In 2009 ACS launched its Mentor Program to identify individuals who would consult with the organization in defining its direction and growth. The program specified that Mentors would be selected from specialists in the art field: recognized artists, gallery directors, museum curators, or marketing professionals. In lending their expertise and experience, ACS Mentors would serve in an advisory role for the ACS board.
As the first and current ACS Mentor, collage artist John Morse has shared his many skills and generous spirit with the organization. His knowledge and enthusiasm continue to benefit the ACS membership on many levels through the energetic commitment of his participation.
John Morse – represented by Maxwell Gallery, Atlanta, GA,
John Morse showed an early childhood interest in art and at age 11 began twice-weekly evening oil painting classes. He attended for four years and soon earned commissions creating portraits, landscapes and murals. From the age of 15 he worked as a sign painter, including interstate billboards. At 16, he left home and moved to the Oregon coast where he worked on poster arts and super-graphic murals. With the exception of two years of high school art class, he received no further formal art training.
In 1981 he moved to Barcelona, earning money selling his street scene watercolors. When funds for materials ran low, he often made collages from found papers, mostly litter. He then became art director at Diagonal, at the time the foremost art and culture magazine of Spain. While in Barcelona, he and fellow expatriate Brice Hammack formed Chi-Perro Studios, which created art from disposable plastic, including trash bags, grocery sacks and plastic wrap.
In 1982 Morse returned to America, and soon made New York City home. From 1984 to 1988, he produced A-R-T, a silent, 30-minute program on Manhattan Cable Television that each week presented a single screen image intended to convert the television into a sculptural box (the first episode offered the interior of an oven baking a chicken).
From 1986 to 1991, he served as a director of Socrates Sculpture Park, a five-acre park on the banks of the East River in New York City dedicated to the exhibition of monumental sculpture. It is now part of the city’s parks department.
His collage, drawings, watercolors, sculptures and installations have been exhibited at Kentler International Drawing Space, Brooklyn; Islip Art Museum, Islip, New York; and Match Fine Print, New York City. He is represented by Maxwell Gallery in Atlanta and Scoop Gallery in Charleston, South Carolina and currently also hangs at Silas Marder Gallery in Bridgehampton, New York, and R. Roberts Gallery in Jacksonville, Florida.
His work is in the private collections of, among others, sculptor Mark di Suvero; New York Commissioner of Cultural Affairs, Kate Levin; New York Commissioner of Transportation, Janette Sadik-Khan; installation artist and sculptor Eve Sussman; Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love; and Jacques d’Amboise, founder of the National Dance Institute.
Morse and his partner, Ross Pedersen, have a home in East Atlanta Village and an apartment in New York’s East Village.