April 5, 2016

Ask the Art Prof has moved to Facebook Live! I’ll be doing weekly live video broadcasts on my Facebook page. Like my Facebook page and you’ll receive a notification when my live video begins.  

Ask me your questions by posting on the live video post as the video streams, and I’ll answer right away. I’ll discuss being an artist today, art technique & materials, work strategies for artists, career advice, teaching art, and more. More info

March 1, 2016

Subscribe to my email list. I send announcements only a few times a year.

Oct. 26, 2015

I’m featured on the new RISD site, “Health +”, which represents a group of RISD faculty members “who are engaged in health and healthcare issues, as demonstrated by their work as professional artists, writers, designers, and educators.”


Sept. 20, 2015


Exhibition Dates: Oct. 1-Oct. 30, 2015
Opening Reception: Thurs., Oct. 1, 6-8pm
Gallery Hours: Mon.-Fri. 11:30am-4:30pm

View images of the exhibition

RISD Illustration, ISB Gallery
55 Canal Walk
Providence, RI, 02903



May 17, 2015


Exhibition Dates: April 27-July 12, 2015
Opening Reception: Sat., May 30, 2-5pm
Gallery Hours: Tues.-Fri. 9am-6pm, Sat. 10am-5pm

David Avery, Sandra Cardillo, Renee Covalucci, Michael David, William Evertson, Catherine Kernan, Clara Lieu, Emily Lombardo, Frederick Mershimer, Carolyn M. Muskat, Anne Lyman Powers, Mary Teichman, Julia Talcott, Lois Tarlow, Mary L. Taylor, John Thompson, Bob Tomolillo, Carol Wax

Childs Gallery
169 Newbury St.
Boston, MA, 02116


February 5, 2015

I was briefly interviewed in this “Inside Higher Ed” article concerning student art projects that are mistaken as being dangerous.


December 22, 2014


Exhibition Dates: Feb. 20-March 22, 2015
Opening Reception: Thursday, Feb. 19, 6-8pm
Museum Hours: Tues.-Sun. 10am-5pm, Thurs. 10am-9pm

View images of the exhibition

The faculty biennial, a longstanding tradition, showcases new work by the extraordinary artists and designers who teach at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). The works on view are as varied as the many departments and divisions in which the faculty teach—ranging from apparel, textiles, painting, printmaking, ceramics, glass, sculpture, illustration, photography, jewelry, and metalsmithing to graphic design, industrial design, architecture, landscape architecture, interior architecture, film, animation, digital media, furniture, and more.

RISD Museum of Art
224 Benefit St.
Providence, RI, 02903

Emerge No. 1

November 5, 2014

I am featured in an article written by Elizabeth Michelman titled “On Her Own Terms” in the November/December 2014 issue of Artscope magazine. You can read half of the article at this link.


November 2, 2014

Solo Exhibition

Exhibition Dates: Nov. 10-Dec. 16, 2014
Gallery is closed on Nov. 11 and Nov. 26-28

Opening Reception: Wednesday, Nov. 12, 5-7pm
Gallery Talk: Wednesday, Nov. 12, 5:45pm
Gallery Hours: Mon.-Fri. 10:00am-4:30pm

View images of the exhibition

Clara Lieu’s exhibition interprets her personal inward journey. She explores this in several media. Her drawings, prints and photography, constructed from her own three-dimensional sculpture all explicate her ideas. Her large-scale drawings almost overwhelm the viewer with their raw feeling. This work is a journey of emotion—a tour de force of technical virtuosity and a tenacious examination of her theme of self-discovery.

The work is complex and layered. Lieu’s drawings lead the viewer into a chaotic, shifting world—figures fight to be seen or erased. The intensity of the mark making echoes her inward struggles. These images are not for the faint-hearted.

Emerge no. 3 presents a looming central nude figure, but on either side of her—two faces and partial bodies seemingly stream like ghost souls from her sides. These four visages communicate highly charged emotional states while the central figure has very little affect. The swirling figures are like the Greek Furies, frightening the onlooker.

