Neal McDannel 
Member since Sep 13, 2012

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Artist

Updated on September 14, 2012 at 9:44 PM

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Both of my parents were public school art teachers. My father was my art teacher from first through sixth grade. I spent time before and after school in his room drawing and experimenting with art supplies. In high school I took several fine art courses but decided that commercial art was the most practical application of my skill. In 1981 I Graduated Cum Laude with an A.S.S. degree in graphic art from Finger Lakes Community College. I acquired six years of experience in this profession finishing as an art director for a small printing firm. During this time I gave the commercial art field a fair chance to become my profession of choice but I came to the conclusion that I wanted to go back to school for the Fine Arts. From 1983 to 1988 I had been taking several drawing, photo, and sculpture courses at the Memorial Art Gallery, the Visual Studies Workshop and several independent art studios. In 1989 I graduated from Buffalo State Collage Magna Cum Laude with a bachelor’s degree in Fine Art Printmaking. Around this time I met my muse, Meg, my wife and started a family. In 1991 I received my MFA in Printmaking from the University of Cincinnati where I received a Teaching Assistantship and Full Scholarship for both years I attended. From 1990-96 I was selected to participate in five international, twenty seven national and three regional juried exhibitions. Within these shows I have won six jurors awards including one best of show. In addition to this I had five one person exhibitions. I have taught at the University of Cincinnati, R.I.T. (in Rochester) and the Finger Lakes Community College (NY). In 1994 I won a Special Opportunity Grant from the New York Foundation for the Arts. My work is also in seven permanent collections. In 1997 I found that I had to leave the art profession as it was not providing an adequate income for my family of four. In 1998 I started working at L.A. Self Storage where I still work today. During this time I did not make any artwork until 2009. I had at that time, with help, come to the conclusion that I needed to make art again and that I was suffering for not doing so. Although I am not a prolific artist and my work can be very time consuming and detailed, I do plan to continue to create art for the rest of my life and to be active professionally.

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