Sunday, October 29, 2023, at 5:00pm. Cocktail will be services. Admission by private invitation.
Ateiler86 is proud to announce a new series: Inside the Actor’s Studio. We will be hosting conversations between contemporary artists on their process, work, and lives. Our inaugural event will feature Robert Seyffert interviewing Michael Shane Neal. Rob and Shane are both fellow members of the National Arts Club. Rob has promised a no-holds barred challenging interview and Shane is looking forward to meeting the moment. Some information on our speakers:
Since beginning a full time career as an artist at the age of 21, Michael Shane Neal (b. 1968) has completed more than 500 commissioned portraits on display around the world. His public, private, and institutional portraits include Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, five Presidential Cabinet members, former President George H.W. Bush, 9th Baronet and Laird of Luss, Scotland Sir Malcolm Colquhoun, three former U.S. Ambassadors to France, seven U.S. Senators including Majority Leaders Robert C. Byrd and Bill Frist, more than a dozen Federal Judges including Chief Judge Anthony Scirica, actor Morgan Freeman, numerous heads of Universities, and four U.S. Governors. In 2020 his portrait of Congressman John Lewis was acquired by the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C. His current commissions include former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, Mr. and Mrs. Ross Perot, Jr., and former U.S. Ambassador to France Jane Hartley.
Receiving his B.A. from Lipscomb University, Neal also studied at the Santa Fe Institute of Fine Arts, The Scottsdale Artist School, Lyme Academy of Art, and was a protégé of America’s most celebrated figurative and portrait painter, Everett Raymond Kinstler. Neal’s studio in the historic National Arts Club in Gramercy Park, just off Park Avenue in Manhattan, was formerly occupied by Kinstler and his teacher before him, Frank Vincent DuMond. DuMond not only taught Kinstler, but also Georgia O’Keeffe, Norman Rockwell, and James Montgomery Flagg.
Neal’s work has been featured in publications such as American Artist, International Artist, The Artist’s Magazine, Art News, and Fine Art Connoisseur. He has received numerous awards for landscape and figurative paintings as well as the Grand Prize Award from the Portrait Society of America.
Neal is the chairman of the board of the Portrait Society of America. He also serves on the board of directors of the Norman Rockwell Museum’s National Council and the Andrew Jackson Foundation.
Robert Seyffert has been a painter and educator all his life. He was born in Bryn Mawr, PA in 1952 and two years later his family moved to Lima, Peru. He grew up in Peru until returning to the US in 1963 when his father began teaching at St. Andrews School in Delaware. He first studied art at St. Andrews with his mother and he became the student photographer for the school. Intending on becoming a photojournalist he considered photography schools for college but instead went to MICA, earning his BFA at the Maryland Institute in 1975. Seyffert went on to earn his MFA at the Parsons School of Design and opened a studio in Mt. Vernon neighborhood in Baltimore where he first began painting cityscapes. Seyffert’s cityscapes, depicting the streets of New York from the 1990’s and Baltimore in the 1980s and feature vintage automobiles and are frequently compared to the works of Edward Hooper.
Seyffert now teaches at the College of Mount Saint Vincent in the Bronx and has taught drawing and painting at the Art Students League, Washington Studio School, Washington, D.C., Baltimore School for the Arts and Johns Hopkins University. In 2019 he was awarded the Poe Award by the Bronx Historical Society for his contribution to the arts. From 2007-2019 he maintained a studio in the Bronx’s historic American Banknote Building. For 15 years he directed Alfred and Trafford Klots Residency Program in Rochefort-en-Terre, Morbihan, France. Among Seyffert’s other awards are a first prize from the National Arts Club, a Helena Rubinstein Grant from the Parsons School of Design, a Greenshields Fellowship, and a Yale at Norfolk Summer School Fellowship. Seyffert’s work is in many institutional and private collections, including his portrait of James Michener in the National Portrait Gallery, a portrait of Clarence Mitchell in the Clarence Mitchell Courthouse in Baltimore, MD and one of Toni Morrison at the National Arts Club.