I think of my work as visual poetry or visual music, responding to the dynamics I observe in the natural, constructed, and metaphysical worlds we inhabit. The nuances of the visual language are my means of searching for insights in the process of trying to understand what it is to be human.
It is a contemplative process. Often the beginning of a work is simply a heightened sensitivity or awareness of a smell, a color, a shape, a sensation of air on my skin, or observation of an event sparking the imagination and initiating the response. At other times there is a period of deep reflection about a particular moment that evokes the poetry of a place or time. My work is, in a sense, a visual artifact of my engagement with the world.
I have had the good fortune to be able to work abroad doing residencies in Wales and, with the support of the Fulbright Program, in South Korea. Combined with my work in the U.S. I have had the opportunity to work with artists and communities who approach art from perspectives often radically different from my own, enriching my own work in the process.
Two primary approaches dominate the development of my work, both reflecting the importance a sense of place and circumstance has in my own creative process. The first is a direct experience of my surroundings distilled and reinterpreted through the use of color and form. The second is more conceptual, contemplating the dynamic nature of relationships along with an understanding of personal space explored in visual terms.
Richard (Dick) Weis has had a long career as an artist/teacher beginning in the 1960s in Bemidji Minnesota. Teaching opportunities and advanced study led him to Wisconsin, Oregon, Northern Virginia/Washington D.C. , Ohio, Indiana, and eventually to Vermont. He joined the faculty of Green Mountain College in 1989 and worked there until retiring from full time teaching in 2010.
Over the past 50 plus years his personal artwork has continually evolved as he explored the places in which has lived through the dynamics of visual form. His early career was founded upon the design and perceptual ideas of Josef Albers as transmitted by Dick’s mentor Keith Malmquist, a student of Albers. Later in graduate school, he transitioned into more figurative work, completing his M.F.A. in painting at The American University in Washington D.C. In 1973 Dick won the David Lloyd Kreeger Award for graduate painting.
Dick’s current work continues to draw upon the experience of “place” providing more opportunity for discovery and improvisation then one might see in earlier pieces. He likes to paraphrase a line by W.H. Auden “…to discover what it is to be human now, is the reason we follow this star…”
Dick has exhibited widely in the U.S. and abroad. In 2002-2003 he was invited to be a visiting artist at Aberystwyth University in Wales and received a Fulbright Scholar Award to work as an Artist in Residence in South Korea. In the fall of 2010 he was invited back to Korea through the Fulbright Senior Specialist Program to work with students and faculty in the art education department at Hannam University.
Dick maintains studios in Castleton and Poultney Vermont and shares his life and work with artist Nancy Pulliam Weis.
1944 Born in Bemidji, Minnesota
1962 Graduated from Bemidji High School
1966 B.S. in Art Education from Bemidji State College
1967 Art Teacher in Racine, Wisconsin
1968 Married Nancy Pulliam
1968 Art Teacher in Mayville, Wisconsin
1969 Began working on an M.F.A. in painting at the University of Oregon
1969 Drafted into the U.S. Army, served as a Psyop illustrator until 1971
1971 Entered the M.F.A. painting program at American University in Washington D.C.
1973 Completed an M.F.A. and was awarded the Kreeger Prize in painting at American University.
1974 Accepted a full-‐time teaching position at Rainy River Community College in International Falls, Minnesota
1979 Served as Artist-‐in-‐the park for Voyageur’s National Park
1984 Received a teaching fellowship at Ohio University in the Dept. of Comparative Arts
1985 Joined the art faculty at Anderson University in Anderson, Indiana
1985 Served as Artist-‐in-‐the park for Voyageur’s National Park
1988 Guest artist at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana
1989 Joined the art faculty at Green Mountain College in Vermont
1999 Guest artist at Hannam University in Daejeon, South Korea
2001 Guest artist at University of Wales in Aberystwyth
2002 Visiting artist at University of Wales in Aberystwyth
2003 Fulbright scholar, artist-‐in-‐residence in South Korea
2004 Fulbright alumni project coordinator with Hannam University in South Korea
2010 Retired as Professor Emeritus, Green Mountain College
2010 Received the Fulbright Senior Specialist Award to work with graduate and undergraduate art education students in South Korea
2015 ArtIFact 1964-‐2014: Fifty-‐year retrospective. A collaboration with Castleton State College and the Chaffee Art Center.
