Andrew Stein Raftery
Fellow: Awarded 2008
Field of Study: Fine Arts
Competition: US & Canada
Andrew Raftery has brought a contemporary vision to the centuries-old art of engraving and printmaking. He earned his B.F.A. in painting from Boston University in 1984, and four years later he completed his M.F.A. in printmaking from Yale University.
His skills in both painting and printmaking were featured in his first solo exhibition, in 1994 at the Hackett-Friedman Gallery in San Francisco, which consisted of two sets of narrative paintings that he had completed in the six years since he had received his M.F.A, and the prints he had made as studies for those paintings.
The following year he accepted an appointment as Assistant Professor of Printmaking at the Rhode Island School of Design (advancing to Associate Professor in 2001) and was appointed head of the printmaking department just one year later. He held that position until 2005, when he became Faculty Fellow at the RISD Museum. As part of his responsibilities at the RISD Museum he has co-curated several exhibitions, including Working the Stone: Process and Progress of Lithography (1998), provided educational materials to accompany Chiarascuro: A Matter of Tone (2004), and served as consulting curator for the latest exhibition, The Brilliant Line: The Journey of the Early Modern Engraver (2009), and contributed an essay and educational materials for it. His effectiveness as an educator was honored in 2007 with the John R. Frazier Award for Excellence in Teaching as well as the Boston University Distinguished Alumni Award.
Meanwhile, Mr. Raftery’s own art was gaining ever more attention. In 1998 the Frye Art Museum mounted a ten-year retrospective of his work entitled The Narrative Impulse, and the new works featured there were also presented in his second show at the Hackett-Friedman Gallery. But it was perhaps his portfolio of copperplate engravings Suit Shopping: An Engraved Narrative (2002), funded in part by a Fritz Eichenberg Fellowship in Printmaking awarded by the Rhode Island State Council for the Arts, that won him wide-ranging recognition. It was exhibited in New York City at the International Print Center, the Mary Ryan Gallery, the New York Public Library; the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.; Museum of Contemporary Art in Cleveland; the Vose Galleries in Boston; and other venues. It was reviewed in Art on Paper, the subject of a full-length article in American Artist Drawing, and featured in Jonathan Weinberg’s Male Desire: The Homoerotic in American Art. Ten museums in the U.S. and numerous private individuals acquired it for their collections.
His mastery of his art was further recognized with a Louis Comfort Tiffany Award in 2003 and the American Academy of Arts and Letters Purchase Award in 2006.
Andrew Raftery’s unique narrative series often take years of painstaking work to complete. He used his Guggenheim Fellowship to complete his current project, Open House, which took about five years from inception till its exhibition at the Mary Ryan Gallery in 2009.