Currently @ Spence

Josh Dorman: A Summer of Teaching, Learning and Preparing for Major Art Exhibitions and Commissions

Spence Art Teacher Josh Dorman had the opportunity this summer to take full advantage of the active life of a Spence “practicing artist,” art teacher. Having applied 11 times over 20 years, Dorman was awarded a three-week residency at the prestigious MacDowell Colony in New Hampshire. Since 1907, the mission of The MacDowell Colony is to nurture the arts by offering creative individuals of the highest talent an inspiring environment in which they can produce enduring works of the imagination. For Dorman, the residency was an invaluable experience: “I worked in a 100-year old studio where Milton Avery once painted, and just next door to the studio where Thornton Wilder wrote Our Town.”
Following the stay in the bucolic New Hampshire colony, Dorman traveled to California as a guest artist at Fresno State where he taught a one-week, college-level course as a part of Cal State Summer Arts—Drawing Outside the Box.
Beginning in September, Dorman will participate in several group and solo exhibitions in New York, Los Angeles, Dallas and Atlanta. From September 5-October 12, Dorman’s artwork will be featured in ​“Retrospective Futurology” in a solo exhibition at Ryan Lee Gallery in New York. Simultaneously, he will have a 10-year mini-retrospective show at the office gallery of Studio Arts Center International (SACI); as a junior in college, Dorman studied at SACI in Florence, Italy.
His next solo exhibition, “The Art of Listening: The Memory Bridge Portraits,” will feature Dorman’s series of portraits based on individuals with Alzheimer’s and Dementia (real and imagined) at the Longview Museum of Fine Arts. Dorman created the portraits with the Memory Bridge Foundation and will join a panel discussion about art in conjunction with the screening of the documentary film “Love is Listening.”
From January to March 2020, the Welch School of Art Gallery at Georgia State University in Atlanta, will host “Higher Ground,” a solo exhibition of Dorman’s art focused on theme of climate change and the human impact on earth. The exhibition, curated by Stephanie Kolpy, includes a catalogue with an essay by Michael Chabon. Dorman will hold an artist’s talk along with a screening of his animation film,  accompanied by a live music performed by university musicians.
Two important commissions cap Dorman’s exciting year: The Smithsonian Archives of American Art Journal will publish a 10-page spread of his artwork with an accompanying essay. He has also been commissioned to create artwork for sheet music by U.S.-based British composer Anna Clyne. His previous designs for the composer have garnered Dorman the Paul Revere Award for Graphic Design Excellence for the cover art design (sheet music for Masquerade) and seven animations for Clyne’s symphony “the Violin.”
“I’m feeling blessed that my work will be out in the world in so many different places in 2019-2020,” shared Dorman. “I know it goes without saying, but the opportunity to make my own artwork and to interact with a wider audience—especially students outside Spence—only serves to deepen my knowledge and to enhance my teaching within the Red Doors.”
For more information about Josh Dorman’s artwork and upcoming exhibitions, please visit