Through vibrant colors, thoughtful composition, and a unique painting technique, I reveal the quiet drama of daily life and the essence of a place.
Manhattan has been my home for five decades; I have lived abroad and I travel extensively. No matter where I am, I am drawn to specific - and yet universal – observations of people and places. With a curious mind and a quick hand, I capture the spirit and pulse of a neighborhood and the unique figures who populate it at that moment. I work quickly, because life moves quickly. My vivid hues reveal the soul and character and make intriguing what at first glance might seem to be an ordinary scene. When I work in the open air, spectators congregate to watch the colors light up my paintings as I employ the unique technique I developed of applying water-based inks to oil pastels.
I am fully engaged in the observation process: A couple shopping for lanterns in Shanghai, the nighttime crowd in a snow-covered Times Square, a lone motorcyclist gazing at Pikes Peak, artists vying for attention in a Paris square, silent crowds paying their respect at Ground Zero, night life on a Hong Kong street, dawn breaking over a sleeping Venice, a solitary couple embracing as snow quietly falls on Columbia University. These are some of the scenes that catch my eye and serve as inspiration for my work.
Don Sexton’s mixed media paintings employ vivid colors to capture the spirit of specific places, and have been featured in numerous solo and group exhibitions throughout NY and CT. His work resides in collections in the United States, Europe, and Australia. He has won several awards, including Best in Show and Best in Mixed Media, and is frequently engaged for commission projects. Professional affiliations include The Kent Art Association in Kent, CT; The Mamaroneck Artists’ Guild in Mamaroneck, NY; The Washington Artists’ Association in Washington, CT; and the NY/CT/MA-based group 14th Colony Artists.
Sexton received a B.A. in mathematics and studio arts from Wesleyan University. He has a Masters and a Ph.D. degree from the University of Chicago. He has pursued painting, drawing, printmaking, and etching studies at The New School and The Stacy Studio Workshop in New York, NY, and at The American Center for the Arts in Paris.
Don Sexton spent five decades as a full-time faculty member at Columbia University’s Business School, where he taught Management of the Arts courses for many years. He was a founding board member of Columbia’s Research Center for Arts and Culture, and a founder of Columbia’s Institute for Not-for-Profit Management. Sexton worked with Museums Collaborative to conduct training programs for executives of numerous arts organizations including The Metropolitan Museum of Art and The Museum of Modern Art. He has assisted with marketing initiatives at The Whitney Museum of American Art as well as The New York City Ballet, and has consulted for the Metropolitan Opera.
As a practicing artist with an arts management background, Sexton has been an active participant in the artistic community around him. He has served on the board of JAM Gallery in New York, NY; was vice-president of the board of Artwell Gallery in Torrington, CT; and currently serves on the board of The Kent Art Association in Kent, CT. Sexton splits his time between TriBeCa, NYC and Goshen, CT.