Arnold J. Kemp

Painting and Drawing

Arnold J. Kemp is an artist whose role in leading students and faculty goes hand-in-hand with his personal research and passion for contemporary discourse.  He has been making and exhibiting critically engaged art for 25 years, while simultaneously writing and publishing critical and creative texts. His works are in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art; the Studio Museum in Harlem; the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive; the Tacoma Art Museum; and the Fine Arts Collection at the University of California, Davis. He is a 2012 Guggenheim Fellow and has also received awards and fellowships from the Joan Mitchell Foundation; the Pollock-Krasner Foundation; Art Matters, Inc.; Printed Matter, Inc.; and Portland Institute for Contemporary Art.  He was one of the founding curators of San Francisco’s Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, where he worked from 1993–2003. He holds an MFA from Stanford University.

In 2009, Kemp entered full-time academic work as the Chair of the Master of Fine Arts in Visual Studies Program at the Pacific Northwest College of Art in Portland, OR. At PNCA, the many roles he has played as an artist, curator, writer, and lecturer came together in preparing interdisciplinary artists for a lifetime of creative practice. In 2013, he accepted an appointment as a Department Chair and Associate Professor at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, VA. He will be coming to us from his position as Chair of the Department of Painting and Printmaking at VCU, where he introduced a diverse visiting artist lecture series, established a new curriculum, and brought a global perspective to graduate courses in professional practices. 

Professor Kemp has been a visiting artist and lecturer at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Portland Art Museum; the San Francisco Art Institute; California College of the Arts; the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Portland State University; Tyler School of Art; Syracuse University/ College of Visual and Performing Arts; the Vermont Studio Center; Georgia Southern University; Parsons the New School of Arts and Design; University of Illinois, Chicago; Yale School of Art, the Banff Centre, Canada; and York Saint John University, York, England.