Stan Sperlak was born in Denver, Colorado in 1960. He spent many years traveling the country as his parents ( Stephen & Patricia Ann McGough) were transferred by the military from Hawaii, Minnesota and New York to finally settle in Cape May, New Jersey in 1974. Sperlak showed an early interest in drawing and photography, and was also involved in music and poetry during and after his high school years. He has resided in Cape May Court House and Goshen New Jersey since 1985. He and his wife Valerie have two sons, Michael (1987) and Joseph (1989).
Sperlak attended The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts during 1995-1998 studying part time with Al Gury, Jill Rupinski, Maggie Gilboy and others. During 1998-99, Sperlak studied at the home of fellow artist William Frederick of Hockessin, Delaware who had arranged for private classes by Academy teacher Patrick Arnold. These classes were conducting outdoors at Frederick's garden. Sperlak also studied from 1997-2003 with Patricia (Pat) Vanaman Witt, founder of the Barn Studio of Art in Millville, New Jersey. This study focused primarily on plein air landscape painting at the Burcham's Farm on the Maurice River in Port Elizabeth, New Jersey. Louis Sidney Mohollen worked with Sperlak, teaching him monotypes in 1998. Sperlak also attended Cumberland College in New Jersey from 1992-4, studying ornamental horticulture.
In 1997 Sperlak purchased 37 acres of farmland, forest and marsh in Goshen, NJ along the Crow Creek and started work on a studio and future teaching facility. In 2003 with the encouragement of Pat Witt, Sperlak embarked on carrying forth Witt's traditions of plein air teachings and style. Crow Creek Farm is now the main facility for his teaching. Sperlak has also taught in Maine, Colorado, South Carolina, Pennsylvania and Maryland. He has been invited to teach and speak at art centers across the US.
Sperlak's overall emphasis on teaching has been a continuation of the lineage taught at the Academy and Witt's work, where painting outdoors should be an exercise in "note taking" with color and gesture from life, to capture the light and esence of a place, and to establish the basis for future works from these studies.
Sperlak's work focuses primarily on the landscape of the Mid Atlantic. Shorelines, marshes, fields, skies, boats, fisherman and night scenes make up the bulk of his work, while there are examples of figures in the landscape and to a lesser extent, figurative paintings. His strongest influences are Robert Henri, George Inness, William Lathrop and NC Wyeth.
Since 1998 Sperlak has been showing professionally, taking the traditional route of entering shows and street fairs in the greater Philadelphia/South Jersey area. His work was first carried by Ocean Galleries of Stone Harbor, NJ.(He is currently represented by galleries in Philadelphia PA, Wilmington, DE, Annapolis, MD, Snow Hill, Md, Stuart, FL, and Cape May, NJ.) His works are also in the permanent collection of the Noyes Museum in Oceanville, NJ
Sperlak is a member of the Mid Atlantic Plein Air Painters Association, having served on the Board of Directors since 2005. He is a member and past President of The Cape May County Art League, and a juried member of the Pastel Society of America, and the Maryland and Colorado Pastel societies.
Information provided by the artist.