About

ARTIST STATEMENT
The Romantics sought to seize each moment and explode it to its epic potential. In the same way I have tried to use my painting to capture cloudscapes when they’ve reached their peak volume–the immediate prelude to the violence and release of storms, with all the emotion that lies therein. At the same time, I have tried to convey that sense of tension and expectation using colors, contrasts, and forms associated with realism and at a size and scale that brings the viewer into the storm, looking at it so closely that it becomes abstract and Expressionistic, directing the eyes to the exaggerated shapes and vibrant, saturated hues. In fact, the larger-than-life size of the paintings is a vital element of my purpose, which is to fill viewers’ peripheral vision and envelop them in the movement and kinetic energy of a storm. The effect is both Romantic and hyper-realistic, ephemeral and concrete.

When I tell people that I paint clouds, I’m aware that this is a simplification. The path that got me here is more complex, of course, beginning with visits to the DIA’s Dutch collection, particularly Jacob van Ruisdael’s The Jewish Cemetery, in which the sky plays a central role in setting the mood of the painting. Monet, in his Lily Pond series, depicts the sky and clouds reflected in the water, opening up the paintings to the natural world beyond the immediate scene. Later, when Abstract Expressionism placed viewers directly inside the scene with an almost myopically close view, color and shape became paramount because artists were trying to convey the intense emotions they had experienced and wanted viewers to feel the same emotions just as strongly. While Abstract Expressionist works are simpler and painted more quickly than more carefully constructed works like mine, I share their desire to capture the excitement and drama of experiencing moments in nature. These are the movements that led me to create my cloud series, and they remain my strongest inspirations for future works.

ARTIST BIOGRAPHY
Donald Cronkhite received his BFA from Wayne State University. He began his painting career after spending several summers exploring the galleries and museums of Europe. There he was inspired by 17th-century Dutch landscape painting and 19th-century French avant-garde works. Since 2005 he has exhibited his works at the Gruen Galleries in Chicago’s North Gallery District, and since early 2016 in galleries and shows around Michigan. Several of his works have made it into private and public art collections, including Art House in historic Brush Park Detroit; private homes; and the art collections of Wayne State University, University of Michigan Dearborn, and the Henry Ford College. Recently he started curating art exhibitions in 2019 which include: Landscape Through Michigan Eyes, at the Henry Ford College, Sission Gallery, Dearborn, MI; and Ominous Skies: a cloud study, at the Grosse Pointe Artist Association, War Memorial, Grosse Pointe, MI. He maintains a studio practice and continues to show his work both locally and in Chicago.

RESUME

EDUCATION
Wayne State University, BFA, 1994.

SOLO EXHIBITIONS
2019 – Grosse Pointe Artist Association, “Ominous Skies, a cloud study,” Grosse Pointe MI. Curator: Karen Pope & Donald Cronkhite

2018 – Henry Ford College, Sisson Gallery, “Chasing the Light,”
Dearborn, MI. Curator: Donald Cronkhite

2016 – Level One Bank Community Art Gallery, “Cloudscapes;
Exploring the Dramatic,” Ferndale, MI. Curator: Donald Cronkhite

2012 – Gruen Galleries, “Clouds: Oils on Linen,” Chicago, IL.

2011 – Biddle Gallery, “Before the Storm,” Wyandotte, MI. Curator: Donald Cronkhite

2007 – Gruen Galleries, “A Series of Studies,” Chicago, IL

2003 – Biddle Gallery, “New works,” Wyandotte, MI.

TWO-PERSON EXHIBITIONS
2016 – Detroit Athletic Club (DAC), “Cloudscapes: Shirley Parish & Donald
Cronkhite,” Detroit, MI. Curator: Michael Crane

GROUP EXHIBITIONS
2018 – Henry Ford College, Sisson Gallery, “Landscape Through Michigan Eyes,”
Dearborn, MI. Curator: Donald Cronkhite

2019 – Grosse Pointe Artist Association, “Summer Pleasures,” Grosse Pointe MI.
Juror: Ani Garabedian

2019 – Mercedes Benz Research & Development NA, “Experiencing
Perspectives in Art,” Ferndale, MI.

2019 – Grosse Pointe Artist Association, “Our Rivers, Our Lakes,” Grosse Pointe, MI. Juror: Senghor Reid

2019 – Birmingham-Bloomfield Hills Art Center, “Michigan Fine Arts
Competition,” Birmingham, MI. Juror: Jarald Melberg

2019 -Scarab Club, “Gilda Snowden Memorial Exhibition,”
Detroit, MI. Juror: Sue Carman-Vian

2019 – Northville Art House, “Annual Members Exhibition,” Northville, MI.

2018 – Midland Center for the Arts, “57th Greater Michigan Art Exhibition,”
Midland, MI. Juror: Deborah Rockman.

2018 – Black Box Gallery, “Crossing Perspective,” Dearborn, MI.
Curator: Christian Helser.

2018 – Detroit Artists Market, “Art for the Holidays Exhibition,” Detroit, MI.

2018 – Midland Center for the Arts, “ArtPrize–The Michigan Connection,”
Midland, MI. Curator: Armin Mersmann

2018 – Scarab Club, “Plein Air Challenge,” Detroit, MI.

2018 – Anton Art Center, “Motherhood,” Macomb, MI.