Lieu, like many contemporary artists, works her ideas out in more than one medium. She creates resin facemasks that she then theatrically lights and photographs. These images remind the viewer of the eighteenth-century sculptor, F. X. Messerschmidt’s intensive self-portraits of emotional states. They evoke the Sturm and Drang (Storm and Stress) school of the Romantic age.

Trustman Art Gallery
Main College Building, 4th floor
Simmons College
300 The Fenway
Boston, MA, 02115



Solo Exhibition

Exhibition Dates: Nov. 17-Dec. 19, 2014
Opening Reception: Tuesday, Nov. 18, 4:30-6:30pm
Gallery Hours: Mon.-Fri. 8:30am-6pm

View images of the exhibition

Mazmanian Gallery
Framingham State University
D. Justin McCarthy Center
100 State St.
Framingham, MA, 01701


Group exhibition

This exhibition explores and celebrates RISD’s long engagement with the city of Rome through the work of alumni, current students and faculty.

Exhibition Dates: Sept. 25-Oct. 5, 2014
Opening Reception: Thursday, Sept. 25, 6:00-7:30pm
Gallery Hours: Mon.-Sat. 10:00am-5:00pm, Sun. 2-5pm

View images of the exhibition

Woods-Gerry Gallery
Rhode Island School of Design
62 Prospect St.
Providence, RI, 02903

Final state


Release date: Sept. 23, 2014

Foreword by Bob Colacello, Preface by David Kratz, Edited by Margaret McCann
Published by Skira Rizzoli

Purchase on Amazon

This book is a celebration of figurative art, essential to those interested in both traditional techniques and the latest developments in the art of the figure. An expansive survey of contemporary figurative art, The Figure showcases work by acclaimed artists including Jenny Saville, Eric Fischl, and Will Cotton alongside emerging talents. Artists’ texts and essays by distinguished critics, writers, and thinkers chart the evolution of figurative techniques, from the atelier to the use of photography, Photoshop, and 3D-modeling programs. Centered on the renowned New York Academy of Art—where many of the featured artists are alumni or instructors—this collection reflects the institution’s mission to instill the rigorous training of past generations within the lively dialogue of the present day. Championed by artists, scholars, and patrons of the arts, including Andy Warhol, since its founding in 1982, the Academy continues to serve as a creative and intellectual center at the vanguard of representational art. With a wealth of imagery displaying some of the finest examples of the genre in all mediums, this richly illustrated volume attests to the enduring appeal of the art of the human figure.



Solo exhibition

Exhibition Dates: Sept. 8-Oct. 3, 2014
Opening Reception: Thursday, Sept. 11, 6:30-8:00pm
Gallery Hours: Mon.-Fri. 9:00am-5:00pm

View images of the exhibition

Sarah Doyle Gallery
Brown University
26 Benevolent St.
Providence, RI, 02912

Sarah Doyle Gallery

May 21, 2014

I gave a 40 minute lecture to RISD’s graduate program in Teaching + Learning in Art + Design on April 9, 2014. Shot and edited by Paul Falcone.

May 17, 2014

I did an interview with Michael Corbin, over at

March 25, 2014

I will have two drawings, “Self-Portrait No. 6″ and “Self-Portrait No. 22″ in a group exhibition called “The New Romantics” at the Mark Miller Gallery in New York City. The show is curated by Diana Corvelle and Cara DeAngelis.

Opening reception: Saturday, April 5, 6:00-9:00pm
Exhibtion dates: April 5-May 9, 2014
Gallery Hours: Wednesday-Sunday, 12:00-6:00pm

View images of the exhibition

Mark Miller Gallery
92 Orchard Street
New York, NY, 10002


“Romanticism is precisely situated neither in choice of subject nor in exact truth, but in a way of feeling.” – Charles Baudelaire, 1846

The Romantics of nearly two centuries ago created works of such considerable diversity that the only clear similarities lay in their emphasis on originality, imagination and deep emotional content. Ranging from expressive portraits to epic landscapes and vivid depictions of nature, these artists sought to push back against the reasoned order of the Enlightenment by producing emotionally charged works that spoke to their intensely individual perspectives.

