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Bruce A. Blair
Bruce Allen Blair (American, 1951-)Western New York artist known for his landscape paintings in watercolor and acrylic. Bruce was born May 17, 1951 to well known watercolorists Robert Noel Blair (1912-2003) and Jeanette (née Kenney) Blair (American, 1922-2016), he had two older siblings; Jeanne E. (1945-1965) and David F. (1948-).

Bruce studied at the Art Institute of Boston, MA, from 1970-73, and also with his father. His career mainly focused on the Western New York area and his first solo show was held in 1971 in Springville, NY. He continued to exhibit extensively throughout the 1970’s and 1980’s in and around the Western New York region as well as participating in various national exhibitions in New York (prize, 1985), Pennsylvania, Ohio, Wyoming (Third Prize, 1972) and Arizona. He has won numerous awards for his work and is a member of the Buffalo Society of Artists.

“His body of work has always been interpreted as spontaneous but as his career progressed the landscapes became less objective. Because of this abstraction and continued spontaneity, his work has been called both impressionist and expressionist.”[1]

“Bruce Blair’s light, airy landscapes take a viewer back to fleeting moments when the trees, fields and water seemed to pick up extra light and scatter it into colors.”[2]

His work can be found in numerous private and public collections including: the Burchfield Penney Art Center, Buffalo, NY, Buscaglia Castellani Gallery (now the Castellani Art Museum), Niagara Falls, NY, Goldome Bank, Buffalo, NY, M&T Bank, Buffalo, NY, Liberty National Bank, Buffalo, NY, Penn Bank and Trust Company, Titusville, PA, Moot and Sprage Law Firms, Buffalo, NY, Moog Inc., Elma, NY, Hooker Chemical Company, Niagara Falls (now Occidental Chemical Corporation), NY, Alberta Gas & Trunkline Company, Calgary, Alberta, Canada, and Maureen O’Hara Glengarriff, Ireland. Bruce currently resides in the family home in Holland, NY.

Artist Statement:

“True art is the combination of the conscious and the unconscious.

Most of my work is plein air where I am inspired by the natural elements around me. I choose to paint subjects that are interesting compositionally. In much of my work with water-based paint, I try to capture the essence of a subject with minimal detail using spontaneous lines, washes, and controlled splatters and by leaving white space to create the illusion of light, depth, and movement.”
[3] –Bruce Blair 2017


Chronology:

1951- Born, May 17, to well known watercolorist Robert Noel Blair (1912-2003) and watercolorist Jeanette Ann (née Kenney) Blair (American, 1922-2016), and he had two older siblings; Jeanne E. (1945-1965) and David F. (1948-), Holland, NY.

1970-73- Studied at the Art Institute of Boston, MA.

1971- Exhibited, first solo show, Springville, NY.

1972- Exhibited, three-person show, Central Park Gallery, Buffalo, NY. Exhibited, group national show (Third Prize), “Wind River Valley National Exhibit”, Wyoming.

1973- Exhibited, group show (First National Bank Award), Olean Art Association, held at the First Presbyterian Church, Olean, NY. Exhibited, group show (First Prize), Outdoor Show, Olean Art Association, Olean Public Library Gallery, Olean, NY. Exhibited, group show (First Prize), Outdoor Show, Cheektowaga, NY. Exhibited, group show (First Prize), Outdoor Show, Boston, NY. Exhibited, group show (First Prize), Outdoor Show, Holland, NY. Exhibited, group show (First Prize), Outdoor Show, Twin Village, Depew, NY.

1974- Exhibited, solo show, Olean Public Library Gallery, Olean, NY. Exhibited, three-person show, Art Upstairs, Gallery Without Walls, Orchard Park, NY. Exhibited, group juried show, “Buffalo Scenes Exhibit”, AAO Gallery, Buffalo, NY. Exhibited, group national show, “Cooperstown National Exhibit”, Cooperstown, NY.

1975- Exhibited, solo show, Lara Gallery, Glenwood, NY. Exhibited, solo show, Plaza Suite, Buffalo, NY. Exhibited, two-person show, Art Upstairs, Orchard Park, NY. Exhibited, group juried show, “Western new York Exhibit”, Albright Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY. Exhibited, group show (Prize, Citizens National Bank and Trust Award), Olean Art Association, Olean Public Library, Olean, NY. Exhibited, group juried show, “Liberty in Art Exhibit”, AAO Gallery, Buffalo, NY. Exhibited, group juried show, “Representational Show”, AAO Gallery, Buffalo, NY. Exhibited, group juried show, “Annual Open Show”, AAO Gallery, Buffalo, NY. Exhibited, group national show, “Casper National Show”, Casper, WY.

