David Sparks is a professional artist and entrepreneur returned to southwestern PA after several years on the west coast, 12 years in Orange County, CA, and 10 years in Seattle, WA.
I worked mostly as senior corporate creative during that time, plus did some arts related non-profit work. I have an Associates degree from the Art Institute Pittsburgh and a Bachelor of Arts In Fine Art from California University of Pennsylvania.
Since retuning to PA, I have been immersed in non-profit. I currently work for a consulting company where I provide technical support to desktop computer users. Most recently, I served as the Arts Program Director at the Charleroi Art & History Center, now SwiftWaters Arts Network, where, for 3 years, we (my wife and I, and some really great friends) have been building a reputation for producing quality regional exhibits. I also teach art classes to young and old alike. I am a member of the Associated Artists of Pittsburgh, and am currently an ex-board member, still responsible for the organizations Web site, and I am, a member of the Pittsburgh Society of Artists.
I have worked in the art field professionally since 1968, doing everything from basic page layout to high-end digital design. I was the Director of Technology at the Art Institute of Seattle for five years, where I built their digital photography program and taught senior level photo and design classes. I have done design and Web work for Microsoft, Classmates, Boeing, Disney, Warner Brothers, Vaurnet, Body Glove, Mossimo and numerous other corporations.
I have been exhibiting my work extensively throughout Pennsylvania. My work has a been shown in several juried and invitational exhibitions throughout the region, including the Carnegie Museum of Art, The Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, Gallery 707 in the Cultural District, Pittsburgh Technical Institute, Iron Gate Gallery Touchstone Center for Crafts, Sweetwater Center for the Arts - Sewickley and SwiftWaters Arts Center - Charleroi PA.
Personally, I do mostly photographic work. What began as a means to create studies for prints and paintings of my own has become an artistic pursuit. I have studied photography since art school, and still consider myself a student. And, while I now exclusively use a digital camera and digital production, I use them in a very traditional photographic process. I print what I shoot through the lens. My photos are not “treated” or cropped in Photoshop, but are printed as I saw them through the lens, with few exceptions. I am also computer literate, and do most of my design and illustration in Adobe Creative Suite, and have been know to create a “digital painting,” or two, based on a photographic image.
My artistic vision has been strongly influenced by Man Ray, Andy Warhol and Ansel Adams, and the light and color of Maxfield Parrish. Illustrative influences include Andy Warhol, Bob Peak, and Jackson Pollock. Although most of my work is quite clearly representational, I call on the spirit of these artists in the initial conception of my work.
Although I enjoy doing shows and exhibits, and find them very gratifying, they are not the reason that I do art. I do art because it is what I do. I am an artist and have always been one. I knew as a child that I would do art, all of my life. I do not feel that because I am an artist that I am different or special. I do feel that I have been gifted with a talent and a different perspective on life, and I enjoy sharing that with others.