Long Library Displays Gallery of Abstract Paintings by John Frisenda

March 27, 2015
The second-floor exhibition space is current home to more than 20 abstract expressionist works by the artist and educator.
Art by John Frisenda


Wells College’s Long Library is currently showcasing paintings by John Frisenda, artist, former teacher at Rochester Institute of Technology, and recently-retired dean at California Community College. The work, a series of vivid abstract expressionist pieces, can be viewed in the exhibition space in the lobby of the second floor. It will be on display from now until May 16.

“None of my art was preconceived. It was intuitive and developed over time,” Frisenda says in his artist statement. “If you’ve made a picture, and that’s how you wanted it to be, hopefully it can speak for itself and whatever it says to the viewer, it’s the right message because there isn’t a right or wrong message. Each person takes something a little different from the same picture and I’m happy with that.”

This exhibition was arranged and assembled by Wells Professor of Art Ted Lossowski. He shares:

“John was my very first ceramics professor back in 1970. I was a student at Monroe Community College in Rochester, N.Y. John, at that time, was a graduate student at RIT majoring in ceramic sculpture and student teaching at Monroe Community College. I was interested in ceramics, especially pottery made on the potter's wheel, so he spent a lot of time working with me and we developed a great teacher/friend relationship. When he started teaching for RIT in their night school program, I signed up for one of his ceramics classes and we continued working together. He was in the process of building a house and studio in the southern tier near Bath, N.Y., and needed an apprentice to help with finishing the build and then to help in the studio. I left college for a year and became his apprentice where I learned equally about building construction and production pottery.

After that, we lost contact for about twenty years until John found me on Facebook. We rekindled our friendship at that point, and I discovered he had remarried and had a daughter in high school looking for a college. John and his family were living in California; he had recently retired as Dean of Arts and Humanities from a California Community College. We arranged for his daughter, his wife and himself to come and visit Wells just before Thanksgiving break 2010. The rest is history as Veronica will be graduating from Wells with a degree in theatre and dance this spring.

Due to the physical rigors of working in ceramics, John no longer was working with clay but had taken up abstract expressionistic painting. I asked him if he would like to have his work shown at Wells and he responded favorably, sending me about thirty of his works.”

Long Library’s hours can be found at www.wells.edu/library. For more information or to inquire about purchasing one of the paintings, contact Ted Lossowski at 315-364-3344 or email tlossowski@wells.edu.


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