2018 – Birmingham-Bloomfield Hills Art Center, “Michigan Fine Arts
Competition,” Birmingham, MI. Jurors: Emily Mae Smith & Adam Henry.

2018 – Detroit Artists Market, “Biennial All-Media Exhibition,” Detroit, MI.
Juror: Jim Nawara.

2018 – ArtPrize Hub, “Collectors Show Biannual Fine Arts Exhibition,”
Grand Rapids, MI. Curator: Tyler Loftis.

2018 – Northville Art House, “Annual Members Exhibition,” Northville, MI.

2018 – Anton Art Center, “Michigan Annual 45th Art Competition &
Exhibition,” Macomb, MI. Juror: Dennis Nawrocki.

2017 – Crooked Tree Arts Center, “Juried Fine Arts Exhibition,”
Petoskey, MI. Juror: Patrick Wise.

2017 – Scarab Club, “104th Gold Medal Exhibition,” Detroit, MI.
Juror: Dennis Nawrocki.

2017 – Muskegon Museum of Art, “89th Annual Regional All-Michigan
Exhibition,” Muskegon, MI. Juror: Petra Fallaux.

2017 – Midland Center for the Arts, “56th Annual Greater Michigan Arts
Exhibition,” Midland, MI. Juror: Jason Franz

2017 – Women’s City Club, “ArtPrize: International Art Competition,”
Grand Rapids, MI.

2017 – Venue Tower, “Collectors Show Biannual Fine Arts Exhibition,”
Grand Rapids, MI. Curator: Tyler Loftis.

2017 – Scarab Club, “Plein Air Challenge,” Detroit, MI.

2017 – Birmingham-Bloomfield Hills Art Center, “Michigan Fine Arts
Competition,” Birmingham, MI. Juror: Noel W. Anderson.

2017 – Ann Arbor Arts Center, “REMIX: Statewide Art Competition,”
Ann Arbor, MI. Juror: Andrew Rosinski.

2017 – Hatch Art, “Hatch Back 11 Annual Exhibition,” Hamtramck, MI.
Juror: Treena Flannery Ericson.

2017 – Downriver Council for the Arts, “Secret Handshake: Wayne State
University Collective,” Wyandotte, MI. Curator: Sunshine Durant.

2017 – Mercedes Benz Research & Development NA, “Experiencing
Perspectives in Art,” Ferndale, MI.

2017 – Scarab Club, “Silver Medal Exhibition,” Detroit, MI.
Juror: Jo Powers.

2016 – Scarab Club, “103rd Gold Medal Exhibition,” Detroit, MI.
Juror: Elizabeth Youngblood.

2016 – DeVos Place Convention Center, “ArtPrize International Art
Competition,” Grand Rapids, MI.

2016 – Muskegon Museum of Art, “88th Annual Regional All-Michigan
Exhibition,” Muskegon, MI. Juror: Tom Lundberg.

2013 – Amway Grand Plaza Hotel, “ArtPrize International Art Competition,”
Grand Rapids, MI.

2012 – Gruen Galleries, “Group Exhibition, Gallery Artists,” Chicago, IL.

2010 – Lafontsee Galleries, “ArtPrize International Art Competition,”
Grand Rapids, MI.

2009 – Greenhouse Gallery of Fine Art, “Salon International,” San Antonio,
TX. Juror: Daniel Green.

2009 – Gruen Galleries, “Group Exhibition, Gallery Artists,” Chicago, IL.

2007 – Gruen Galleries, “Group Exhibition, Gallery Artists,” Chicago, IL.

2006 – Montserrat Gallery, “Salon Exhibition,” New York, NY.

2005 – Gruen Galleries, “Group Exhibition, Gallery Artists,” Chicago, IL.

PUBLIC ART COLLECTIONS
“Gray Series No.16.” University of Michigan. Dearborn, MI 2019
“Gloaming.” Wayne State University. Detroit, MI. 2019.
“Grandeur.” Henry Ford College. Dearborn, MI. 2018.
“Gray Series No.19.” Art House. Detroit, MI. 2016.

GALLERY REPRESENTATION
2005-2019 – Gruen Galleries, Chicago, IL.

CONSIGNMENT
2007-2008 – David Klein Gallery, Birmingham, MI.

PUBLICATIONS 
Grosse Pointe Magazine, “Artist Donald Cronkhite invites you to do some skywatching,” September – October, 2019.
Mercedes-Benz Research & Development North America, Inc., “Local Perspectives,” Global Reach 2019-2020 Art Exhibition Annual, 2019
Mercedes-Benz Research & Development North America, Inc., “Local Perspectives,” Global Reach 2017-2018 Art Exhibition Annual, 2017
Scarab Club, Art Annual, 2016 and 2017.
Gruen Galleries, Chicago Gallery News, 2007..
Montserrat Gallery, ArtNews Magazine, 2007.
Gruen Galleries, Chicago Gallery News, 2007.

AWARDS / SCHOLARSHIP
Grosse Pointe Artist Association,” Summer Pleasures,” 2nd Place, 2019
Grosse Pointe Artist Association,” Our Rivers, Our Lakes,” Best of Show, 2019
Scarab Club, “103rd Gold Medal Exhibition,” Honorable Mention, 2016.
Henry Ford Community College, Mary Ellen Heth Award, Half-Tuition
Scholarship, European Tour Scholarship, 1991.

 

 

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