Art Professor Showcases Career in Area Exhibition
Greg Constantine's retrospective continues through Mar. 13 at Goshen College
Greg Constantine, artist-in-residence and research professor of art, emeritus, at Andrews University is showcasing his art experience since 1974 in a retrospective exhibition titled “My Art Journey.” The exhibit runs from Jan. 23 to Mar. 13, 2022, at Goshen College, Indiana, where Constantine serves as the 2021 Eric Yake Kenagy Visiting Artist.
“I started being an artist when I was less than one year old,” Constantine shares, recalling how he spent his childhood filling his papers and workbooks with drawings. From the beginning of his life to the present, he has been thoroughly invested in the world of art, having held 22 solo exhibits in premier New York galleries and participated in 43 years of formative teaching work at Andrews University. He has exhibited nationally since 1969 and internationally since 1975.
During his time at Andrews, Constantine taught painting, drawing and art history and led 16 summer sessions in Europe. In 2014, he was awarded the Andrews University Siegfried H. Horn Award for Excellence in Research & Creative Scholarship. Despite his retirement from teaching in 2006, Constantine serves as artist-in-residence and research artist, with a studio on the Andrews University campus.
Over the span of his art career, Constantine engaged with many different eras of art inspiration, styles and subjects. His collection ranges from sculptures to sketches to paintings, with creative mediums such as license plates and picture frames. His art has led him all over the world, where he has had the opportunity to touch the lives of many people.
Although Constantine acknowledges that everything he creates is much like his children, making it difficult to admit to a favorite, he pinpointed two pieces that have connection to his proudest artistic accomplishments, both of which are on display in his gallery.
He says, “If you’re going to nail me down, my favorite ones are my license plates, which started in 1980, exhibited in 1981.” Constantine’s license plates are a series of one-of-a-kind, hand crafted and painted metal plates, often placed together to spell out a word or phrase of his choosing. He has experimented with multiple iterations, including art quotes, New York quotes and car quotes explaining, “They are visually entertaining and most of them are humorous—that’s what I focus on. I also did some that were a series that are my [personal] statements.”
Another era he has been especially proud of centers around his 11-book series, beginning with “Vincent van Gogh Visits New York.” He notes, “When I started getting books published starting in 1983, I never dreamed that I’d even publish one book, but now I’ve done eleven of them. I find that it’s another way to share my thoughts, my concepts, my ideas and distribute them, almost universally.”
Constantine’s art journey has not always been easy. He has pushed on through periods of rejection and difficulty in order to achieve success. He offers three pieces of advice for other aspiring artists who might wish to pursue a similar path: “You have to have a body of work, and then go persevere by knocking on doors and not stopping with rejections. You really have to have a lot of ambition and you have to believe in yourself.”
He states, “I have had prayers answered before I prayed them. I don’t know if that happens very often, but I was going to pray about something and here I had the solution already. I had to thank the Lord for directing my life.”
Constantine considers it an honor to be a part of the Kenagy visiting artist program, saying, “I’m amazed at how this exhibition looks, all in one place. I’m very thankful. These are works that have been created over the last 59 years.”
His work can be found at the Hershberger Art Gallery, which is located in the north lobby of the Goshen College Music Center at College Avenue and 12th Street in Goshen, Indiana. It is open on weekdays from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.