Monday, January 7, 2008

Donald L. Michael, Jr.

Born: Des Moines, IA
Education: Drake University, Des Moines, IA and University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI
Degrees: B.F.A. Printmaking and M.F.A., Graphics, NC Teaching Certificate

At a very young age, Mr. Michael discovered he had a talent for drawing and painting. He practiced on a daily basis especially drawing with graphite, wolf's crayon, and ink from rapidographs pens given to him as a gift by his sister. His talent was recognized and he was awarded scholarships for study at art centers and at one of the most prestigious printmaking programs in the country at the University of Wisconsin at Madison under the instruction of professors William Weegee, Warrington Colescott, Raymond Gloeckler, Jack Damer, and Ted Pope.

Don is an artist that enjoys working with all art mediums, including photography. However, his three favorite forms are computer graphics, printmaking, particularly the old African tradition of relief printing, and painting.

Throughout his career his work has had several periods of expressions, realistic and symbolic abstractionist. The symbolism used in his works is considered humorous, foreboding, and controversial and the basic icon used in the works is a combination rectangle and circle and shapes found in nature and unified systems. The humor comes from the personification of the 'cats' or shapes and their dramatic portrayal of human situations. Many of the themes are taken from history, e.g., Bopaul Incident, Jonestown, discovery of the Black Madonna in Poland, and war between men. Eventually, this series became 'Catheaven' inspired by the simplification of cats in motion.

In addition to being an artist, he is a sought after professional in creating computer workshop laboratories and creating graphic design programs. He is a presenter at technology conferences demonstrating how to create a desktop publishing system using open source software. Don has completed the development of a new Digital Design Certification and two-year Digital Arts Associate degree program at York Technical College, Rock Hill, SC. Currently, he has returned to work at the Art Institute of Charlotte as a full-time graphic design instructor. Don is also working with clients to develop web sites, of which he has donated his time to John Biggers and Friends to develop this blog.

He resides in Gastonia, NC.

Phone: 704.866.8112 or E-Mail:

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