Don Kimes divides his time between Chautauqua, Italy, and Washington, DC. For the past 26 summers he has been Artistic Director in the Visual Arts here at Chautauqua, now known as VACI (Visual Arts at Chautauqua Institution). Under Kimes' leadership Logan Galleries on Bestor Plaza was established as a center for exhibitions which last year moved into the fabulous new Fowler-Kellogg Art Center; the former Chautauqua Art Association merged with the Institution and that facility was renovated to become the extraordinary museum quality Strohl Art Center and the Melvin Johnson Sculpture Garden; the Chautauqua School of Art became one of the most highly respected summer art programs in the country, attracting advanced undergraduate to graduate level art students from throughout the United States and abroad; and two years ago the School of Art celebrated its 100th anniversary having been completely renovated in areas ranging from the painting and printmaking studios to the Joan Lincoln Ceramics Center.
When he's not at Chautauqua Don is the senior Professor of Fine Arts at American University in Washington, DC, where he served as Head of the Studio Art program for 15 years, and Chair of the Department of Fine Arts, Art History and Design for 11 years. He also established American University Visual Arts programs in Rome, Umbria and Florence, Italy, and led his department during a campaign which resulted in the construction Washington, D.C's newest venue for the Fine and Performing Arts, the American University Katzen Arts Center and Museum. Prior to his arrival at Chautauqua in the 1980's Don was Program Director at the NY Studio School, housed in the former Whitney Museum of American Art in Greenwich Village, where he also taught painting and drawing for 10 years, working alongside artists ranging from Lee Krasner and Elaine de Kooning to Philip Pearlstein, Christo and Jeanne Claude, and many of the most highly regarded contemporary artists working in America today.
Don has been a guest artist in numerous programs internationally including Harvard, Dartmouth, Bard, Carnegie Mellon, UC Davis, Cleveland Institute of Art, Parsons, Syracuse, the University of Perugia, the International School of Art in Umbria, the Universidad Juarez Autonoma in Mexico, the NY Studio School program in Rome, and many others.