Kevin Greeland is a cross disciplinary artist and art educator who splits his time between Southern California and upstate New York. Greelands artwork includes painting, printmaking, handmade books, sculpture, installation and performance art. Kevin Greeland received a Master of Fine Arts from Memphis College of Art, Memphis, TN and a Bachelor of Science in Art Education from Kutztown University, Kutztown, PA.
Greelands artwork, whether two-dimensional or three-dimensional, centers in some way around the ritual of arrangement, the patterns we see and create; while simultaneously exploring the physical limits of the materials he is working with. He believes there are so many points of inspiration; each neuron firing contributes to the multitude of ideas that flood forth all at once, the trick, he believes, is to slow down and examine them.
Then there are the external influences; Greeland is a strong proponent of education both formal and otherwise, he did his MFA work at a small private college. Kevin credits 3 professors with being those points of inspiration one was Nona Bolin for an in-depth discourse on aesthetic and philosophical issues within the arts, Tom Lee for expanding his mind on what sculpture could be and not to be afraid of the skill of craft like the work Martin Puryear and turning him onto contemporary artist like Huma Bhabha and Zhang Huan and then there was Fred Burton who encouraged him to pursue abstraction in his own work and introduced him to the work of many British Abstract painters. Because of these instructor and other artists and writers along the way, he felt his time spent studying was worthwhile and it did change the course of his work. These points of inspiration, these Professors did not alter his core beliefs and sensibilities but it did however add to his understanding of what it meant to live a life as an artist.
The way he approaches sculpture is a little different than the way he approach painting, but in both cases there is a ritual to how to enter the studio how to start my day creating. With sculpture it’s usually materials or perhaps a found object the sparks the inner dialogue and then the exploration starts of both materials and ideas simultaneously.
For Kevin painting is a little more complex and murky an idea of sorts occurs first then I start moving paint and materials around the surface, (He usually paints on cradled wood panels because he like the hardness the wood offers) often those kernels of a beginning will change a number of times until the first idea is but a layer under other layers - the layering becomes a ritual in of itself. When Kevin began to paint he was interested in Pop culture, magazines, films and comics, and artists like Keith Haring, Warhol, Kenny Scharf, Stewart Hitch, Elizabeth Murray and Roy Lichtenstein and may others. All these points of interest roll around in the creative mind along with Fred Burton’s British Abstract painters while he's painting and remains to be seen how all of this shows in the finished work.
Somewhere at the core of all of this is also the materials and their invitation to interact and discover and to surrender expectations when one thing is mixed with another thing. The exploration of the substance and pushing the physical limits of the material, an exploration of the possibilities and the relationships of one to another — Alcohol to acrylic paint, heat to wax, and fire to wood.
Greeland teaches a variety of classes in acrylic painting, bookmaking and mixed media approaches to painting and sculpture. Kevin is the Education Coordinator for Golden Artist Colors, Inc. He offers a wide selection of classes, workshops, and a professional lecture and demonstration series for Golden Artist Colors, Inc. He has taught art at Memphis College of Art, Memphis, TN and Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN where he was the Assistant Director of the Sarratt Studio Arts Program. Greeland has taught art in public schools in California, Florida, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee including various museum education programs and art centers throughout the United States.
He has been recognized as an outstanding art educator receiving a Teacher of the Year Award from Metropolitan Nashville-Davidson County Public Schools, Nashville, TN (2002-2003 School Year.) Greeland is a recipient of a Hohenberg European Travel Fellowship in 2006, he also participated in the residency program Art in Amsterdam at Wackers Art Academy in Amsterdam, The Netherlands in 2007.