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Students of Brian O’Neill Fine Art to Present Collection of Work, “Legacy,” at Fisher’s O’Keefe Ross Gallery

January 20, 2023

Years of dedication and artistic passion will be on display for “Legacy”—a collection of realism drawings and oil paintings created by the students of artist Brian O’Neill. This extraordinary body of work includes current and alumni artists of the Brian O’Neill Fine Art Studio.

Left - Daydreamer by Brian O'Neill and Right - Heirloom by Jane Patrick

The show will be displayed from Monday, Feb. 6 through Friday, April 28, at the Patricia O’Keefe Ross Gallery, located in the Joseph S. Skalny Welcome Center at St. John Fisher University. An opening reception for the exhibit will take place from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 8. Gallery hours are Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. It is free and open to the public.

O’Neill’s students have immersed themselves in a century’s old, codified technique of academic drawing and painting skills. The shared knowledge of one artist working with another becomes a legacy of craft that has unlocked hidden creative gifts for countless aspiring artists. O’Neill’s students are producing stunning realism works of art that at one time seemed impossible prior to training with him. “Legacy” will feature almost 50 pieces of original artwork, created under the tutelage and guidance of O’Neill in his atelier located at the historic Hungerford Building.

O’Neill’s Teaching Philosophy

“Every artist has a personal voice that should be nurtured and encouraged. I have a saying in the studio, learn to listen, listen to learn. Artists come to me with hope, fear, and a lot of predetermined ideas of how and why art is made. All of which are valid and important. I meet the artist where they are and not some unrealistic lofty goal that would only set them up to fail. I ask my students to empty out of what they think they know about art, technique, prior training, and become teachable to a new way of seeing based on logic and discipline. For some the change is immediate, for others it is a longer process. The program I teach is not for everyone—it is demanding, you need patience, it is not a quick fix, it is a journey and evolution based on honesty, self-discovery, and willingness. What is produced by these factors is a drawing or painting that is magnificent both on the surface and what is not seen by the viewer within the artist who created it, a new sense of purpose, esteem, and confidence.”

About the Students

O’Neill’s students come to him from diverse educational and professional backgrounds, however, their shared passion for art is a unifying factor. Some are retired from years of climbing the corporate ladder, practicing law or healing people as a physical therapist, while others are active among the work force as a veterinary radiologist and a nurse. Despite the differences, their common goals within the walls of O’Neill’s studio offer a safe space for each to grow and evolve at their own pace.

About Brian O’Neill

O’Neill has been a professional artist for over 20 years. His work has been exhibited internationally, received numerous prestigious awards, and has been included in several museum exhibitions across the country. He is one of the few artists that has found success in both realism and abstract work. He received his formal training at the Ani Art Academy, a private atelier in Pennsylvania under the guidance of world-renowned realism painter Mr. Anthony Waichulis. O’Neill’s work hangs in both public and private collections in Rochester, New York, including “Highland Park in Bloom” 12x8 ft, commissioned for the lobby of Highland Hospital and most recently, a portrait of Genaro Felix, head maître d’ at the Genesee Valley Club. His studio is both a work and teaching space, where he can share with his students a lineage and legacy of knowledge passed from one artist to another for generations. For more information, visit Brian O'Neill Fine Art.