ECA+ Creative Member Directory
Mapping the Arts in Easthampton, Southampton, & Westhampton

Ken Gagne

Humor in Art

My preferred choice of art is pencil drawing, mixed media, etching and oil pastels of figurative images. However, I am quite restless about sticking to one medium and vision, and will often move on to different imagery such as illustration and landscapes. I regularly attend figure drawing workshops to hone my skills and experiment with various medium. For example, lately, I've been creating oil pastel drawings based on figure model poses from my workshops, placed in humorous settings using elements of old world imagery with contemporary sensibilities. Handwriting the titles at the bottom of the drawings, sketchy outlining of the image, and selective choice of classical looking frames, all work together to form a sort of "new/old world comics" designed to amuse the viewer.

My greatest influences to become an artist were my public school teachers who encouraged me and were first class artists in their own right. After receiving my B.S n Art Education from Southern Ct. State University and teaching art to elementary school kids, I decided to further develop my own skills and entered the M.F.A program in Printmaking at Pratt Art Institute. There, I studied with several influences such as Walter Rogalski, Clare Romano and George McNeil. After graduating from Pratt, I worked as a Master Printer at a fine art silkscreen shop, before giclee was popular. This experience provided me with invaluable technical experience. Later, I worked as an art teacher in a Title 1 Education Program title "Learning to Read Through the Arts", operating out of the N.Y.C. Public School system. This experience helped shape my career in human services. I relocated to Western Mass in 1986. After 28 years, I retired in 2015 from working at Community Enterprises, a human service agency service agency serving people with disabilities. During that period, I also taught art courses at several local colleges and continued to pursue my own art. In 2006 I purchased an art studio in Easthampton and have commenced my second full time an artist. I firmly feel my work with kids has inspired me to see "humor in art".

My wonderful experiences of working with kids and folks with disabilities have graciously shaped my perceptions and creativity as an artist.