Featured Artist

Warren Prindle’s “Through the Artist’s Eye” Retrospective Opens at HVRHS

By Published On: December 14th, 2023

Painter and art educator Warren Prindle’s exhibit “Through the Artist’s Eye” opened on Friday, December 8th at Housatonic Valley Regional High School in Falls Village, CT.  

The exhibit is a retrospective of Prindle’s work that goes back “at least” 20 years and is being displayed at the Kearcher-Monsell Gallery. 

The retrospective features work including plein air sketches, graphite studies, drawings, and larger accomplished pieces, most of which will also be on sale. A portion of the proceeds from the sales will benefit the HVRHS Fine Art Society.

The life of an artist 

Prindle has been painting since he was in his early 20s. He grew up in Sharon, CT, before moving to Chicago to attend the American Academy of Art. He also studied art and received his BA from Northeastern Illinois University and his MA from Northwestern State University of Louisiana. 

“I always say that I’ve been blessed to be in the right place at the right time in four or five separate instances,” Prindle smiled. “I can’t take credit for it all. A lot of my skills are owed to my teachers.” 

He started out drawing comic books as a child and, after art school, worked as an illustrator. One of his primary clients was the Metra Rail Line in Chicago.

During art school, he gained an appreciation for the broader world of painting due to visiting many major art museums. “In painting class, my professor wanted us to go outside and paint a landscape from direct observation. My first response was irritation and annoyance, but I did it because I was a dutiful student,” he laughed. “The first two times, I didn’t enjoy it much, but by the third time, I felt ‘I love painting outdoors and I have to get better so that I can do this professionally.’” 

From there, he studied under artists including Richard Schmid and John Michael Angel, as well as copying masterworks in museums. 

Prindle was trained as an impressionist and studied the works of many American impressionist painters. Soon his interests expanded to many forms of European art, especially the Italian Baroque. 

He has also been the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including the Graham Museum Purchase Award, the Borst Memorial Award, The National Oil Painters Society Founders Award, and The Union League Civic and Art Foundation Award, among many others.

The exhibit 

The retrospective consists of conceptual and observational work from Prindle’s career.

“Conceptual is done in the studio. You’re imagining something and bringing it to life. It’s a process and I’m very comfortable with this approach, as it often yields paintings that work on several levels,” he explained. “The observational work is me standing outside and painting what I see. It is largely the recording of an optical experience.” 

Around the perimeter of the gallery are nearly thirty works on paper. Most are observational drawings and studies from Prindle’s career. Some hail back to his time as an illustrator. 

Prindle shared that it’s significant for him to share his work at Housatonic because he is retiring at the end of this year after 20 years of teaching. 

“To see all of this work displayed is a reminder of where I’ve been and where I’m going,” he shared. “This is the first time I’ve displayed my work in the context of the school. I’ve resisted this, as I didn’t want to become the stereotypical self-referential artist/teacher, exclaiming to students, ‘see here, this is how it’s done!’ 

Going forward, Prindle will continue to paint and travel. “I have a passion for landscape painting. The light is different in different areas, so I want to continue to travel, observe, and paint different landscapes.” His favorite place to paint is Louisiana because of the “vibe, that lonely southern, haunted back road feeling” so it’s likely that he’ll be making a trip down there sometime soon. 

Internship program

Prindle also wanted to thank his art department interns for all of their hard work in putting together this show. “My team of interns are just incredible. They’ve organized this display, this presentation and it couldn’t be done without them.”

Ellie Wolgemuth has been an intern since she was a freshman. Now a junior, she said that her internship experience has provided her with a lot of skills that she wouldn’t have gotten otherwise. “This project was pretty chaotic,” she laughed. “It took us a while to hang all of the pieces and organize them on the walls. We start off by hanging the paintings in the center and moving outwards towards the edges of the walls.” 

Birdie Boyden, another intern, shared that she joined the internship program because of Ellie. “It’s been really fun!” 

“Ellie is the world’s top assistant,” Prindle said. “She’s got a great memory, and she’s incredibly professional. She’s been keeping track of so much leading up to the show.” 

Lastly, he extended his thanks to his coworkers at HVRHS. “I came here to do a job and I’m leaving with lifelong friends.” 

Warren Prindle’s exhibit will be on display now through January 15, 2024, in the Kearcher-Monsell Gallery, Paul Stoddard Library at Housatonic Valley Regional High School. Viewing times are weekdays between 10 am and 3 pm. You can learn more about the work at warrenprindle.com or @hvrhsgallery on Instagram. Contact Ellie Wolgemuth at ewolgemuth@hvrhs.org with any questions.