2011 TC Pressroom
Teachers College, Columbia University
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A Journey Inward

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Artist Frank Shifreen

Frank Shifreen

Many artists would need a lifetime to produce 75 paintings.  Frank Shifreen, a TC doctoral student in Studio Art and Art education, has produced that many since August.

"I was often working more than 15 hours a day," Shifreen says of his output, a selection of which was recently on display as a solo show at TC's Macy Gallery. "It got so that I just kept painting and painting, without always being able to step back and look at what I'd done."

Shifreen's father died in July, and the show, titled "True Stories of dreams and the Paranormal," depicts a journey of self-realization and catharsis achieved by lucid dreaming, "shamanic journeys,"  past-life regressions and other states of consciousness in what Shifreen calls "an upper and lower spiritual world."

The dreams represent "a personal, private area of my life," he says. "These are things I hadn't shared with anyone." The paintings defy categorization-'"surreal? impressionistic? abstract?-'"but the skill of their creator is strongly evident. "I can draw very well," said Shifreen, "but I wanted these paintings to show an emotional truth, not a realist truth."

Shifreen credits his time at Teachers College with strengthening his self-perception. "I'd done a lot of shows before, but I didn't really have a sense of who I was. TC helped me to find myself."

More about the show and Shifreen's work can be found at his Web site, www.omoma.net.

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