Monday, March 12, 2012

Phoenix College Presents Annual Eric Fischl Lecture April 4

(PHOENIX, Ariz., March 12, 2012) ) ̶ For the fifth consecutive year, Phoenix College and the Phoenix Art Museum Contemporary Forum will collaborate to host the Eric Fischl Lecture. This year’s guest lecturer will be painter April Gornik, whose landscape paintings have been shown in prestigious museums around the country and abroad.

Gornik is the wife of Eric Fischl. Her artwork has been displayed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City, the National Museum of American Art in Washington, D.C., and many other art museums.

Gornik will speak on Wednesday, April 4, 2012 at 7 p.m. at the Phoenix Art Museum’s Whiteman Hall. Thanks to the generous sponsorship of Climatec, the event is free and open to the public.

A world-renowned artist and alumnus of Phoenix College, Eric Fischl celebrates his connection to the College by returning each year to present the Eric Fischl Lecture Series. As is his custom, Fischl brings a guest to highlight the annual Phoenix Art Museum event.

As part of the lecture series, Fischl will present two Phoenix College art students with the prestigious Vanguard Award, which comes with a $2,500 cash prize for each student. The prizes go to students whose artwork receives “Best in Show” in the college’s 2012 Student Art Competition. The award-winning student artwork will be on display in the Phoenix Art Museum’s Great Hall before and after the lecture.

Fischl’s visit also highlights the Eric Fischl Scholars Program, which recruits students to study fine art at Phoenix College and is the first program of its kind among community colleges. Students selected as a Fischl Scholar benefit from a multi-tiered support system that includes tuition assistance and a comprehensive mentoring system.

“Phoenix College gave me my start, and I want to honor that opportunity,” said Fischl, who has generously provided scholarships to Phoenix College art students since 2005.

Since established in 2005, the lecture series has drawn hundreds of students, artists and educators every spring for an engaging discussion on various art themes.

“The Phoenix College Fine and Performing Arts Department is once again proud to be partnering with the Phoenix Art Museum Contemporary Forum for this prestigious event,” said Dale Doubleday, chair of school’s Fine and Performing Arts department. “We are very excited to have April Gornik as the featured speaker, and grateful to Eric Fischl for his continued support and his commitment to our students’ success.”

About the artists

April Gornik lives and works in New York City, where she has been a resident since 1978. Born in Cleveland, Ohio in 1953, she received a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in Canada in 1976. Her work has been shown in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Museum of Modern Art, the National Museum of American Art, the National Museum of Women in the Arts, the Cincinnati Museum, the High Museum of Art, in Atlanta, the Modern Art Museum of Art of Fort Worth, the Orlando Museum of Art, and other major public and private collections. She has shown extensively, in one-person and group shows, in the United States and abroad.

Eric Fischl was born in New York City in 1948, and grew up in the suburbs of Long Island. Against a backdrop of alcoholism and a country club culture obsessed with image over content, Fischl became focused on the rift between what was experienced and what could not be said. Fischl began his art education in Phoenix, Arizona where his parents had moved in 1967. He attended Phoenix College, then studied for a year at Arizona State University, and ultimately earned his BFA in 1972 at the California Institute of the Arts in Valencia, California. After graduation, he moved to Chicago, where he worked as a guard at the Museum of Contemporary Art. In 1974, he began teaching painting at the highly touted Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, where he met his current, painter April Gornik. In 1978, the couple moved to New York City, where they continue to live and work.

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