Leona Shanks, “Blind Justice,” oil on linen, 20 x 16 inches

Stanek Gallery in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is currently hosting an incredible group exhibition dedicated to one of the most important mentors of representational art of the 20th and 21st centuries.

Princess Diana of Wales, William Jefferson Clinton, and Pope John Paul II are only a few of the esteemed clients who sought the talents of celebrated artist Nelson Shanks (1937-2015). Shanks was — in addition to his artistry — a recognized art historian, teacher, connoisseur, and collector of fine arts.

At 18, Shanks began his tenure at New York’s famed Art Students League, where he caught the eye of John Koch, who took on the young artist as a private student, mentoring and encouraging him. Earning quick success with his immense talent and dedication, Shanks studied in Florence with Pietro Annigoni at the Accademia de Belle Arti before teaching himself in Memphis, Chicago, and Pennsylvania for nearly three decades.

On view now through October 28 at Stanek Gallery is a significant exhibition titled “Nelson Shanks and His Influence: Past, Present & Future,” which — as the name suggests — celebrates the remarkable impact of Shanks’ life and career upon generations of artists. Among others, represented artists include—among others—Alisyn Blake, Kerry Dunn, Jarred Fisher, Robin Frey, Shira Friedman, Katya Held, Natalie Italiano, Peter Kelsey, Darren Kingsley, JaFang Lu, Daniel Mahlman, Diane Rappisi, Kate Savage, Alexander Shanks, and Leona Shanks.

In conjunction with the exhibition, JaFang Lu and Dan Thompson will host a live painting and drawing demonstration between 1-4 p.m. on Saturday, October 14. Interested parties can register here. To learn more, visit Stanek Gallery.

This article was featured in Fine Art Today, a weekly e-newsletter from Fine Art Connoisseur magazine. To start receiving Fine Art Today for free, click here.

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