Skip to content Skip to navigation

John Bankston: Painting as Storytelling

September 20, 2021 to December 3, 2021
Coulter Gallery, McMurtry Building

In response to the ongoing public health situation, this exhibition is open to Stanford affiliates only; Stanford ID required for entry. We appreciate your understanding. Please follow Stanford Health Alerts for the latest information on university policies.

The Department of Art & Art History presents John Bankston: Painting as Storytelling, an exhibition at the Coulter Gallery in the McMurtry Building.

September 20–December 3, 2021
Monday–Friday, 11 am–5 pm 
Open to Stanford affiliates; Stanford ID required for entry

This hybrid exhibition/classroom/atelier is part of a multi-year experiment with the goal of creating a more intimate, direct, and transparent teaching experience. Utilizing the Coulter Gallery simultaneously as presentation space, teaching space, and active atelier, the class is building on a long tradition of educating students within the artist’s studio. At the same time, this places the pedagogical experience squarely in public view, simultaneously bringing students into transaction with a highly creative practice and inviting the public inside to watch the process unfold over time.

John Bankston, the 2021-2022 Holt Visiting Artist at Stanford, has a practice that fits neatly into this experimental and physically transparent teaching space at the Coulter Gallery. He sees everyone as a storyteller, and his own work as an “ongoing visual narrative…the class to be a laboratory of image and story." To this end, he is structuring student projects to probe ideas of “memory, emotion and the self…in order to explore painting’s narrative potential."

The students in this hybrid class are surrounded by John’s work. His paintings are full of vibrant flowing colors, gently articulated figures, and highly evocative arrangements that subtly pull the viewer into the interactions that he portrays on canvas.

Over the course of the quarter, John will be creating new work in this space as his existing paintings sequentially transition into the adjacent Vitrine Gallery. This will enable the Coulter Gallery to gradually fill with student work and as he describes it, “allow the story of the class to unfold." –Gabriel Harrison, Curator

Image: John Bankston. Morning Sky (detail), 2020. 48x60. Courtesy of Walter Maciel Gallery.

Connect with the Department of Art & Art History! Subscribe to our mailing list and follow us on Facebook and Instagram

Sponsor: 
Department of Art & Art History
Contact Email: 
Contact Phone: 
650-725-3107