He pioneered a printmaking technique that opened up a world of artistic opportunities.
Member of Adelphi University’s Profiles in Success program.
Artist, Educator, Author, Inventor, and Master Printmaker
Most memorable faculty: “Art professors Lola Kocin, for her very critical nature; Albert Kelley, for his supportive nature; and Richard Vaux, for his loyal friendship.”
Involvement at Adelphi: Before transferring to Adelphi’s Garden City campus, he spent two years at Adelphi Suffolk College, where he was Class President. He was also a member of Kappa Pi Alpha and the Fine Arts Club. Further, he was co-captain of Varsity Squash and was involved in coaching gymnastics for Coach Stu Parks.
Jobs held throughout Adelphi: “I was a stock boy for various department stores, a gas station attendant, and had a sign-painting business. I also worked in construction and for a stone mason, and in my senior year, began substitute teaching in high schools.”
His greatest supporter: “My blind grandmother would always share her interpretation of my art… without ever seeing any of my paintings. Each time she would say to me, ‘It must be so beautiful’.”
Advice for Adelphi students: “Be present and take in all of the arts. Experience as much as you can… for most other things can be learned from a book.”
When Dan Welden enrolled at Adelphi, he was interested in two entirely different fields — physical education and art. Luckily for painters, printmakers, photographers, and artists of all kinds, he chose the latter. Just five years after receiving his Master of Arts from Adelphi, Mr. Welden pioneered a printmaking technique that was a simple, safer, and faster alternative to traditional printmaking. He opened up a world of artistic opportunities.
Although he excelled in art throughout high school, Mr. Welden was not sure that it was a viable career choice. Adelphi Art Professor Albert Kelley, however, provided him with the encouragement he needed to pursue his passion.
“One day Al Kelley suggested I create big paintings,” recalls Mr. Welden. “He went out and bought me 33 yards of canvas so that I could make paintings 6½ by 7½ feet high. He provided me with the tools and support. He believed in me.”
While pursuing art at Adelphi, Mr. Welden also took education classes. Before completing his graduate studies, Professor Kelley had Mr. Welden teaching courses in the art department. He simultaneously taught at various high schools including Bayport-Blue Point and Lindenhurst School Districts while completing his graduate studies at Adelphi.
Teaching art made Mr. Welden yearn to continue his own education. After earning his Master’s degree from Adelphi in 1967, he decided to study at The Academy of Fine Arts in Munich, Germany. This was a formative experience for Mr. Welden, largely due to the personal attention he received from his teacher Kurt Lohwasser. “He was my mentor and my friend,” says Mr. Welden. “He took his personal time to teach me and to initiate more curiosity of art, life, and nature than anyone before. It was because of Kurt Lohwasser’s influence that my interest in printmaking was piqued.”
Upon returning to the United States in 1971, Mr. Welden was ready to apply the knowledge and skills he had acquired abroad to look for an alternative way of doing things in his work as a printmaker. “In the printmaking process, you are continuously exposed to solvents, acids, and grounds; this is dangerous stuff,” he says. “I wanted to find a safer approach to making art than traditional printmaking offered.”
In 1971, Mr. Welden created a non-toxic printmaking technique called the Solarplate method. Rather than utilizing the hazardous chemicals used in traditional printmaking, this approach required only sunlight and water. With time and with a grant from the New York State Council on the Arts, he refined, and eventually perfected, this revolutionary technique.
Over the course of nearly three decades, Mr. Welden, owner of Hampton Editions, Ltd., a fine-art printmaking studio, has continued to challenge himself, hone his artistic abilities, and grow as an artist. He has also devoted a significant part of his rich career to sharing his knowledge, experience, and encouragement with people around the world.
“I have actually worked on all continents and in all but six states in the U.S,” says Mr. Welden, who has shown his work in more than 65 one-person exhibitions and over 500 group exhibitions throughout the world. He first collaborated with and printed for a number of renowned artists, including Jasper Johns, Jim Dine, Robert Motherwell, and Robert Rauschenberg, in the atelier of Tanya Grossman. In his own atelier he has worked with an equal stable of artists, including Willem de Kooning, Dan Flavin, David Salle, and Eric Fischl.
A former art professor at SUNY Stony Brook, Central Connecticut State University, and Long Island University, he continues to share his extensive background with students around the world by conducting workshops where he demonstrates how to make art safely. He has co-authored the book Printmaking in the Sun, which is a valuable resource to all artists interested in making prints using the Solarplate method.
Founder and president of the Long Island Printmakers Society, past president of the Society of American Graphic Artists, and life member of the Maryland Printmakers and the Mid America Printmaking Council, Mr. Welden currently lives and works in his unique ‘green sustainable living home’ in Sag Harbor, Long Island.
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