1976- Exhibited, solo show, Erie Community College, Buffalo, NY. Exhibited, solo show, Park School Gallery, Buffalo, NY. Exhibited, two-person show, Brian Art Galleries, Niagara Falls, NY. Exhibited, two-person show, Lara Gallery, Colden, NY. Exhibited, group juried show, “Annual Open Show”, AAO Gallery, Buffalo, NY. Exhibited, group national show, “Aqueous Open”, Pittsburgh, PA. Exhibited, group national show, “Chautauqua National Show”, Chautauqua, NY. Exhibited, group national show, “White Mountains National Show”, Arizona. Exhibited, group show (Prizes, First Place & Best of Show), “Franklinville Jaycees’ 14th Annual Western New York Maple Festival”, for two paintings, Franklinville, NY.

1977- Exhibited, solo show, Gallery 219, University of Buffalo, Buffalo, NY. Exhibited, solo show, Butler Library, Buffalo State University, Buffalo, NY. Exhibited, solo show, Erie Community College Library, Buffalo, NY. Exhibited, solo show, Park School Gallery, Buffalo, NY. Exhibited, group juried show, “Annual Open Show”, AAO Gallery, Buffalo, NY. Exhibited, group national show, Arena 77, Binghamton, NY.

1978- Exhibited, solo show, “Luminous Landscapes”, Jerel Gallery, Buffalo, NY. Exhibited, three-person show, Niagara Falls Art Center, Niagara Falls, NY. Exhibited, group juried show, “Western New York Exhibit”, Albright Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY. Exhibited, group juried show, “Tifft Farm Exhibit”, Lackawanna, NY. Exhibited, group juried show, “Annual Open Show”, AAO Gallery, Buffalo, NY. Exhibited, group national show, “Cooperstown National Exhibit”, Cooperstown, NY.

1979- Exhibited, group juried show, “Winter Show”, AAO Gallery, Buffalo, NY. Exhibited, group juried show, “Annual Open Show”, AAO Gallery, Buffalo, NY.

1980- Exhibited, solo show, Jerel Gallery, Buffalo, NY. Exhibited, group juried show, “Niagara Frontier Art Exhibit”, Kenan Center, Lockport, NY. Exhibited, group juried show, “Annual Open Show”, AAO Gallery, Buffalo, NY. Exhibited, group national show, “Butler National Show”, Youngstown, OH. Exhibited, group national show, “All on paper International Show”, AAO Gallery, Buffalo, NY.

1981- Exhibited, group juried show, “Western New York Exhibit”, Albright Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY. Exhibited, group juried show, “Annual Open Show”, AAO Gallery, Buffalo, NY.

1982- Exhibited, group show, “Thirty-ninth Annual Western New York Exhibition”, Albright Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY. Exhibited, two-person show, The Benjaman Gallery, Buffalo, NY. Exhibited, five-person show, “Two Families and Two Generations of Great Art”, The Benjaman Gallery, Buffalo, NY.

1983- Exhibited, group juried show, “Annual Open Exhibit”, Buscaglia Castellani Gallery (now the Castellani Art Museum), Niagara University, Niagara Falls, NY. 1984- Exhibited, group juried show, “Spring Show”, AAO Gallery, Buffalo, NY. Exhibited, group juried show, “Annual Open Show”, AAO Gallery, Buffalo, NY. Exhibited, group national show, “Cooperstown National Exhibit”, Cooperstown, NY.

1985- Exhibited, solo show, Kenan Center, Lockport, NY. Exhibited, two-person show, “Bruce Blair and Mark Griffis”, Kenan Center, Lockport, NY. Exhibited, three-person show, Kenan Center, Lockport, NY. Exhibited, group juried show, “All Media Show”, AAO Gallery, Buffalo, NY. Exhibited, group juried show, “Niagara Falls New Impressions”, Burchfield Center (now the Burchfield Penney Art Center), Buffalo, NY. Exhibited, group national show, “Cooperstown National Exhibit”, Cooperstown, NY.

