Jak Kovatch, American (1963 - )
A native of Los Angeles, Kovatch studied at UCLA, Chouinard Art Institute, California School of Art (Los Angeles), Los Angeles City College, USC and Art Students League, New York. For many years- while going to school or painting in the daytime- he was on-call nights and weekends for X-ray duty in hospital and clinic ER, gaining valuable information about the human body and it’s working.
During the academic year 1979-80, he serves as a Mellon Fellow, participating in the Visiting Faculty Program at Yale University where Gabor Peterdi was his acting host in drawing printmaking. In the summer of 1981, Kovatch continued this program. In 1982 he once again returned to Yale – as a Mellon Special Fellow.
He has been working on a series of etching and painting exploring his concept of “Image Continuum” since 1952. Some funding for this project was made possible through a grant from the Connecticut Commission on the Arts. Since 1992 he has been working on a series of mixed media painting, often combining etching inks with an oil painting technique- on printmaking or water color papers.
While living on the West Coast, he became involved in printmaking and in 1952 studied and worked in the Lynton Kistler Studio (Los Angeles) – a name highly regarded by lithographic printmakers. He worked in the animation department at Walt Disney Productions and designed stage sets for the internationally acclaimed theater director-choreographer Benjamin Zemach. After moving to the East Coast, for short time he did freelance illustration for major publications and companies. Kovatch then turning to teaching.
Kovatch has more than 45 years experience teaching art design students. At present, he is a Silvermine School of Art faculty member, teaching drawing, figure and anatomy. At the University of Bridgeport (1962-1994), he was Ethyl Professor of Industrial Design and taught in the Design and Art departments. He also was an instructor in several public and private institutions – teaching sculpture at Fairfield University and art at Roger Ludlowe High School, Fairfield, and the New York City College Extension Division. He also taught at The Famous Artists Schools, Westport, CT., and Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, Ridgefield, CT.
In 1949 he first exhibited work at the Los Angeles County Museum – at the age of 20. Since then he has exhibited paintings, drawings, sculpture and graphics in more than 700 regional, national and international museums, universities and institutions, including the Museum of Modern Art (NY), Boston Museum of Fine Arts, Wadsworth Athenaeum (CT), Lyman Allyn Museum (CT), Albany Institute of History and Art (NY), Michael C. Rockefeller Arts Center, State University College (NY), Art Complex Museum, Duxbury (MA), Yale University, Hunterdon Art Center (NJ), Smithsonian Institution (National Collection of Fine Arts), Butler Institute of American Art (OH), M.H. DeYoung Memorial Museum (CA), Issac Delgado Museum of Art, New Orleans (LA), Laguana Gloria Art Museum, Austin (TX), Governor’s Residence, Hartford (CT), Slater Memorial Museum (CT), The William Benton Museum of Art (CT), Connecticut Commission on the Arts, Hartford (CT), Legislative Building, Hartford (CT), Department of Consumer Protection Building, Hartford (CT), New Britian Museum of American Art (CT), Plymouth State College (NH), Brockton Art Center (MA), Boston Center for the Arts (MA), Northeastern University, Boston (MA), De Cordova Museum, Lincoln (MA), Springfield College (MA), Morris Museum (NJ), Davidson College, Stowe Gallery (NC), Birmingham Museum of Art (AL), Clark Arts Center, Rockford College (IL), California State Polytechnic Institute, Pacificulture Asia Museum (CA), Oakland Art Museum (CA), The Print Club, Philadelphia (PA), Museo de Bellas Artes de Caracas, Honolulu Academy of Arts (Hawaii), University of Hawaii at Hilo, Metropolitan Museum of Art (Tokyo), Museum of Modern Art, Wakayama (Japan), Taipei Fine Arts Museum, Taiwan (Republic of China), Barbican Arts Centre (London), Society of American Graphic Artists (SAGA), Fairfield University (CT), Bruce Museum, Greenwich (CT), Denver Art Museum (CO), Hudson River Museum (NY), Hammond Museum (NY), and in New York City- Krasner Gallery, Shippee Gallery, Art Students League, Pratt Institute, Dome Gallery, National Academy of Design, National Arts Club, Salmagundi Club, and American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters.
His works are in the collections of the Fogg Museum of Art (Harvard University); the Library of Congress and The Joseph Hirshhorn Museum at the Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC; the University of Mississippi, and in Brazil – the Art Museum of Joinville, State of Santa Catarina; the House of Prints, Curitiba Cultural Foundation, Parana; and the Cabo Frio International Print Collection, Cabo Frio. His art can be also seen in corporate collections, as well as the late Albert Dorne. Locally, his works are in the Bicentennial Art Collection (Town Hall, Westport), Town of Fairfield Art Collection, Greenwich Library (CT), Westport Library (CT), collection of The Print Club of Albany (NY) and the John Slade Ely House, New Haven (CT).
Since 1954, he has won more than 180 honors, prizes and awards. In Connecticut he is represented by the Silvermine Guild Arts Center, New Canaan, CT. He is a member of more than 20 professional organizations including The Audubon Artists, Inc. NY (Board of Directors, Graphics 1995), Silvermine Guild of Arts Center (CT), Connecticut Academy of Fine Arts, The Greenwich Art Society (CT), The Print Club of Albany (NY), Society of American Graphic Artists (SAGA) NY, Boston Printmakers, Los Angeles Printmaking Society, New Haven Paint & Clay Club, Inc., and Westport Arts Center.
His biography appears in, or has appeared in, the Dictionary of International Biography, International Who’s Who in Community Service, Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in the East, Who’s Who in the World, and Who’s Who in Society. Represented by the Silvermine Guild Galleries in New Canaan, CT.