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The Grand Gallery is open for ticketed events and by appointment through the ticket office. Appointments are scheduled in 30 minute increments inside the 10-3 pm Monday through Friday normal schedule. Requests outside of the normal schedule will be accommodated if staffing is available.  Click the request button above and include contact information and requested time. 

 

Also we have a monthly Arty Hour dates/times will be posted.

HOWARD S. Conant
 

The Grand Gallery is honored to present the art of HOWARD S. CONANT in the first public exhibition of his work in Kentucky. This exhibition is made possible thanks to the generosity of his daughter Judith Conant Steinbach, and his grandchildren. This show continues through April 2024, and an opening reception featuring his family will be on Friday, February 16, from 5:00 to 7:00pm.

Howard Somers Conant was raised in a small town in Wisconsin and grew up during the depression of the late 1920s. It is remarkable, even to him, that his passion for art led him on an unlikely journey to become the Chairman of the Art and Art Education Department at New York University during the exciting abstract expressionist art movement, whose epicenter at the time happened to be New York City. His world was filled with gallery openings, studio visits, the hiring of the most dynamic art faculty possible, and, as always, his own painting in his Greenwich Village studio. Everything he found to be beautiful or thought provoking, he turned into a painting.

Early in his life, his parents provided him with all the art supplies he could want or dream of, but throughout his teenage years when poverty struck many people, he ended up living in the YMCA with his father and had to take on part-time jobs, including chauffeuring, to help support himself. It was through the astute assessment of an art professor that he was awarded a scholarship to study art at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. While working on his doctorate at Buffalo State University (now SUNY Buffalo), he moderated a television program for children called Fun to Learn About Art. Under the tutelage of the esteemed artist, Kuniyoshi at the Art Students League in New York City, he dedicated his life to his painting and saw it as his mission to help children and adults realize the value, joy, and importance of art.

Throughout Dr. Conant’s career he became a prolific writer of many books; a speaker who incorporated the best of poetry, music, and art in his guest lectures throughout the country; a recipient of a nationally awarded medal presented by then President Lyndon Johnson; a lecturer for the State Department in India; and a Division Director for the National Endowment for the Arts.

The Grand Gallery is honored to present the art of HOWARD S. CONANT in the first public exhibition of his work in Kentucky. This exhibition is made possible thanks to the generosity of his daughter Judith Conant Steinbach, and his grandchildren. This show continues through April 2024, and an opening reception featuring his family will be on Friday, February 16, from 5:00 to 7:00pm.

Howard Somers Conant was raised in a small town in Wisconsin and grew up during the depression of the late 1920s. It is remarkable, even to him, that his passion for art led him on an unlikely journey to become the Chairman of the Art and Art Education Department at New York University during the exciting abstract expressionist art movement, whose epicenter at the time happened to be New York City. His world was filled with gallery openings, studio visits, the hiring of the most dynamic art faculty possible, and, as always, his own painting in his Greenwich Village studio. Everything he found to be beautiful or thought provoking, he turned into a painting.

Early in his life, his parents provided him with all the art supplies he could want or dream of, but throughout his teenage years when poverty struck many people, he ended up living in the YMCA with his father and had to take on part-time jobs, including chauffeuring, to help support himself. It was through the astute assessment of an art professor that he was awarded a scholarship to study art at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. While working on his doctorate at Buffalo State University (now SUNY Buffalo), he moderated a television program for children called Fun to Learn About Art. Under the tutelage of the esteemed artist, Kuniyoshi at the Art Students League in New York City, he dedicated his life to his painting and saw it as his mission to help children and adults realize the value, joy, and importance of art.

Throughout Dr. Conant’s career he became a prolific writer of many books; a speaker who incorporated the best of poetry, music, and art in his guest lectures throughout the country; a recipient of a nationally awarded medal presented by then President Lyndon Johnson; a lecturer for the State Department in India; and a Division Director for the National Endowment for the Arts.

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He was handsome, intelligent, charismatic, loving, and made an indelible mark on the art world when while Chairman of the New York University Art Collection, he garnered the endowment money to open New York University’s Grey Gallery, now known as the Grey Museum of fine Arts at New York University. One of his own paintings is part of the Grey permanent collection. Though his works have been shown in galleries throughout the world and continue to be displayed in banks, schools, and corporate headquarters, it was late in his career that he found the perfect medium, inspiration, and method for what he considered to be his best work.

“In the paintings I have created in the past decade, the powerful influences of older art forms have become interwoven with my own emotional and intellectual concerns. I have, for example, a deep and lasting affection for the poems of Rainer Maria Rilke in which he subtly delineates his concepts of caring, enveloping, yielding and evolving. As I read his poems, I see art forms which reach up and out, embrace, divide into beautifully intricate miniatures of their previous incarnations, and re-form again into something even more magnificent. Though my own artistic creations are abstract in style, they, like Rilke’s and older Islamic artists’ works, also contain poignant philosophic meanings and intentions.”

His paintings offer a glimpse into his personal response to the experiences of his lifetime. His work is at once personal and yet universal, modern and yet timeless. In the early days he painted bucolic Wisconsin landscapes and traveled to Door County to paint fishing boats and capture the local marine seascapes. However, it is apparent that the heart of his work was the abstract art that comprises the greatest percentage of his portfolio. He used architecture and ancient artifacts as his inspiration for geometric shapes, shadows, angles, and color to elicit the “feeling, the emotion” that he wished to capture along with the image. His art, instead of a camera, was used to catalogue where he was, who he was, and what he experienced-the very essence of his existence.

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