1986- Exhibited, solo show, AAO Gallery, Buffalo, NY. Exhibited, group national show, “Cooperstown National Exhibit”, Cooperstown, NY.

1987- Exhibited, solo show, Art Dialogue Gallery Ltd., Buffalo, NY.

1990- Exhibited, solo show, The Benjaman Gallery, Buffalo, NY.

Exhibited Other: Tonawanda Council of the Arts, Tonawanda, NY.

Memberships/Associations: Buffalo Society of Artists, Buffalo, NY; Olean Art Association, Olean, NY.

Awards/Honors: National Prize (3rd Prize), Wind River Valley, 1972; First National Bank Award, Olean Art Association, held at the First Presbyterian Church, Olean, NY, 1973; First Prize, Outdoor Show, Olean Art Association, Olean, NY, 1973; First Prize, Outdoor Show, Cheektowaga, NY, 1973; First Prize, Outdoor Show, Boston, NY, 1973; First Prize, Outdoor Show, Holland, NY, 1973; First Prize, Outdoor Show, Twin Village, Depew, NY, 1973; Citizens National Bank and Trust Award, Olean Art Association, Olean Public Library, Olean, NY, 1975; First Place & Best of Show, “Franklinville Jaycees’ 14th Annual Western New York Maple Festival”, for two paintings, Franklinville, NY, 1976; National Prize, Cooperstown, NY, 1985; First Prize, Hamburg Outdoor Show, unknown year; First Prize, Allentown Art Festival, Buffalo, NY, unknown year; First Prize, East Aurora, unknown year; First Prize, Erie County Parks Department Show, Buffalo, NY, unknown year.

Collections: Burchfield Penney Art Center, Buffalo, NY; Charles Rand Penney Collection, Olcott, NY; Buscaglia Castellani Gallery (now the Castellani Art Museum), Niagara University, Niagara Falls, NY; Goldome Bank, Buffalo, NY; M&T Bank, Buffalo, NY; Liberty National Bank, Buffalo, NY; Moot and Sprage Law Firms, Buffalo, NY; Moog Inc., Elma, NY; Penn Bank and Trust Company, Titusville, PA; Hooker Chemical Company, Niagara Falls (now Occidental Chemical Corporation), NY; Alberta Gas & Trunkline Company, Calgary, Alberta, Canada; and Maureen O’Hara, Glengarriff, Ireland.

(Rewritten in parts & compiled by Mark Strong of Meibohm Fine Arts, Inc., East Aurora, NY, meibohmfinearts.com, sources: Biographical information from the artist, including quote [2] from the news article, The Buffalo News, “Jerel Gallery: Blair Art Captures Feel for the Land”, by Susan Clark, Saturday, April 15, 1978, and quote [3] artist statement from Bruce Blair; burchfieldpenney.org, brief biographical information and quote [1]; news article, The Buffalo Evening News, “Brian Art Galleries: Blair–So Competent at Everything”, Section IV-63, Arts-Drama, October, unknown day, 1977; news article, The Buffalo News, “Art Notes”, May, unknown day, 1982; news article, Union Sun & Journal (Lockport, NY), “Kenan To Bring Together Paint, Iron”, by Shaun Hardy, Saturday, April 20, 1985; fultonhistory.com, online digitized newspaper article, Olean Times Herald (Olean, NY), “Preview Olean Art Exhibit”, by Elaine Niver, Pg. 4, Monday, May 21, 1973; fultonhistory.com, online digitized newspaper article, Olean Times Herald (Olean, NY), “Art Exhibit: Library To Open Sundays”, Pg. 2, Wednesday, October 30, 1974; fultonhistory.com, online digitized newspaper article, Olean Times Herald (Olean, NY), “Art Show Winners Listed”, Pg. 2, Monday, May 5, 1975; fultonhistory.com, online digitized newspaper article, Olean Times Herald (Olean, NY), “A Damp Franklinville Maple Festival: But, The Sun DID Come Out For Parade!”, by Ann Close, Pg. 4, Monday, April 26, 1976; fultonhistory.com, online digitized newspaper article, Olean Times Herald (Olean, NY), “Art As I See It: Numerous Art Events Looming In Near Future”, by Marion E. Coughlin, Pg. 6, Thursday, March 11, 1982.)
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