Today a new Romanticism is emerging among artists who prize individual expression and authentic emotion over Postmodern sterility. These new Romantics are as varied in subject and style as their predecessors, and as equally unapologetic in their pursuit of emotional truth. Their work implicitly asserts a restoration of the Romantic ideal that artists are gifted and singular purveyors of original thought. Inspired and informed by the spirit of Romanticism, the artists of The New Romantics comprise an expansive visual trove of emotion and awe, each one both individually conspicuous and collectively harmonious.

September 24, 2013

“Ask the Art Professor”, my advice column for visual artists is moving to the Huffington Post.  Read my first column here.


July 22, 2013

I am pleased to announce that I am a recipient of an artist grant from the Puffin Foundation.

July 9, 2013


Coming September 2013

Read an excerpt from the book.

Whether you are a student, professional, or teacher of the arts, this book delivers succinct, practical, and candid advice that addresses both common concerns in the creative path and the real-life challenges an artist faces in the real world.  Breaking down the creative arc into “student,” “professional,” and “teacher” reinforces that we all have something to learn, to create, and to teach. Addressing universal problems, fears, and roadblocks faced by artists, this book offers solutions, hope, and motivation. This easy-to-digest volume has advice that can be readily put into practice by anyone.

April 14, 2013

Self-Portrait No. 1 is featured on the cover of the British Journal of Psychiatry’s April 2013 issue.


March 2, 2013

Clara Lieu, Carolyn Marsden
Curated by Maruta Z. Vitols
Brickbottom Gallery
Somerville, MA

Exhibition dates: March 7-April 13, 2013
Opening: Sunday, March 10, 4-6pm
Gallery hours: Thursday-Saturday, 12-5pm

View exhibition images

Part of what makes us human is the need to understand our world, to feel as if we are capable of making sense of our lives. In this post-9/11 and post-Great Recession world, our need to have control has grown even more powerful, as we struggle to find some order within the chaos. Control offers the coping strategies of Clara Lieu and Carolyn Marsden, two feminist artists who use their artwork to confront and manage contemporary uncertainty.


December 29, 2012

I am pleased to announce that I am a recipient of an artist grant from the Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation.

October 10, 2012

Read this article about my work on the blog “Shrink Rap“.

September 22, 2012

Read this article about my work on Douglas Eby’s blog “The Creative Mind” on Psych Central.

August 28, 2012

I’m having a solo exhibition, “Plunge” at the Hollister Gallery at Babson College which will show a selection of self-portrait drawings from “Falling”.

Read about the exhibition 

View images of the exhibition

opening reception:  Sept. 5, 5-7pm
exhibit dates:  Sept. 5-Oct. 25, 2012
gallery talk: Sept. 11, 5pm

231 Forest St.
Babson Park, MA, 02457-0310

Self-Portrait No. 43

July 27, 2012

Read Andrew Raftery’s essay from my catalog “Falling”.

March 8, 2012

“Falling” is the exhibition catalog for visual artist Clara Lieu’s series of fifty self-portraits. The work represents the artist’s personal experience with depression. An essay by Andrew Raftery, an engraver and Professor of Printmaking at the Rhode Island School of Design is included. Paperback, 110 pages.

