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Biography
Artists' Statement
Education
Courses Taught
Exhibitions
Experience
Awards

Biography

Born in 1972 in St. Louis, Missouri, William began his figurative studies at the St. Louis Artists' Guild while still in high school. Encouragement from his mentor, Lauren Davis, led him to the Kansas City Art Institute. While ultimately receiving his B.F.A. in graphic design, drawing remained an important part of his work. A return to the St. Louis Artists' Guild brought William in contact with Billyo O'Donnell and Jason Dowd, two artists who helped tremendously in the development of his painting. Work soon took him to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where he spent more than 10 years as an award-winning designer. All the while, he continued to draw and paint.

A summer course with Dana Levin and Jura Bedic at the Florence Academy of Art and another with David Leffel at the Art Students League of New York helped convince William that a return to school was necessary to achieve the skills he desired. In 2010 he quit his job, uprooted his wife and children, and enrolled in the Florence Academy of Art, where he spent three years pursuing his interest in realist painting, under the tutelage of great painters like Daniel Graves and Jordan Sokol. 

Currently, William is working on his Masters of Fine Arts degree at Laguna College of Art and Design in Laguna Beach, California.

For commissioned portraits or to purchase available works, please contact the artist at wneukomm@yahoo.com


Artists' Statement

I am an artist and a father, raising two kids in exhilarating and unsettling times. My art is rooted in European tradition, but is also deeply American. Old world craft conveys my reverence for the subjects, while contemporary color and composition help me discover the subconscious psychological content. Each work begins with an observation. Every element is considered. I execute the work, scrutinize my choices and make changes until the image feels complete. Being a dad gives me an excuse to play and to relive the fun of childhood. It also prompts me to tap into my own fears as I attempt to shield my children from negative experiences. I approach every painting with the wonder and curiosity of a child filtered by the wisdom, humor and understanding of an adult.

Education

Master of Fine Arts, Laguna College of Art and Design, Laguna Beach, CA—2019 (expected)
Certificate, Painting, Florence Academy of Art, Jersey City, NJ—2015
Certificate, Drawing, Florence Academy of Art, Florence, Italy—2012
Bachelor of Fine Arts, Kansas City Art Institute, Kansas City, MO—1994

Painting with David Leffel, Art Students League of New York, NY 2005
Academic Figure with Dana Levin, Florence Academy of Art, Florence, Italy 2001


Courses Taught

Figure Drawing, Figure Painting, Oil or Acrylic Painting, Perspective Drawing and Still Life, Portrait Drawing, Portrait Painting, Portraiture for All Mediums, Still Life Painting


Select Exhibitions

2018 CJSitton Studio: Curiosities
2018 City Hall, Laguna Beach, CA
2017 Art Saint Louis, St. Louis, MO: No Filter
2017 New Walk Museum & Art Gallery, Leicester, UK: BP Award
2016 Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Edinburgh, UK: BP Award
2016 Usher Gallery, Lincoln, UK: BP Award
2016 National Portrait Gallery, London, UK: BP Award
2016 Art Saint Louis, St. Louis, MO: Honor Awards
2016 Foundry Art Centre, Saint Charles, MO: Impact
2016 St. Louis Artists' Guild, Clayton, MO: Clearly Human II
2015 Art Saint Louis, St. Louis, MO: XXXI
2015 Space Architecture + Design, St. Louis, MO: The Figure Observed
2014 St. Louis Artists' Guild, Clayton, MO: Ann Metzger Memorial National All Media Exhibition
2014 Saint Charles Community College, Saint Charles, MO: Prints and Drawing Invitational
2014 St. Louis Artists' Guild, Clayton, MO: Summer Regional Exhibition
2014 Foundry Art Centre, Saint Charles, MO: Figurative Works
2012 Palazzo Budini Gattai, Florence, Italy: Honors
2011 Cooley Gallery, Old Lyme, CT: Small Works


Professional Experience

2017 Exhibition Juror: St. Louis Artists’ Guild, St. Louis, MO
2016 Exhibition Juror: Saint Charles Community College, Saint Charles, MO
2012-Present Artist and Instructor: Self-Employed
2012-2017 Instructor: Saint Louis Artists' Guild, Clayton, MO
2013-2014 Instructor: St. Louis Community College, St. Louis, MO
2013 Instructor: Chesterfield Arts, Chesterfield, MO
2010 Studio Assistant: Florence Academy of Art, Florence, Italy
1999-2010 Graphic Designer: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
1997 - 1999 Graphic Designer: Self-employed, St. Louis, MO
1994 - 1996 Graphic Designer: River City Studio, Kansas City, MO


Select Awards

2017 Third Place, Portrait and Figure, Artists Magazine Annual Competition
2016 Finalist, 12th International ARC Salon, Art Renewal Center
2016 Finalist, BP Portrait Award, National Portrait Gallery, London, UK
2016 Honorable Mention, Impact, Foundry Art Centre, Saint Charles, MO
2016 Adele McCall Memorial Prize for Realistic Figure, St. Louis Artists' Guild, St. Louis, MO
2015 Merit Award, Members Only, Portrait Society of America
2015 Award of Excellence, Art Saint Louis, St. Louis, MO
2015 Painting of the Year, Florence Academy of Art, Jersey City, NJ
2014 Second Place, Members Only, Portrait Society of America
2014 Juror's Choice, Williams Prize in Drawing for Emerging Artists
2014 Juror's Choice, Figurative Works, Foundry Art Centre, Saint Charles, MO
2013 Merit Award, Members Only, Portrait Society of America
2013 First Place, Impressions of Town & Country Plein Air Event, Town & Country, MO
2012 First Place, Impressions of Town & Country Plein Air Event Town & Country, MO
2012 Portrait Drawing of the Year, Florence Academy of Art, Florence, Italy

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