Visiting Professor of Art Ilya Lerner was recently awarded a Vasari Grant in painting, one of only eight grants from the leading manufacturer of museum-quality oil paints, Vasari Classic Artists’ Oil Colors. Selected out of a pool of several thousand applicant members of the College Art Association, each recipient was awarded $1,000 in company products.
“The grant applicants were judged based on both the artwork and essay that they submitted,” says Lerner. “I was excited to learn that I had been awarded the grant.”
The owner of Lerner Studio Art School, a private art school in Binghamton, N.Y. , Lerner works primarily en plein air (outdoors) but also paints figurative work, portraits, still-lifes, and is a master draftsman and sculptor. His style is rooted in Impressionist/Realist tradition amalgamated with Modernist and contemporary influences.
Lerner was mentored by the leading contemporary realist painter George Nick, who included Lerner’s work in the upcoming show, titled “Galvanized Truth: A Tribute to George Nick,” which will run from May 20 until Sept. 9 at The Art Complex Museum in Duxbury, Mass.
His work has been featured in more than 30 group exhibitions and was the subject of 10 solo shows, including a major retrospective in the Roberson Museum in Binghamton. He is the recipient of the annual El Paso Museum of Art Purchase Award, a Cultural Connections grant from the Texas Commission on the Arts and Arts Council of Houston and a Special Opportunity Stipend from the New York Foundation for the Arts.
Prior to teaching at HWS, Lerner held positions at The Art School in Vestal, N.Y., Oregon State University, Chautauqua Institution School of Art and Lee College as well as painting workshops in Norman, Oklahoma, and the Fundacion Valparaiso in Mojacar, Spain. He has also completed residencies at the Mill Atelier Gallery, Buffalo River National Park and the Vermont Studio Center.
Lerner received a B.S. in management information systems from Moscow Technical University of Communications, and his MFA in studio art from Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.
For more information about Lerner and to see some of his paintings, go to: www.lernerart.com.
The photo above features “Witch’s Swamp,” an oil on linen painting created by Lerner.