2 exhibitions at Cal State San Bernardino feature art of Don Woodford, his former students – San Bernardino Sun

The Robert and Frances Fullerton Museum of Art at Cal State San Bernardino is hosting two new exhibitions, “Formalist without Formula: Don Woodford Selected Works 1972-2022” and “Legacy: Former Students of Don Woodford.”

Professor emeritus of painting in Cal State San Bernardino’s Department of Art and Design, Woodford began his academic career at the university in 1972. After he retired in 2001, he went on to teach two additional years of studio painting courses for the department.

Grid, a 2011 piece by artist Don Woodford. (Courtesy of Robert and Frances Fullerton Museum of Art)

“For over 50 years Don Woodford has been making artworks that explore form, color and space, creating objects that engage the aesthetic, intellectual and visceral issues of art,” wrote Cal State San Bernardino professor Thomas McGovern in the exhibit’s catalogue introduction. “As demonstrated in this exhibition, Woodford has the ability to continually refresh his vision and make objects that are coherent and consistent without being repetitious or formulaic, an impressive feat for any artist.”

Woodford holds a BA from Cornell College in Mt. Vernon, Iowa, as well as an MA from Illinois State University and an MFA from the University of Wisconsin. Before joining the CSUSB faculty, he taught painting at his alma mater, Cornell College, and Reed College in Portland, Oregon. At CSUSB, Woodford served also as director of the university art gallery for 14 years and as department chair for three years.

McGovern went on to write about Woodford’s consistency, with form and color. He called Woodford an “artist’s artist” and “someone with a clear vision, amazing work ethic and deep knowledge of history, all of which inform his art.”

Network, a 1987 piece by artist Don Woodford made from acrylic, fabric and wood. (Courtesy of Robert and Frances Fullerton Museum of Art)

The exhibition features a selection of Woodford’s work encompassing five decades. Viewers will be able to follow the evolution of the artist’s style.

“I enjoyed my years at the university a great deal,” Woodford said. “When I was searching for a teaching position, I only considered working at schools in Southern California because I felt then and still feel that there is a wonderful creative energy within the art community here. If I could magically have the opportunity to do it over again, I would jump at the chance.”

During his tenure at CSUSB, Woodford trained, inspired and mentored many students who later became accomplished artists and educators. In the exhibition, “Legacy: Former Students of Don Woodford,” eight of Woodford’s former students present their own work along with the work of their highly respected and beloved professor. The exhibition features Erik Greene, Sonja Oh Kim, Kerry Kugelman, Stevie Love, Randy McCoy, Sharon Suhovy VanderMeiden, Donna Morin and Oliver Sutter.

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