The Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar's Assistant Professor of Fashion Design, Donald Earley just concluded an exhibition of his paintings at the Cooper Gallery in Lewisburg, WV, USA, which ran from 2 - 30 November, 2009 with a well attended reception on 22 November.
The exhibition, a retrospective of Don Earley's work produced mainly in the last decade, comprised 25 drypoint and five oil paintings with many figurative impressions of the people of Qatar. Marilyn Cooper, the director of Cooper Gallery said they had already sold several of Mr. Earley's drypoint paintings adding, "Donald's drypoint paintings are very sensitive and sensual. He is definitely an artist's artist." She also expressed the hope that Mr. Earley would become one of the gallery's full time artists.
The reception on 22 November coincided with Cooper Gallery's 14th anniversary and also marked the start of the Lewisburg's Merchants Holiday Season. Horse drawn carriage rides, music and lots of festivities including Celtic Harp music provided by local talented harpist Leah Trent celebrated the occasion.
Donald Earley, a former New Yorker whose work has bridged "fine art" and fashion illustration since 1969 has often been described as an "artist's artist". An accomplished artist, his skills include painting, drawing, etching, drypoint, sketching, lithography and sculpture works in glass and bronze. While receiving his training at FIT, his instructor Mrs. Frances Neady had a profound effect on his life. She taught him how to get inside himself and be able to express it in his art. That was his turning point, his search was over.He knew then that he must dedicate his life to art. "When I look at my work, I feel like I am living on the edge of life holding a butterfly net trying to catch dreams as they go by - I am a romantic," says Mr. Earley.
Mr. Earley has been teaching Art Foundation, Fashion Illustration, Drawing and Printmaking at VCUQatar for six years now and prior to that, he taught at VCU in Richmond, Virginia for 20 years.
To his credit, his freelance commissions include: Bonwit Tellers, the New York Times, Vogue Patterns, Calvin Klein, Damon Shirts, Bill Blass, Roselon Industries and Yves St. Laurent. In addition he had the honor and distinction of working with actor Eli Wallach, Nancy Littlefield, Director of Motion Pictures and Television on productions for theatrical organizations and Don Durant Productions. He advanced his training with teaching experience at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, Cooper School of Art in Cleveland and currently Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond.
His exhibitions include Glasgow School of Art, Glasgow Scotland; John Martin of London Gallery, London; Huntington Museum of Art Huntington WV; Schlinder Gallery Richmond VA; Cumberland Gallery Nashville TN; 119 Gallery Jackson, MS; Black Heritage Gallery Houston TX; Hearne Fine Arts Gallery Little Rock AR; Joysmith Gallery Memphis TN; Samuel's Gallery Oakland CA; Gallery 108 Roanoke VA and others. For more information on Cooper Gallery, please visit www.coopergallery.com.