March 19, 2014
Richard Mayhew, former Penn State School of Visual Arts professor and one of the most important African American landscape painters of the 20th century, will give a lecture, “Creative Survival,” at 3 p.m. on Wednesday, March 26, in the Palmer Lipcon Auditorium, Palmer Museum of Art.
Mayhew, who taught at Penn State from 1977 until his retirement in 1991, has had a distinguished academic and professional career, including teaching stints at the Brooklyn Museum, Pratt Institute, Hunter College and Sonoma State University, among others. Mentored by James Wilson Peale early in his career, he paints abstract landscapes informed by his experiences as an African American/Native American and his interest in the performing arts. He was a member of Spiral, organized in the 1960s by fellow socially conscious black artists trying to make advances during the civil rights movement. His work is in the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum, Whitney Museum of American Art and Brooklyn Museum in New York; Art Institute of Chicago; Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D.C.; and Palmer Museum of Art at Penn State.
Mayhew, who now lives in Soquel, California, has said his art “is based on a feeling ... of music and mood and sensitivity and the audio responses of sound and space. I want the essence of the inner soul to be on the canvas.”
His lecture is sponsored by the College of Arts and Architecture, Council of Multicultural Leadership and Office of the Vice Provost for Educational Equity.