Guest Lecture: Stephen Perkins – ‘What is Art and Why Do We Make It?’
What is art and why do we make it? This is the most basic question that an artist can ask, and yet one that is rarely addressed in a serious and comprehensive manner. Attempting to redress this situation, Stephen Perkins cites quotes and essays from the past in order to determine what great artists and thinkers once believed, draws analogies between the visual arts and those that appeal to our other senses, and ventures into the realms of evolutionary studies and neuroscience.
Stephen Perkins is a classically trained sculptor, painter, and draughtsman. His work is steeped in the timeless art and techniques of the past and the most current and advanced methods of today, in order to engage with contemporary life and issues. From evocative figures in sculpture and painting to statements on the modern experience, Perkin’s art draws from a variety of cultural influences experienced in childhood as part of a diplomatic family. The grandeur of European civilization, its emphasis on humanistic values, and its appreciation of the sense of beauty in all things, became part of his artistic sensibility and commitment to a traditional academic education.
After studying with Henry Hensche of the famed Cape Cod School of Art, the academic sculptor Lesley Posey, and Walker Hancock, and being strongly influenced by Deane Keller and Nelson Shanks, Perkins passed on his own technical understanding of the craft of art to students at The New York Academy of Art, The Water Street Atelier, The Grand Central Academy of Art, and the Janus Collaborative School of Art, all in New York. He has also taught for the Academy of Art University in San Francisco and at numerous workshops in the United States and abroad.