Purchase the book on Lulu Marketplace
Purchase the book on Amazon

February 21, 2012

I’m having two solo exhibitions which will show the 50 self-portraits at the Herter Gallery at University of Massachusetts Amherst  at the Brown/RISD Hillel Gallery.

opening reception: Thursday, March 1, 4-6pm
exhibit dates: March 1-April 1, 2012

Herter Gallery
Studio Arts Building 128
110 Thatcher Road
University of Massachusetts
Amherst, Massachusetts 01003-9330

View images of the exhibition

Self-Portrait No. 50

opening reception: Tuesday, March 6, 5:30-7:30pm
exhibit dates: March 5-April 4, 2012
gallery talk: Monday, April 2, 4:45pm

Brown/RISD Hillel
80 Brown Street
Providence, RI

View images of the exhibition
“Chronicling a Never-ending Plunge into Grief”, Brown Daily Herald

Self-Portrait No. 44

November 3, 2011

Lois Tarlow wrote an article about my work in the Sept./Oct. 2011 issue of Art New England.  You can read the article here, and click on the images below to view the article.

August 17, 2011

Paul Falcone shot a 20 minute documentary about my artwork and teaching.  Also featured at the end of the documentary is an interview with Marianna Bassham, the actress I have been collaborating with in my “Falling” project.View the video here

July 14, 2011

Read Professor Martha J. McNamara’s essay about my work, “Seeing Through the Figure” from the catalog of  the 2010 “Calculated Risks” exhibition at the Davis Museum at Wellesley College.


RISD Museum of Art, Chace Center
2 College Street
Providence, RI, 02903

Exhibition Dates: Feb. 25-March 20, 2011
Museum Hours:
Tues.-Sunday, 10am-5pm

November 2, 2010
I have work featured in Studio Visit Magazine, volume 11.

CALCULATED RISKS: New Work by Faculty Artists

Davis Museum and Cultural Center
Wellesley College
106 Central Street
Wellesley, MA, 02481

Read the press release
Read my blog post about the installation
View a video about the exhibition

Opening reception: Wednesday, Sept. 15, 6-8pm
Gallery Talk: Tuesday, Oct. 19, 12:30pm
Exhibit Dates: Sept. 15-Dec. 15, 2010
Museum Hours: Tues.-Sat. 11am-5pm, Wed. 11am-8pm, Sun. 12-4pm, closed Mondays and holidays.

Davis Museum



Currier Museum of Art
150 Ash Street
Manchester, NH, 03104

“Two critical eyes are better than one”
, Boston Globe, Oct. 18, 2009
“Stahl Collection on view at Currier Musem of Art”
, Nashua Telegraph, Oct. 4, 2009
Black on White, Ink on Paper”, Yankee Magazine, “Just Looking” blog, Sept. 24, 2009

Conversation with the Collector: Sun., Oct. 4, 3:00-4:00pm, featuring Dr. David Stahl and Associate Curator Kurt Sundstrom
Exhibit Dates: September 26, 2009-January 3, 2010
Museum Hours: Sunday, Monday, Wednesday-Friday 11am-5pm,  Saturday 10am – 5pm

This fall the extraordinary collection of prints and drawings carefully assembled over a 50-year period by long-time New Hampshire residents David and Barbara Stahl will be on view for the first time at the Currier.

The earliest prints are by some of the most important old master print-makers including Dürer, Rembrandt, and Callot. The strength of the collection is in American twentieth-century prints and drawings by internationally-known artists such as Edward Hopper, John Sloan, and Reginald Marsh. Also notable is an exquisite group of impressions by German Expressionist artists George Grosz, Erich Heckel, Max Beckmann, and Emil Nolde.

As young collectors in the late 1950s and early 1960s, Barbara and David Stahl sought out the sage advice of Charles Buckley, director of the Currier from 1955 through 1964. The union of Mr.Buckley’s art historical knowledge and academic acumen and the Stahls’ passion for the arts and willingness to learn were the guiding forces from which this distinguished collection was formed. The Stahls’ rise to erudite connoisseurs was hastened through impassioned study and frequent trips to galleries and museums throughout the United States and Europe. With the first major museum presentation of their collection, the Currier celebrates the extraordinary life of Barbara and David Stahl as collectors and patrons of the arts.


