Don Lake: A Watercolor Retrospective

June 17 - August 8, 2019

  • Reception Thursday, June 20, 5:30–7:30 pm
  • Gallery Talk at 6:00pm by Don Lake with opening remarks by Dr. Ramage
  • Music by The Derick Cordoba Trio
  • Additional Artist Lecture by Don Lake Tuesday, June 25 at 6pm in C118 Auditorium
  • Gallery Walk Through by Gisele Atterberry Tuesday, July 23 at noon 

Don Lake is a virtuoso in his skillful manipulation of transparent watercolor. Lake’s various bodies of highly realistic paintings share an inclination towards complex patterns, textural surfaces, and dramatic plays of light and dark. His paintings include remarkable skies, seasonal changes upon the land, and industrial sites. Lake describes his process, “I look for views that are unexpected, and perhaps until I have recorded them in a painting, uninspected. Sometimes, along the Sangamon for example, I have walked along hoping to find a distinctive view, but really the view finds me. And I know it when I see it.”

The Retrospective presents nearly thirty years of Lake’s creative research. “With this show I have had the opportunity to stop and look back.” Lake explains, “I am seeing my work as a diary of sorts; the paintings record my interests over time and I’m reminded of not only the big shifts in my focus but how the separate groups of work came into play.”

Lake grew up in Wichita, Kansas and later studied painting at Witchita State University (BFA ’68 and MFA ’70). In addition to being a professional artist, Lake has had a successful career in education and is a beloved Professor Emeritus of Parkland College. He has also served as faculty at Eastern Illinois University (Charleston, IL) and Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts (Gatlinburg, TN). Lake is the recipient of many awards and distinctions. Most recently Lake received the distinction of Honorary Member of the Watercolor Honor Society and was presented with the Watercolor Honor Society Lifetime Achievement Award. Currently Lake is located in Mahomet, Illinois, and his work is included among many collections throughout the United States and abroad. He is represented by Cinema Gallery in Urbana, IL.