Alumni in Arts by Natalie Mardirossian ’12 In a continuing series, Severn sophomore Natalie Mardirossian ’12 will update Bridge readers on our alumni artists. In this issue we will look at the work of Arthur Egeli ’82, Kathryn Shepherd Leonard ’86 and Allison Prouty ’95. Severn has shared in the development of many fine artists and we hope to visit all of them but please let us know of anyone we regrettably may have missed. Do you know where your classmates have gone or what they have become and accomplished? Some will recognize the names Allison Prouty, Kathryn Shepherd Leonard, and Arthur Egeli - three alums who have done spectacular things and are sure to impress.
Arthur Egeli ’82 Arthur Egeli, Class of ’82 credits Severn with giving him work and study habits that he still uses today. He tells The Bridge, “Severn developed in me a sense of who I am as an American in a historical and in a moral sense… by the time I was a senior at Severn, I was beginning to sense what my own place would be in the world and my teachers instilled in me the confidence to pursue it.” Arthur was born into a family of artists and painters which include his grandfather, grandmother, parents and sisters. Arthur’s parents guided and taught him the craft of painting and the business of surviving as a painter which they told him might be tough at first. He notes that through his twenties and early thirties work was tough to find, but in his midthirties collectors began to notice his work. He now has a seasonal gallery in Provincetown, Massachusetts, where he showcases his work along with the work of eight other artists. Arthur shared his amazing perspective on what it is like to paint a portrait: when starting the process of painting a portrait, he only has a little time with the subject
and with that given time he has to discover the best features of the said person and then he has to figure out how to magnify those features in his artwork. Arthur mentions that the oil portrait has to honor not only the subject but the artist as well. He says that it is his job to make a work of art equal to the subject’s achievements and that “a portrait should not only tell us about the subject, but also tells us something about humanity in general.” You may recognize the portrait of former Headmaster Bill Creeden hanging in Creeden Hall. This portrait was painted by Mr. Egeli, and he says, “Bill exemplifies the man who had challenges and overcame them - professional football player to headmaster and a gentle and caring role model for students. He had a vision of what Severn could be and he gently made others see it and support it.” To see more of Arthur’s work please visit www.arthuregeli.com.
Right, Arthur Egeli’s portrait of former headmaster, Bill Creeden.
Left, three generations of artists, (from left) Arthur Egeli ’82, his grandfather Bjorn Egeli, and his father Cedric Egeli at Maryland Hall,1984. Bottom Right, Arthur at work.