The QCC Art Gallery of the City University of New York

Carapace Explorations by Dr. Tony Monahan
Carapace Explorations
Dr. Tony Monahan
February 18 through April 10, 2016
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Dr. Tony Monahan

I have been a professional educator for many years. I have taught in public and private schools in New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, California, Dominican Republic, and Brazil. Since 2011, I have had the pleasure of working at Queensborough Community College as an Assistant Professor for the Health, Physical Education and Dance department.

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I am also compelled to produce art. I am a self-taught artist and have been producing artwork since 1997. I started working with acrylic paints on canvas and soon switched to working with papers, specifically paper structure. My pieces usually contain elements of color, nature, science, mathematical sequencing, geometry, as well as representations of physics, astronomy, human anatomy, world languages, fantasy and folklore.

I tend to see and construct my artwork predominantly through the use of turtles, which manifest themselves in various designs and patterns. A carapace is the turtle’s shell (specifically the top half). The shape and design of its shell is universally recognized and identify this particular animal to all people and cultures. Along with protection and strength, the shell of a turtle provides intricate designs, color and geometrical structure.

Artistic Mediums

Paintings: Acrylic paint on stretched canvass

Paper Structures: selected papers layered with mat board and constructed with glue, rice starch, and reinforced with stainless steel screws, nuts and bolts. I do not use paints to color or design the paper. The papers are procured for their color, texture, patterns, and compatibility with the images I am planning. I often spend years collecting the right types of paper before starting a piece of art. It has taken 18 years to produce 50 quality pieces – an average of 3 per year.

I have artwork currently on display in the following institutions:

  • Eastern Connecticut State University
  • Escola Rosa Azul (Brazil)
  • Fitchburg State University (MA)
  • The Helen Keller National Center (NY)
  • Peace Dale Library (RI)
  • Queensborough Community College: Schmeller Library
  • South County Hospital (RI)
  • University of California, Berkeley
  • University of Rhode Island

I have also donated artwork for fundraising events to support the following organizations:

American Cancer Society

  • Habitat for Humanity
  • Narragansett (RI) School Department
  • United Nations Association (CA)

Artist Website

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