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Don Kimes Professor Art

MFA City University of New York, Brooklyn College

Dividing time between the US and Italy, Kimes' work has been presented in over 150 exhibitions including Denise Bibro, Jim Kempner, Frederieke Taylor, Claudia Carr, Kouros, Lucky Strike, Arsenal, National Academy, Ammo Artists Space, Brooklyn Museum (all NYC), Corcoran, WPA, National Acad. Sciences, Fondo del Sol, Hillyer, Elizabeth Roberts (all DC), Dorazio (Italy), Rueda Museum (Spain), America House (Germany) and many others internationally. As head of Studio Art for 19 of the past 35 years, and Dept. Chair from 1990-2001, he expanded the national reputation of our MFA program, initiated the proposal to build major art facilities on Massachusetts Avenue, and led the Department in a campaign which funded and built our 130,000 square foot Katzen Arts Center. Currently board chair and contributor to New Art Examiner UK and Art Lantern, as well as Founding Artistic Director of the ACI Artists, Writers and Scholars Residency in Umbria, Kimes has been a finalist for the position of Chair of the National Endowment for the Arts and served as Artistic Director in the Visual Arts at the renowned Chautauqua Institution for over 30 years. Kimes previously was Program Director/faculty at the New York Studio School, and has been a guest artist in programs including Tyler, Parsons, CMU, Dartmouth, Cooper, Bard, Harvard, Pratt, Syracuse, schools from Rome and Florence to Munich, Latvia, Mexico and many others.

Among the artists Kimes worked with as a young artist are Gretna Campbell, Nicholas Carone, Elaine de Kooning, Philip Guston, Lee Krasner, Mercedes Matter, Alice Neel, Philip Pearlstein, Wayne Thiebaud and Esteban Vicente.
See Also
Department of Art
For the Media
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Spring 2024

  • ARTS-100 Art: Studio Experience

  • ARTS-210 Artist's Perspective: Painting

Fall 2024

  • ARTS-100 Art: Studio Experience

  • ARTS-420 Painting Studio

Partnerships & Affiliations

Scholarly, Creative & Professional Activities

See CV for full list.

Work In Progress

  • Currently working on “paintings” incorporating paint, digital media, printmaking techniques, collage, and experimental media. The work is based on fragments salvaged after a flood in 2003 which destroyed much of Kimes’ life’s work. His paintings are based on the experience of nature, time, memory, loss and rebirth.
  • Currently working with Luis Grachos, Director Albright Knox Museum, and Julian Zugazagoitia (Director Museo del Barrio, NYC) on ‘Cuban Connections: Wilfredo Lam through Ana Mendietta’ exhibition.
  • Currently working with Lee Tribe, on exhibition of African and Aboriginal Sculpture.
  • Currently working with Denise Bibro (Denise Bibro Gallery, NYC) on exhibition and catalogue entitled 100 Years of the Visual Arts at the Chautauqua Institution: From Charles Burchfield and Franz Kline to Barbara Rose and Robert Storr

Selected Publications

  • Time Walls “Heavy Metal: New Works by Don Kimes”, essay by Barbara Rose
  • NY Arts Magazine “Umbria Mystica and the New Rennaissance of Living Art in Italy”, by Lori Nozick 
  • Washingtonian Magazine, “Still a Scene: Dupont, Penn Quarter, and Beyond” April, 2008 
  • Washington Post, Entertainment, The Scene Included feature color reproduction of Kimes’ work at Hillyer Art Space, April, 2008 
  • Where Magazine, review by Jean Lawler Cohen, included color reproduction of Kimes’ work. April, 2008.   
  • Jamestown Post Journal, “Chautauqua Book”, Article by Don Kimes on the 3.5 million dollar renovation of the Strohl Art Center and the 2008 visual arts program at Chautauqua Institution, June 20, 2008
  • Hill Rag “Art and the City”, Jason Yen April, 2008  
  • Washington Post, “Moving Heaven and Earth Images" review by Hank Burchard
  • Who’s Who in American Art

Grants and Sponsored Research


  • Studio Art Centers International, Distinguished Artist in Residence, Florence, Italy 2008   
  • Goya Girl Press, selected for award to produce oversize prints, Baltimore, MD, 2000 and 1999  
  • Commune di Perugia, Artists at the Manicomium (others in residence: Cecily Brown, Randall Stoltzfus), 1996  
  • Commune di Perugia, 7’ x 7’ steel, cement and wood piece selected for architect Aldo Rossi building, Perugia Italy
  • Camerata di Todi Residency (one year) supported by American University Mellon Fund, 1994/95

Research Interests

Kimes is a painter who believes in a strong conceptual/ historical grounding, but who also believes that the act of making art ultimately supersedes the act of theorizing about it. His abstract works incorporate wide ranging traditional and experimental media. He divides his time between Washington, upstate New York, and Italy, where he goes for “the opportunity to have consecutive thoughts in a world where it is increasingly difficult to have the chance to simply focus”.


  • Stephan Gang Gallery, NYC, solo
  • Claudia Carr Gallery, NYC solo Page 5 of 7 
  • Denise Bibro Gallery, NYC group · Kouros Galle

Honors, Awards, and Fellowships

  • American University Award for Outstanding Contributions to Academic Development
  • Medici Medal, Biennale Internazionale Dell’Arte Contemporanea, Florence, Italy
  • US Department of the Interior award to be Artist in Residence at Yellowstone National Park
  • Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes, Pelicer Conference and Exhibition, Villahermosa, Mexico
  • Faculty Honor Award, Graduate Student Council, American University
  • Edna St. Vincent Millay Colony artist residency
  • Amerika Haus, selected for solo exhibition, Munich, Germany
  • Eisenhower Foundation and USIA support to be US Visual Arts Representative to Cultural/Political Exchange in the Soviet Union, 1986 

Professional Presentations

  • Carnegie Mellon University, visiting critic and invited speaker ‘Art in the Public Realm’
  • Syracuse University, visiting critic/guest speaker
  • Tyler School of Art, Temple University, guest speaker
  • Vassar College, visiting critic/guest speaker
  • Dartmouth College, visiting critic/guest speaker
  • Bard College, visiting critic/guest speaker
  • International School of Art in Umbria, Italy, visiting critic/guest speaker
  • Universidad Juarez Autonoma, Mexico, visiting artist/guest speaker
  • Riga Academy of Art, Latvia, visiting artist/guest speaker
  • Accademia di Belle Arti Pietro Vannucci, Italy, visiting artist/guest speaker
  • and many others