Academy of Fine Art (formerly the Academy of Realist Art,) The Frye Art Museum, The Seattle Art Museum, and lectured at Cheney Cowles Museum in Spokane; The University of Washington; Whitworth College, Spokane; Marymount Manhatten College, New York City; and Eastern Washington University. He continues to teach privately, both studio and plein-air landscape classes.

William Elston was also an early pioneer in developing art related websites. He designed one of the first major gallery websites in the Pacific Northwest in 1993 and has also designed websites for many other gallery representatives and art-related organizations as well as artists including the California sculptor Wm. Dubin, ceramic
sculptor Skip Lyman, painter Ako Lindley, and for The Private Eye

Mr. Elston also has a deep interest in the martial arts and maintains black belt rank in Seido Juku Karate, a traditional Japanese style of karate founded in New York by Kaicho Tadashi Nakamura. Mr. Elston has participated in tournaments in New York, and in Tokyo, Japan.

His work is represented in many public and private collections including those of William and Melinda Gates, Chicago Title, Microsoft, Hewlett Packard, McGraw-Hill, American Express, Frank Russell Inc., Swedish Hospital, the City of Seattle and the City of Portland.

His paintings have appeared in exhibitions at Artists' Choice Museum in New York, NY; Maryhill Museum in Goldendale, WA; The Bellevue Art Museum and The Museum of Northwest Art and Culture, in Spokane, WA,


1995 The Captured City, by Tom McTaggart, Seattle Weekly, Seattle.

1995 Images So Real, by Robin Updike, Seattle Times, Seattle.

1993 William Elston: Aesthetics of Subversion, by Elizabeth Bryant, Reflex Magazine, Seattle.

Streaming video: 2002 Artists Express, SCCTV cable channel, interview by Billy King,
produced and directed by Scott Morrison, archived on SCCTV website:

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