Sep 28, 2009 Miranda L. Pennock Uncategorized
There’s no arguing Chip Fesko has waited a long time to show his artwork publicly — in fact, he’s been waiting for about three decades.
But after years of work and a growing collection of his art, the Borodino born and bred man had his first public art showing earlier this year in California, where he has resided since 1991.
“I’ve been painting for 30 years and initially tried to get a children’s book published with my watercolors in the early 80’s but it never happened,” Fesko said. “In the past two years I was trying to get my ‘bird’ paintings shown in the Newport Beach area at various public spaces that show local art, but it wasn’t until the Newport Beach Arts Foundation accepted my work that I got my first opportunity.”
At 53, it was quite a surprise to finally have his artwork chosen for showing. Fesko had submitted his art more than a year before he a got the call from the arts foundation.
“I thought my work was in the rejection pile a long time ago, but they do get [hundreds] of submissions so they had a big backlog of work to chose from,” he said.
His artwork was hung on display at Newport Beach City Hall from March through the end of May. Since that display, Fesko has had more opportunities to show — and now sell — his work.
“I was invited to show at the Newport Beach ‘Art In The Park’ in June, which is an outdoor art event at a local park,” he said. “You get to sell your work and then 30 percent of your sale is donated back to the Newport Beach Arts Foundation. I sold my first piece and it was great fun.”
While he doesn’t currently have other shows lined up, he is steadily working to find more venues to display the watercolor paintings. He said he would love to be able to bring his work home for an opening.
“Central New York is such a beautiful place … growing up around Skaneateles Lake really installed an appreciation of nature and the outdoors,” he said.
So, how exactly did Fesko end up all the way across the United States?
“I was fortunate to travel to almost all 50 states, except Alaska and North Dakota, when I was younger. I even rode my bicycle in 1986 across the US from Maine to Oregon,” he said. “I had to opportunity to open a West Coast Advertising Sales office for ‘AIR & SPACE Smithsonian Magazine’ and they wanted it in California.”
And so he picked up and moved to Newport Beach, Calif., in the early ’90s.
Like many artists, Fesko found the one media he was most able to bring his work to life with and has stuck with watercolor paints since. Before that time, though, he was a young man with just a pencil in hand sketching away.
“I really started to get interested in art when I was 16 and that’s when I started pencil drawings,” Fesko said. “I didn’t start watercolors until I was an undergraduate student at Fredonia State University where I took some art courses. I also took some graphic design courses at Syracuse when I went to graduate school at Newhouse.”
Despite the success of his “Birds” paintings, Fesko also works on other themes. At one time he completed some freelance artwork for NRN Design, a card company based in California.
He also has a large interest in poetry and is working on a children’s book of poems and other stories. His poem “Fireflies” was recently published, along with one of his watercolors, on galaxypix.com, an England-based Web site designed to help people and the scientific community track fireflies and glowworms around the world.
Fesko’s submissions can be found by logging onto galaxypix.com/glowworms/chipspoem.html.