Lewis J.("Jerry") Powers
Born Springfield, Mass., 1945
As an undergraduate at Yale who majored in English to read as many different things as possible, I found myself gravitating more and more to visual art. To satisfy a history requirement, I took art history courses, including a seminar on Baroque painting and Vincent Scully's Modern Architecture. Then I tried introductory painting, a sculpture course, the Albers color course (then taught by Richard Lytle) and figure-drawing under Dean Keller, who later recommended that I attend the Hartford Art School, which had become part of the University of Hartford. I earned a BFA in painting, studying under Paul Zimmerman and Rudolph Zallinger, among others, and began teaching.
For almost thirty years I worked as an art teacher and, eventually, department head at the Westminster School in Simsbury, CT. It was a wonderful environment in which to work and raise a family, and it was tremendously rewarding to help students develop their skills and perceptions. By 2000, my work at Westminster had become increasingly involved with photography and administration in a large (and very vital) department. With our children successfully launched in the world of grown-up employment (the Army & Wall Street), I realized that now, if ever, was the chance to see what I could do if I devoted myself full-time to painting.
So, since the summer of 2000, Linda and I have been living year-round on Block Island and I've been painting. Some things haven't changed, and I realize that the excitement in artwork still comes from learning and exploring.
After fifteen years, I still feel like a beginner, and my most exciting project is always the one I'm working on (or the next, in my mind's eye)....