2012 Earth Rhythms, Vermont Institute of Contemporary Arts, Chester VT
2008 Concordia University, Irvine CA
2008 Brick Box Gallery, Rutland, VT.
2008 Furchgotte/Sourdiffe , Shelburne VT.
2005 Christine Price Gallery, Castleton VT.
2004 Furchgott/Sourdiffe, Shelburne VT
2003 Fulbright work, Green Mountain College
2002 University of Wales-‐Aberystwyth
2002 Southern Vermont Art Center
1999 Furchgott/Sourdiffe, Shelburne, VT
1997 Yvonne Rapp Gallery, Louisville KY
1996 Green Mountain College, Poultney VT
1994 Elm Street Arts, Manchester VT
1992 Francis Colburn Gallery, U. of Vermont
1992 Hugh A. Hill Gallery, Kent CT
1991 Yvonne Rapp Gallery, Louisville KY
1989 Yvonne Rapp Gallery, Louisville KY
1988 Ball State University, Muncie IN
1988 City Gallery, Washington D.C.
1988 Peter M. David, Minneapolis MN
1987 Yvonne Rapp Gallery, Louisville KY
1987 University of Indianapolis
1985 Anderson College, Anderson IN
1982 Katherine Nash Gallery, U. of Minnesota
1982 Bemidji Art Center, Bemidji MN
1981 3M Company, St. Paul MN
1980 The Tweed Museum, Duluth MN
1979 The Groveland Gallery, Minneapolis MN
1976 Adams, Davidson Galleries, Wash. D.C.
1974 Watkins Gallery of the American U.
Group Exhibitions: (a partial listing)
2014 Slate as Muse at the Slate Valley Museum, Granville, NY
2013 Something to Celebrate. Vermont Institute of Contemporary Art, Chester VT
2013 The Earth as Muse. A five-person exhibition at the Great Hall, Springfield, VT
2013 Full House: a curated four-person exhibition at the Chaffee Downtown Art Center, Rutland Vermont.
2011 The Power of Place. A four-person curated exhibition at Gallery in the Field. Brandon VT.
2010 Cross-‐Cultural Visions: Fulbright 60th Anniversary Exhibition. New York, Washington D.C., Seoul
2007 American University Museum
2006 Furchgott/Sourdiffe, Shelburne VT
2004 Chaffee Center for the Arts
2002 So. Vermont Arts Center: Art on Campus
1998-‐2001 Chaffee Center for the Arts: Members Show
1999 Yvonne Rapp Gallery, Louisville KY
1998 Approaching Lightness, Furchgott/Sourdiffe, Shelburne VT
1998 Spirited Surfaces, Chaffee Art Center
1998 Saratoga Springs NY Art Center
1997 Off the Beaten Track: Working Vermont Chaffee Art Center traveling exhibition
1996 Firehouse Gallery Burlington VT
1996 Furchgott/Sourdiffe, Shelburne VT
1995 Elm Street Arts, Manchester Vermont
1995 Beside Myself Gallery; Arlington VT
1994 Bemidji State University; Bemidji MN
1994 Chaffee Art Center
1993,94 Elm Street Arts
1990-‐94 Stratton Mountain Festival
1990 Anderson Fine Arts Center, Anderson IN Abstract Dichotomies
1989 Anderson Fine Arts Center
1989 Yvonne Rapp Gallery: A U.S. – Soviet Cultural Exchange, Louisville KY
1989 “Curator’s Choice” Center for the Visual Arts, Muenster IN
1989 Headley-‐Whitney Museum Gallery Invitational, Lexington KY
1989 Levels of Abstraction NBC Studio Galleries, Washington D.C.
1988 Mid-‐States Juried Art Exhibition, Evansville, IN
1988 Indiana Arts Juried Competition Indianapolis, IN
1988 Anderson Art Center Winter Show (Award) Anderson, IN
1987 City Gallery, Washington D.C.
1986 The American U., Washington D.C.
1985 Peter M. David Gallery, Minneapolis MN
1984 The College of St. Catherine, St. Paul MN Artists from Peter M. David and Susan Kohn
1983 Peter M. David Gallery
1983 West ’83: Art and the Law National Invitational , West Publishing Company
1982 Groveland Gallery, Minneapolis MN
1981 Fanny Garver Gallery, Madison WI
1981 The Challenge of the Land, Pillsbury Co. Minneapolis MN (Purchase Award)
1978 Arrowhead Regional Juried Exhibition Duluth, MN
1974 The Young Collector’s Show Adams Davidson Gallery, Wash. D.C.
1973 The American University Kreeger Exhibition (Kreeger Award for Painting)
1972 The Emerson Gallery, McClean VA
1968 The Racine Invitational, Racine WI
1967 The Red River Juried Exhibition Winnipeg Manitoba Canada
1967 Watercolor Wisconsin: Wustum Museum, Racine, WI
Korean American Ed. Commission/Fulbright Seoul South Korea Green Mountain College
Hannam University Daejeon South Korea The University of Wales-‐Aberystwyth, Pleuss-‐Stauffer Industries,
3M Company Minnesota Mutual
The Tweed Museum Duluth, MN First Bank of Duluth
First American Bank System Pillsbury Co.
The Watkins Collection of the American University Anderson Fine Arts Center
Numerous private collections in the U.S., Korea, and Wales