Originally from Chicago, Ed Brandt received a BA from Lewis University concentrating in both fine art and graphic design. Upon graduation he began a career as a graphic designer, founding his own company five years later, serving clients from various industries nationwide. Throughout this time he continued his studio practice, exhibiting in both group and solo exhibitions. With a passion for education, he has served as adjunct professor and continuing education instructor teaching a variety of fine art, graphic design, and technical courses. Returning to school to pursue a graduate degree in the fine arts, he received an MFA from The University of New Mexico with a focus in painting and drawing. Ed continues to educate the next generation of creative thinkers as Professor of Practice of Graphic Design for UNM’s Department of Art. His fine art is represented by Chiaroscuro Contemporary Art in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
When first observing my art, viewers are confronted with an aesthetic that is honest and uncomplicated, composed of understated colors, lines, and geometry. These outward characteristics recall geometric Modernist paintings, direct and formal in appearance. However, upon closer inspection, surface qualities challenge this initial response and elicit questions of materiality, textural subtleties, and a patina that displays characteristics of sculpture and collage.
This balance of directness and intricacy forms an explorative dialogue, one in which a viewer is engaged by the whole of the work, then is drawn in through discovery. Employing abstracted references, my work shapes questions of time, place, and object. It is not a direct narrative, rather, one that speaks beyond immediate concerns. Because I prefer a quieter engagement, it allows viewers to acquaint themselves through visual cues of intimate qualities that form questions of curiosity.
The visceral response of the viewer echoes emotive reactions that I experience when defining inspiration. My art is a reflection of the built environment and a nostalgic reference to landscapes; not in a pictorial sense, but rather in a recontextualized memory of places that I have inhabited. Within my work I balance formal concerns while seeking out the sublime in the ordinary, objects overlooked, too mundane to be of importance. Through these observations I discover aesthetic values that are reflected in the content of my work. I invite viewers to appreciate compositions that engage in deeper inquiry and contemplation through personal discourse.
- 2017: Master of Fine Arts, Painting and Drawing, The University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM
- 1994: Bachelor of Arts, Concentration in Fine Art and Design, Lewis University, Romeoville, IL
- 2018-Present: Professor of Practice, Graphic Design, The Department of Art, The University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM
- • Graphic Design: Designing an Identity System
- • Visual Design Exploration
- • Creative Design Thinking
- • Arts Leadership and Business: Internship
- • Arts Leadership and Business: Business of Being an Artist
- 2018: Adjunct Lecturer, Creative Design Thinking, Department of Cinematic Arts, The University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM
- 2014–2017: Graduate Teaching Assistant, Painting and Drawing (Instructor of Record), The University of New Mexico, Department of Art and Art History, Albuquerque, NM
- 2016: Graduate Assistant, Text and Image, The University of New Mexico, Department of Art and Art History, Albuquerque, NM
- 2011–2017: Independent Graphic Designer and Consultant, Albuquerque, NM
- 2011–2017: Instructor, Digital Arts, The University of New Mexico Continuing Education, Albuquerque, NM
- 1999–2011: Owner, Square15 Inc., Albuquerque, NM
- 1997–1998: Adjunct Professor, Painting, Department of Art and Design, Lewis University, Romeoville, IL
- 1994–1999: Art Department Co-Manager, Graphic Designer, IT Manager, The Forms Group, Itasca, IL
- 2015: M2 Meeting of the Minds, Presentation and Discussion, UNM Art Museum, Albuquerque, NM
Solo and Two-Person Exhibitions
- 2017: Palimpsest, CFA Downtown Studio, The University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM
- 2014: Selected Works, Winning Coffee Co., Albuquerque, NM
- 2009: Duality, KiMo Theatre Art Gallery, Albuquerque, NM
- 2006: Recent Works, Frutchey Gallery, Albuquerque, NM
- 2017: Journey: Here and Onward, Norbertine Community of Santa Maria de la Vid Abbey, Albuquerque, NM*
- 2017: Fall Group Show, Chiaroscuro Contemporary Art, Santa Fe, NM
- 2017: Salon des Refusés, Masley Art Gallery, The University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM
- 2016: Verge: Shaping the Photograph, John Sommers Gallery, The University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM
- 2016: Excavated, Tamarind Institute, Albuquerque, NM
- 2016: ARTE Juried Exhibit, Masley Art Gallery, The University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM*
- 2015: Connectivity: The 21st Annual Juried Graduate Exhibition, Clinton Adams Gallery, UNM Art Museum, Albuquerque, NM*
- 2014: At First Sight, SCA Contemporary Art, Albuquerque, NM
- 2013: President’s 5th Annual Art Show, Lewis University, Romeoville, IL
- 2011: The Rail Yard Exhibit, KiMo Theatre Art Gallery, Albuquerque, NM
- 2008: The Eyes Have It Group Show, South Broadway Cultural Center, Albuquerque, NM
- 2007: Recent Works Showing, The Johnson’s of Madrid Galleries of Fine and Fiber Art, Madrid, NM
- 2007: The Eyes Have It Group Show, EXPO New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM
- 2006: The Eyes Have It Group Show, EXPO New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM
- 2006: The Eyes Have It Group Show, Arts Alliance Gallery, Albuquerque, NM
- 1997: Health Care At Home, Hinsdale, IL. Oil on canvas, 25.5 x 36 inches
Honors and Awards
- 2016–2017: Ralph W. Douglass Scholarship
- 2016–2017: Harry Nadler Memorial Scholarship
- The University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM
- Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO
- Lewis University, Romeoville, IL
- 2018–2019: Committee member, Art90, University of New Mexico Art Department’s 90th Anniversary event, design and promotion
- 2015–2016: Vice President, Volunteer, Graduate Art Association, The University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM
- Nancy Zastudil. Open Operation. Forward, Palimpsest Graduate Exhibition Catalogue. 2017.
- Kelly Koepke. Art Buzz. Local Flavor Magazine, localflavormagazine.com. May 2, 2016.
- James K. Ballinger. Connectivity. Forward, The 21st Annual Juried Graduate Exhibition Catalogue. 2015.
- David Blanchet. Logopond: Identity Inspiration (Vol. 1, Page 109). Logopond Publishing. 2012.