Discipline: Interdisciplinary Art – performance

David Whelan

Discipline: Interdisciplinary Art – performance
Region: Marblehead, MA
MacDowell Fellowships: 2015

David Whelan is an artist and writer living in Brooklyn, New York. His paintings are made from observation, mostly around his neighborhood and places he visits in rural Maine. They depict the natural and built environments of the Northeast, and are primarily concerned with light and shape. Combining spontaneity with restraint, Whelan boils these subjects down to their essential qualities, revealing something unexpected in the process.

During his residency in 2015, Whelan started assembling his book Stay Close, which presents a selection of watercolors he made with his mother who was living with Dementia. Stay Close was completed and published in 2022.

Portrait by Kyle Knodell



David Whelan worked in the Nef studio.

Nef Studio, the first entirely new studio built after 1937, was donated by esteemed photographer, explorer, author, and MacDowell Fellow Evelyn Steffanson Nef in 1992. Endowed funds for the studio’s maintenance in perpetuity and an annual Fellowship for photographers were given in addition to funds for construction. Mrs. Nef said she had known about MacDowell all her…

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