Graphic artist, writer, musician, philanthropist, and a true art icon of Nantucket, Donn Russell arrived on-island in the early 1970s and pursued a passion for the island in gorgeous clean serigraphs with a unique perspective and often showcasing his dry wit.
In 2014, Donn sold his home and studio and left Nantucket to focus on his philanthropy work for the arts in New York City. Hostetler Gallery, which exclusively handles his serigraphs, has invited him back to Nantucket this week to catch up with his collectors and friends. This Friday, August 21 from 6 to 8 pm, Donn Russell will be in the gallery at 42 Centre Street to share stories about his life and work. Russell was known as the “mayor of Old South Wharf” when it was a thriving arts district. He’s the source of a wealth of history on the art scene, local legends, local color, and more!
A new selection of his prints has been framed for this special show, and Hostetler Gallery will also have a curated set of his unframed prints for viewing and sale, some of which are the last ones available.
Each of the prints screens has been cut and hand-inked by Russell. They include original and creative viewpoints of the harbor, the boat basin, seaside, marine inspirations and even some from his travels to India and China. Strong graphics, confident use of color, images that transcend just Nantucket characterize them all.
In 2010, Donn Russell received the Artists’ Association of Nantucket designation of being the only living member among 16 bygone artists to be honored in a special exhibit of their work called “ICONS: Influential Artists From The Association’s 65- Year History.” In his case, it was for his unique output and for inventing his own formula of ink preparation for printing that challenged fading from age or from light. The Artists Association is naming their new Visual Arts Center Printmaking Program after Donn. Currently Donn is running his arts foundation which supports non-traditional stage and film production workshops for new dance and musical enterprises.