If you pay attention to art at all, you know Stephen Cefalo and his figurative paintings. His classic technique adds a sort of timelessness to the work, much of it depictions of full-figured nudes and babes, and it’s a method he’s passed on to students at the Arkansas Arts Center’s Museum School, the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and in private lessons over the past seven years. They’ll be showing their work at the Terry House Community Gallery, 7th and Rock streets, starting Sunday, in an exhibition called “Learning to See: Students of Stephen Cefalo.” There will be a reception from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. opening day, and the show will run through June 2.
The show was organized by the artists; Cefalo was juror, choosing 46 works. Artists whose works are in the show include Ash Barker, Nancy Spargo DeLamar, Jennifer “Emile” Freeman, Jameson Gresham, Jordan Lynn Gribble, Pamela R. Hawkins, M.N. Henry, Logan Hunter, Meghan Jones, Greg Lahti, Megan A. Lewis, Kayla Martin, Grant Mason, Carmien Penny, Jennifer Perren, Lora Peter, Eli Ramsay and Jason A. Smith.
From Cefalo’s online biography:
I was born in the hometown of Albrecht Dürer on the birthday of Winslow Homer, Charles Le Brun, and Franz Von Stuck, so I already had my work cut out for me. My dad was a sergeant in the U.S. Army from Philadelphia, and my mom was raised on a cattle farm in Kentucky. When I was six my parents separated, and we moved to Indiana. My two sisters and I were raised in the historic river town of Newburgh by our mother who worked full-time at a pharmaceutical manufacturing plant in Evansville. I had trouble in school, but found comfort in drawing and was enchanted by the lonesome moans of the barges at night. My aunt Marilyn gave me oil painting lessons at twelve, and my mom bought me books on figure drawing and supplies when she could.
During my undergraduate studies at the former Savannah Campus of the School of Visual Arts I found mentors in Jeff Markowsky and Anthony Palliser. When SVA Savannah closed its doors in 1997, I was already married with my first child, and moved to the main campus in New York. There I studied with one of my heroes, Steven Assael, and Max Ginsburg.
Cefalo was also an assistant painter for Jeff Koons. Yep, the big guys have artists painting for them.