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Kevin Bean, 1957 – 2017
September 12, 2017 12:00 am
Location: Gunn Foyer, McMurtry Building - Map Link
FREE & OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
ON VIEW: MONDAY -THURSDAY | 9AM -10PM
FRIDAY - SATURDAY | 9AM - 5PM
SUNDAY | 1-10PM
RECEPTION: WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 20 | 5-7PM
In his twelve years as a lecturer in painting and drawing in the Department of Art & Art History, Kevin Bean helped to define its highest ideals. In the classroom, in his studio and in his life, Kevin gave everything to his art, everything to his students, and still had reserves of time and love to lavish on his family and friends.
As a teacher he was committed to strengthening the skills and self-confidence of his students, eliciting the best they could produce. Wise in the ways of correcting while encouraging, he left his students determined to grow. His belief in their potential to live their lives as artists remained with them long after they graduated. Former students valued his enduring friendship and active interest in their personal and professional lives.
Kevin explored various approaches to abstract and figurative painting. Many of his works include soft-edged figures that feel or are familiar (Jesus, snowmen). These paintings, which conjure memories and dreams, feature colored spots that could be snowflakes, dust motes in sunlight, or reflections from a discotheque’s mirrored ball. The ordered geometries of his later work, reflecting and refracting bold primary colors, convey his ongoing faith in the power of beauty. Their radiant polychrome surfaces are not escapist, but expressions of a man confronting the physical chaos of ALS who believed in art’s capacity to affirm his (and our) humanity and love of life.
Painting was his passion, and the source of his well-being: “If for some reason I don’t go to the studio for a couple days, I start doing stupid things like organizing my T-shirts by color and alphabetizing the spice drawer.” He urged his students to find and pursue their passion: “You’re supposed to be happy… you need to satisfy something in yourself.” Kevin found happiness in being an artist, a teacher and a man whose habitual kindness touched all who knew him.
VISITOR INFORMATION: The Gunn Foyer is located in the McMurtry Building on Stanford’s campus, at 355 Roth Way. Visitor parking is free all day on the weekend and after 4pm on weekdays, except by the oval. Alternatively, take the Caltrain to Palo Alto Transit Center and hop on the free Stanford Marguerite Shuttle.