GREGORY MORTENSON

American  B. 1976

BIOGRAPHY

b. 1976 St. George, Utah; currently lives in New York City, New York

 

Gregory Mortenson is a classically trained artist known for his arresting and emotive portraits of Haitian children. Shortly after completing his education, Mortenson and his wife were called on a humanitarian effort to Port au Prince to help reshape an orphanage that had been destroyed during the earthquake of 2010. Amongst the rubble of despair Mortensen came face to face with the paradox of tragedy. Moved by what he calls,“the beauty and triumph of the human spirit,” he set about making sketches of the children as they waited in hope for a new home and school. In 2013 he returned to Haiti to teach art classes through an organization called Zion's Children of Haiti. During his second trip he was able to complete several additional figure studies that later informed his 2015 exhibition: Zion’s Children. A portion of the exhibition proceeds were donated to the Hope for Life Children's Home in Gressier, Haiti


Mortenson credits his father and paternal grandfather as being two of his earliest influences in art making. “They were both prolific draftsmen and enjoyed painting whenever time would allow for it. Between the two of them, they created a lot of art, they made me want to create art." Mortenson studied Illustration at Southern Virginia University. After receiving his undergraduate degree, he returned to Utah to hone his drawing and painting skills under the direction of Boston School Painter, Patrick Devonas and classical realist, William Whitaker. In 2006 he moved to New York City to further his education in classical technique with Jacob Collins at Water Street Atelier at the Grand Central Academy of Art. After completing the four year program at GCA, Mortenson spent two additional years working with Collins in his private studio.

 

The majority of Mortenson's figure paintings are presented to the viewer as simple, half length or bust portraits. His true-to-life approach reveals his subjects with as little interpretation as possible, so that we, the viewer, might consider the "realness" of each life without the trappings of metaphor or symbolism. What is most impressive is the artists ability to utilize a subtle downward glance, a slight part in the lips or a tilted chin to convey reflections of inner life -- connecting us to a greater whole, that of our humanity.

 

Gregory Mortenson has gallery representation in California, Maine, Massachusetts and Tennessee and has exhibited in numerous group exhibitions and art fairs throughout the United States. In 2015 he celebrated his first solo exhibition; Zion's Children. Mortenson teaches portrait drawing and painting at Grand Central Academy, NY and offers a summer course at the Center for Academic Study and Naturalistic Painting in Springville, UT, He currently lives and works in New York, New York while maintaining a studio in his hometown of St. George Utah.

 


CURRICULUM VITAE

 

EDUCATION


2010-2012    Jacob Collins Studio

2006-2010    Water Street Atelier at the Grand Central Academy of Art

2008             Master Copies at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

2007             Hudson River Fellowship

2004-2006    Patrick Devonas Apprenticeship

2004-2006    William Whitaker Apprenticeship

2000-2002    Southern Virginia University, BA

 

 

EXHIBITIONS

2016

Arcadia Contemporary, A SUMMER CELEBRATION, CA

Collins Galleries, Summer Salon, MA

Arcadia Contemporary at Art Market San Francisco, CA

Arcadia Contemporary at the Palm Springs Art Show, CA

Arcadia Contemporary at the LA Art Show, CA

 

2015

Arcadia Contemporary, Five & Under, NYC

Arcadia Contemporary, Zion's Children, One Man Show, NYC  Video of Opening

Arcadia Contemporary, Works on Paper, NYC

Portrait Society of America International Competition, GA

Eleventh Street Art, Nude  NYC

Eleventh Street Art, Inaugural Group Show, NYC

 

2014

Fort Wayne Museum of Art Contemporary Realism Biennial, IN

Arcadia Gallery, Five & Under, NYC

Principle Gallery, Tourist Season, VA

Haynes Gallery, Celebrating the Portrait as Art, TN

Haynes Gallery, Mundane to the Sublime, TN

Arcadia Gallery at the LA Art Show

 

2013

Contemporary American Realism, Beijing World Art Museum, Beijing, CN

Six city tour 9/12-11/13: Beijing, Dalian, Tianjin, Wuhan, Hangzhou, and Shanghai