Julie Gearan
Clara Lieu
Brian O’Malley
Eric Sung


Chazan Gallery
Wheeler School
228 Angell Street
Providence, RI, 02906

“Four artists emerge in quirky exhibit at the Wheeler School“, Providence Journal

Opening Reception: Thursday October 15, 5-7pm
Exhibit Dates: October 15-November 4, 2009
Gallery Hours: Tuesday-Saturday 12-5pm, Sunday 3-5pm


Waiting Composition Studies

Juried by Andrew Raftery

Mills Gallery
Boston Center for the Arts
539 Tremont Street
Boston, MA, 02116

“Back to the Drawing Board”
, Boston Globe
“Weather Reports”, Boston Phoenix

Opening Reception: Thursday, Sept. 10, 4:45-6pm
Curator Talk: Wednesday, Sept. 30, 6:30pm
Exhibit dates: Sept. 11-Oct. 25, 2009
Gallery Hours: Wed. 12-5pm, Thurs.-Sat. 12-9pm, Sun. 12-5pm

Juror’s statement
Drawing practices are often used as a preparatory phase for finished work. Artists and designers make drawings to respond to the requirements of particular projects, developing specialized forms of drawing to carry the information needed for diverse media ranging from traditional to experimental. Art historians identify various types of drawing – sketch, study, modello, cartoon – in terms of the function they serve in the artistic process. Are these categories still useful today? What new types of preparatory drawing are developing in response to the needs of contemporary visual culture? What is the “work” that drawing does and how does it get accomplished?


Works on Paper by the Studio Art Faculty

Ink Drawings

Judith Black, Carlos Dorrien, Bunny Harvey, Clara Lieu, Phyllis McGibbon, Salem Mekuria, Andrew Mowbray, David Olsen, Daniela Rivera, Christine Rogers, Katherine McCanless Ruffin

Jewett Art Gallery at Wellesley College
106 Central Street
Wellesley, MA, 02481

Opening Reception: Thursday, Sept. 10, 4:45-6pm
Exhibit dates: Sept. 5-Oct. 1, 2009
Gallery Hours: Monday-Friday, 8:15am-7pm, Weekends 12-5pm


Unseen & Unknown at Bromfield Gallery

Bromfield Gallery
450 Harrison Avenue
Boston, MA, 02118

Exhibition Dates: April 1-25, 2009
Opening Reception: Friday, April 3, 5:30-7:30pm
Gallery Hours: Wed.-Sat., 12-5pm

“Unseen & Unknown” features a series of seven drawings made with lithographic crayon on layered sheets of sanded Dura-Lar. Groups of figures are depicted wading in an undefined and infinite body of water. In these drawings, the experience of loneliness and isolation is visually portrayed as being unseen and unknown within a group context.


Unseen II, finished

RISD Museum of Art, Chace Center
2 College Street
Providence, RI, 02903

Exhibition Dates: Feb. 20-March 15, 2009
Opening Reception: Thursday, Feb. 19, 6-8pm
Museum Hours:
Tues.-Sunday, 10am-5pm


Clara Lieu

Clara Lieu, Andrew Mowbray, David T. Olsen, Daniela Rivera, Christine Rogers, and Jim Turbert

Jewett Art Gallery at Wellesley College
106 Central Street
Wellesley, MA, 02481

Read the Press Release

Opening Reception: Wednesday, Sept. 3rd, 4:30-6pm
Exhibit dates: Sept. 1-Sept. 28, 2008
Gallery Hours: Monday-Friday, 8:15am-7pm, Weekends 12-5pm

July 18, 2008

An ink drawing from the Waiting Series has been published on the cover of Boston University Professor Robert Chodat’s book “Worldly Acts and Sentient Things” by Cornell University Press. Visit the Amazon page and the Cornell University Press page.

May 6, 2008

An intaglio print from the Digging Series, “Line” has been acquired by the Hood Museum at Dartmouth College.


April 8, 2008

Fritz Drury and Joanne Stryker, two of my colleagues at RISD have published a book titled “Drawing: Structure and Vision .” Two drawings I did as an undergraduate are in the book. Visit the Amazon page here.