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Walter O’Neill Retires From Boca Raton Museum Art School, Pursues Life As Full-Time Artist With Expertise In Buon Fresco

Walter O’Neill has retired from the Boca Raton Museum Art School to return to his own painting. Little did we know that the indefatigable Art School Director is an expert in the technique of buon fresco!  Before his career in managing community art schools, in New York and in Boca Raton, Walter was a full-time artist. During summers, he taught fresco painting at the famed Skowhegan School art residency in Maine.  He creates easel-size abstract frescoes as well as painted fresco murals.  The Rickie Report is excited to share some of Walter’s artistry and we wish him well on this new leg of his creative journey!


Walter O’Neill

Walter O’Neill’s Studio ( partial view)
Walter first learned the Renaissance technique of painting on fresh plaster as a student at Skowhegan and practiced and taught the technique for many years before returning to Skowhegan to teach.  This fall, an image of his one of his frescoes will appear in the 3rd edition of “Gateway to the Arts” the popular art appreciation text book that is used in colleges and advanced placement high school art history classes throughout the United States.
Fresco by Walter O’Neill
During his tenure at The Boca Raton Museum Art School Walter increased enrollment each year by enriching the quality of the programming as well as developing new classes to attract new students. He increased the number and variety of evening and Saturday classes, and sought out local artists to offer new classes such as textile classes with Andrea Huffman; colored pencil drawing and oil pastel classes taught by Genie Appel-Cohen. The ceramics department doubled in size with new faculty and additional classes for adults, teens and children.  He made the Boca Museum Art School more welcoming to people with any level of experience and background in the arts creating classes for beginners and for busy working adults.  By eliminating juried student exhibits he invited every student to participate in the monthly art gallery exhibits as well as the many off-site exhibits he organized.
Close-up of Fresco by Walter O’Neill
Walter has created fresco mural commissions in New York, Maine, and California, s well as paints portable fresco on a variety of support surfaces. His abstract oil paintings are also related to the design of visual narrative in Renaissance frescoes. His fresco classes at Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture transformed the program into an integral part of the “Skowhegan experience”. He taught fresco at The Cloister, the Medieval branch of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and presented fresco workshops at museums and colleges including: J.Paul Getty Museum, LA County Museum of Art, Morgan Library, Queens Art Museum, University of WI, Williams College, University of Southern California, and Adelphi University.
In addition to fresco painting, Walter  paints intimate scaled abstract paintings. We look forward to seeing Walter O’Neill’s artwork in South Florida.  He will be presenting fresco workshops concurrent with the publication of “Gateway to the Arts”.  

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