Haynes Gallery, Small Works Show  TN

Arcadia Contemporary, "Small Works Show" NYC

Haynes Gallery, New Work: New Directions  ME

Arcadia Gallery, Summer Salon (Part 1)    NYC

Trailside Gallery, "Small Works Show"  WY

Nelson Gallery, "The New Realism" VA

Portrait Society of America International Competition, GA

Salon International, Greenhouse Gallery, TX

Arcadia Gallery at the LA Artshow, CA

Whistler House Museum - "The Modern Atelier", MA

 

2012

Converge: Where Classical & Contemporary Collide, 25CPW Gallery, NYC

ACOPAL, Beijing World Art Museum, Beijing, China

Fort Wayne Museum of Art Contemporary Realism Biennial, IN

Portrait Society of America International Competition, PA

Salon International, Greenhouse Gallery, TX

Convergence, La Maison d'Art Gallery, NYC

 

2011

Spiritual & Religious Show, Springville Museum of Art, UT

Salon International, Greenhouse Gallery, TX

Salmugundi Club, non-member show, NYC

Church History Museum, Salt Lake City, UT

 

2008

Waterstreet at the Atlanta Art Gallery

Jacob Collins & the Hudson River Fellowship

 

2004

One Man Show, Nelson Gallery Lexington Va

 

2002

Two Man Show, Nelson Gallery Lexington Va

 

 

AWARDS

 

2016   Portrait Society of America International Competition, Certificate of Excellence

 

2015   Portrait Society of America International Competition, 2nd Place

 

2014   Portrait Society of America International Competition, Certificate of Excellence

 

2014   ARC Salon Finalist

 

2013   Portrait Society of America International Competition, Honor Award

 

2013   Salon International, 2nd place Award, as chosen by Max Ginsberg

 

2012   Portrait Society of America International Competition, Honor Award

 

2013   ARC Finalist

 

2012   ARC Salon Finalist

 

2012   FineArtConnoisseur Publisher's Award of Excellence, as chosen by Edward Minoff

 

2011   ACOPAL Finalist

 

2011   Raymar Fine Art Competition, 2nd place Award, as chosen by Scott Christensen

 

2011   Salon International, 3rd place Award, as chosen by Daniel E. Greene

 

2011Spiritual & Religious Show, Springville Museum of Art, Award of Merit

 

2011   Salmagundi Club, Washington Square Award

 

2011   ARC Salon Finalist

 

2010   ARC Scholarship

 

2009   ARC Salon Honorable Mention

 

2008   Morris & Alma Schapiro Award

 

 

PRESS

Jan. 2017 Epoch Times, Artist Gregory Mortenson Exalts the Human Spirit by Milene Fernandez

John Dalton Podcast, From Haiti to Gethsemane with Gregory Mortenson

American Art Collector, Petite Wonders, December 2015

The Moth, arts and literature, Winter Edition, 2015

International Artist, Portrait Society of America, Winter edition 2015

Underpaintings Magazine, Gregory Mortenson at Arcadia Contemporary, NYC

Huffington Post, Love of Sight: People, Places, Things, Article by Daniel Maidman, 2015

American Art Collector, November, "Zion's Children" Article by Nicki Escudero, November 2015

American Art Collector, Portrait Society of America August 2015

The Krakens, Gregory Mortenson: Children of Haiti June, 2015

Artists on Art, Summer Edition "Painting from Life on a Budget" 2014

The Artist's Magazine, Jan/Feb 2014

Fine Art Connoisseur, "The Narrative Portraiture of Gregory Mortenson," Article by Jeffrey Carlson, 2013

Fine Art Connoisseur, Portrait Sketch Competition, 2013

Epoch Times, Portrait Sketch Competition, September 3, 2013

American Artist Magazine, 75th Anniversary Edition: Greatest Artists of All Time, 25 Artists of Tomorrow 2012

American Artist Magazine, The Portrait, Demonstrated, Part 3, November 2012

American Artist Magazine,  The Portrait, Demonstrated, Part 2 October 2012

American Artist Magazine,  The Portrait, Demonstrated, Part 1 September 2012

International Artist, August 2012

American Art Collector, August 2012

Plein Air Magazine, Winter Edition 2012

Lessons in Classical Drawing, Juliette Aristides, Random House, Inc 2011

 

TEACHING

 

The Grand Central Academy of Art

Portrait Drawing & Painting

New York City, NY
Center for Academic Study & Naturalist Painting

Portrait & Figure, Summer Workshop

Springville, UT