A new SOF President for 2009: painter Drew Beattie FAAR’95

BeattiePortraitDrew Beattie, in Cambridge MA, May 2009

The Council of the AAR Society of Fellows has elected painter Drew Beattie, FAAR’95 in Visual Arts, interim President of the Academy’s alumni organization for the remainder of 2009.

Beattie, who takes office 21 May, replaces T. Corey Brennan FAAR’88, who is stepping down to join the staff of the Academy this July as Mellon Professor-in-Charge for a three year term.

The SOF President has ex officio membership on the Academy’s Board of Trustees, and with it, full voting rights. This September, the SOF membership as a whole will elect a President and other Council members for the regular two-year term 2010-2012.

“For all the Fellows I know”, explains Beattie, “the year in Rome remains on the shortest list of what has been truly great in this life.” He continues: “the Society of Fellows plays an important role in maintaining the lines of communication about the changes that can advance the original mission—the relevance of productive time spent in Rome brought home to enrich what is here.”

Drew Beattie was in the class of Fellows who received their Rome Prizes from (then First Lady) Hillary Rodham Clinton in an April 1994 ceremony in the East Room of the White House, in honor of the centenary of the AAR. On his return from Rome, Beattie served on the SOF Council quite actively from 1998 to 2002. One of the major initiatives he helped organize was a day of studio visits to artist Fellows and Residents in New York City.

Drew Beattie holds the post of Lecturer at Harvard University in its Department of Visual and Environmental Studies, where he teaches courses such as “Drawing Mind and Matter” and “Painting Post 2000”. He continues to live and work primarily in New York.

Outgoing SOF President Corey Brennan praised Beattie as “genuinely inspiring—as an artist, a person, a leader. We have at the moment a really gifted Council, and so I would bet that Drew Beattie and this team will take the SOF’s program for the rest of 2009 to the proverbial next level.”

A native of Atlanta, Beattie received his MFA from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and Tufts University. He also attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. Working independently or in a collaborative team with Daniel Davidson FAAR’95 (1989–1998), Beattie’s paintings and drawings “look for meaning through hybridized fusions of imagery and abstraction”.

In addition to his Rome Prize, Beattie has received studio grants from PS1 and the Marie Walsh Sharpe Art Foundation, and the Eureka Fellowship in painting from the Fleishhacker Foundation, San Francisco. His work has been featured in numerous solo and group exhibitions on the East and West coasts. Collections include the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts, San Francisco.

BeattieGroup2At the 2009 Rome Prize ceremony (Metropolitan Club NYC 16 April), from left: Drew Beattie FAAR’95, AAR Trustee Mary Margaret Jones FAAR’98, SOF President Emerita Pamela Keech FAAR’82, Myrna Davis, SOF Council Vice-President Paul Davis FAAR’98

The SOF Weblog offers its warmest congratulations to Drew Beattie on his appointment to this crucial post. Read further for a look at the SOF Council as of 21 May 2009…

Officers (to 1 January 2010)
Drew Beattie, FAAR’95, President
Joanne Spurza, FAAR’88, Treasurer
Wendy Heller, FAAR’98, Secretary

Vice Presidents (to 1 January 2010)
Tom Bolt, FAAR’94
Brian Curran, FAAR’94
Paul Davis, FAAR’98
Kim Hartswick, FAAR’99
Joel Katz, FAAR’03
Catherine Seavitt, FAAR’98

Council Members (to 1 January 2010)
Susan Boynton, FAAR’99
John Cary, FAAR’08
Diana Cooper, FAAR’04
Michael Gruber, FAAR‘96
Blake Middleton, FAAR’82

Council Members (to 1 January 2012)
John Marciari, FAAR’98
Franco Mondini-Ruiz, FAAR’05
Linda Pellecchia, FAAR’92
Elizabeth Walmsley, FAAR’01 [Chair, Nominating Committee]

Members ex officio
James Bodnar, FAAR’80, President Emeritus
T. Corey Brennan, FAAR’88, President Emeritus
Adele Chatfield-Taylor, RAAR’84, President of the American Academy in Rome
Carmela Vircillo Franklin, FAAR’85, RAAR’02, Director of the American Academy in Rome
Elizabeth Bartman, FAAR’83, President Emerita
Jack Beeson, FAAR’50, President Emeritus
Virginia Bush Suttman, FAAR’77, President Emerita
Michael Graves, FAAR’62, RAAR’78, President Emeritus
Pamela Keech, FAAR’82, President Emerita
Peter Rolland, FAAR’78, President Emeritus
J. Michael Schwarting, FAAR’70, President Emeritus


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