About the conference

October 14-17, 2012 – Ventura, California


There has been a neglect of critical appreciation of representational art well out of proportion to its quality and significance; it is that neglect that this conference seeks to address. By its nature, 21st century representational art is not to be thought of as simply a return to 19th century realism, but as an open-ended exploration of possible new directions. The conference is planned as a focused but non-doctrinaire event, of serious academic standards.

What is the role of representational art in the twenty-first century?

What are its sources and directions?

How might it shape the art world?

TRAC2012 keynote speakers are Jed Perl and John Nava with special presentations by Vern Swanson, Graydon Parrish, Ruth Wiesberg and Virgil Elliot. More than twenty academic presentation by academics and artists from across the U.S. and around the world. Some of the finest representational artist will be sitting on panels and giving studio technique demonstrations including David Kassan, Sadie Valeri, Alexey Steele, Béla Bacsí, Tony Pro, Mia Tavanotti and Jeremy Lipking.

The Representational Art Conference, 2012, presented by California Lutheran University, offers three days of lively discussion in the delightful seaside city of Ventura, California, including keynote speakers, academic papers, panel discussions and exclusive demonstrations by prominent artists, bringing together thought leaders and practitioners who share an interest in the practice of the traditional studio techniques of sculpture, painting and drawing media in the 21st Century.

Academic Studio Artists
Art Historians
Professional Studio Artists
Art Students
Gallery Professionals
Art Collectors
Museum Professionals

We are proud to have the support of these friends, without whom we would be unable to organize the event:

Peter Adams President, California Art Club

Elaine Adams President, American Legacy Gallery

Suzanne Bellah, CMP. Director, Carnegie Art Museum

Chris Kimball, Ph.D. President, California Lutheran University

Tony Pro Painter, Art Educator

Nathan Tierney Ph.D. California Lutheran University

Margaret Travers Executive Director, Ventura County Arts Council

Peter Trippi, MA Editor: Fine Art Connoisseur Magazine; Author: Waterhouse

Ruth Weisberg , DHL (Honoris causi), MFA, Former Dean USC School of Fine Art

R. Stephen Wheatly, JD, Vice President, CLU, University Advancement

Michael Zakian Ph.D. Director, Weisman Museum of Art, Pepperdine University

Aihua Zhou Sculptor

The idea for planning the Representational Art Conference was born shortly after the opening of an exhibit at CLU – “The New Romantic Figure” showing works by prominent California figurative artists Michael Lynn Adams, Peter Adams, Jeremy Lipking, Cyn McCurry, Michael Pearce, Alexey Steele, Mia Tavonatti - which was extremely well received by the public, faculty and students of the University.

Reflecting upon the depth of affection for the work, its democratic appeal and interested in learning about the place of 21st Century figurative painting in current academic discourse Pearce found that there was a lack of attention to the work of traditionally trained artists in the 21st Century. Accordingly he asked his colleague Michael Adams to help him put together a conference, to create a place for discussion of the philosophy and practice of artists involved in the universities, colleges, ateliers and private studios where the techniques of the old masters are still taught and used in the present day.

The CLU administration led by President Chris Kimball enthusiastically endorsed the idea, providing underwriting for the conference.

If you need to verify phone number details of any of the attendees, feel free to use Caller Notes. For all your artist needs, use Rosemary & co and Jerry's Artarama