by Denise Bibro Fine Art

Don Kimes is truly what, in some circles, would be referred to as the real deal. Any one of the several titles above would be more than sufficient for anyone to tackle and excel in, but truly, he encompasses all of these and more. His practice deserves to be celebrated!


In recent years, he relinquished the helm of the Visual Arts Department at the renowned Chautauqua Institute in Chautauqua, NY. Its prestigious art program was nurtured and developed for decades by him and his invaluable assistant, Lois Kimes. For over thirty years it has been a respected and exciting educational visual arts program and artist community. The impact of his teachings and programming, even to this day, can be found and felt in the broad artistic community. Many of the artists he mentored continue to engage in the practice of art and exhibit their work. Dozens follow and remain in touch with him. Retirement seems a misnomer for Kimes. He still works as a professor at  American University and once was the Art Department Chair. His students, whom he also educated and mentored while overseeing the Chautauqua Art Program, have for the most part continued to excel in their practices. And, within the past decade, he has also directed an Artist Residency in Italy. When does the man sleep?

DBFA is honored to have represented him and to have exhibited his work.

We celebrate his lifelong dream of having a large studio come to fruition this past year and are excited to see what the realization of this dream has to offer us in his new work.

In addition to all the talents and experience we have already mentioned, he isn’t leaving any stones unturned. Five of his pieces were recently included in “MAD ABSTRACT” exhibition at Jim Kempner Fine Art, NYC, along such prominent artists as Louise Bourgeois, Mel Bochner, Sam Francis, Charlie Hewitt, Mary Heilman, Jay Kelly, Sol Lewitt, Elizabeth Murray, Paula Scher, Frank Stella, Cy Twombly and Stanley Whitney among others. Last year fifteen of his works were presented at the Singapore Global Art Fair by MK Gallery, South Korea. This Summer he will also be returning to Italy for the ACI residency in Umbria. Additionally he recently juried the Winter Exhibition at Blue Mountain Gallery, NYC. Don Kimes did a great job choosing talent for the show. Among those included were familiar faces such as one of our featured artists Doulas Newton and Erin Karp. We were pleased to be a part of its well attended reception. It felt like a Chelsea Art  reception crawl. It was good to see so many people viewing art and intermingling.

In addition to the milestones of experience that we have mentioned, Kimes was the Program Director of the famous New York Studio School on 8th Street in Greenwich Village prior to his lifelong stint at Chautauqua. The Studio School was an incubator of talent and continues to be. Its influence was obviously a significant one for Kimes. Having heard many “art and artist stories,” you can sense that the Studio School provided Kimes, as well as many like him, with the seeds of creativity, discourse, useful art information, tips, and historical reference, among other things. Artists like Andrew Forge (the associate dean) and Mercedes Matter (chief founder) provided impetus and magic amidst the many talents of that day. Kimes is part and parcel of the bumper crop of artists that make these institutions and processes so sacred and fundamental to many aspiring working creatives.

Don Kimes recently wrote an article on the famous artist Philip Guston. We prompt you to click on THIS LINK to read it.

Kimes met Philip Guston at the Studio School. Guston has certainly been part of the history books for a long time but he has always been an idiosyncratic character. Sometimes in the past, he was to some degree under-appreciated. Guston was a “traitor” in the midst of artists that were reveling in abstract expressionism in the late fifties and earlier sixties; he dared to do what he wanted to do and explored and advocated the world of neo-expressionism. And he did so admirably. He was a force to reckon with. In recent years, he and his work have been getting their due. There have been very important exhibitions of his work in New York, recently in Washington, etc.

Please view and enjoy Don Kimes’s works. You can find them on our website, and Artsy.