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My Life As An Artist

I was raised in Manhattan. I didn't have any particular art training in my various schools but I did take classes and my first direction in the art world was geared towards crafts, which then and now is for some reason not considered to be fine art. I got my undergraduate degree at the Cleveland Institute of Art, in Ohio and my major was enameling, which seemed like a good idea at the time. After college I moved back to NYC for a time and while I was there had the good fortune to show my work at the only all enamels gallery in the city, called Spring Street Enamels. I sold work there, also helped to hang shows, give and take classes and bask in the greatness of the owner, Joan Itzcovitz.

Eventually I moved on to a more formal job as a jeweler and after around five years of all work and no play, to say nothing of little time for my own art, I moved to Cranston, RI. I truly thought I would only stay a year, just to get a lot of work done, meet some new people, find myself a little. That was in 1986. I am still here, in Cranston.

I worked with enamels until I realized that I was trying very hard to make them look like drawings. Eventually the craft got in the way of the image I was after, so with much melancholy I put away my kiln and worked more with pen and ink. I’d always like using a mechanical drawing pen for everything from writing to sketches to complete drawings, but when I decided that was my medium I treated the work more seriously and for many years struggled to figure out what sort of drawings I wanted to do.

Eventually I was able to come up with two distinct bodies of work that satisfy my love of narrative combined with text, and my admiration of purely abstract work that while simple in form is not simple. In both genres I like my work to show my hand and to illustrate a certain density of page, so that even if all there is, is line, there will be many of them and the final image with be as complete an exploration of line I can achieve.

Between these two sorts of imagery I've found that I haven't run out of ideas. My opus of line/imagery/text was my Diary Project, which combined every sort of style I like into a single seventy-two part artwork. It took me around four years to complete, from start to finish, and has been shown in Providence and in Massachusetts at the DeCordova Museum. All 72 drawings are included in a self published, limited edition book.
I continue to make abstract drawings using primarily ink and exhibit these at galleries in Boston, Rhode Island and New York.

I have stayed in Rhode Island and will always have a love/hate relationship with this state. I love my family and my friends. I think this place allows me to find time to work and to easily meet supportive curators and gallerists who have helped me refine, aspire, and exhibit.

J. Deane Rosner from NetWorks on Vimeo.



2008 Tiffany Foundation Nomination

2000 The MacDowell Colony • Fellowship/ Residency
Peterborough, NH


2007 X Drawings RISD Museum of Art
Jan Howard Providence, RI


2011 NY Arts Magazine

2011 Artscope Judith Tolnick

2010 New American Paintings
Curator: Laura Hoptman New Museum, NYC

2007 New American Paintings
Curator: Darcie Alexander Baltimore Museum of Art • Baltimore, MD


2002 Certificate in Natural Science Illustration
Rhode Island School of Design • Providence, RI

1980 Bachelor of Fine Arts
Cleveland Institute of Art • Cleveland, OH

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