Looking Back... Myles Cavanaugh... The Artist Behind the Cover (from the 31st edition)

Carversville Field by Miles CavanaughLooking up from the table in Myles Cavanaugh’s sitting room in Center Bridge, I was about to ask if his decision to become a painter had been affected by the artistic legacy of the area when my attention became fixed on the scene that filled the window of his adjoining studio. It was the house where renowned Pennsylvania impressionist, Edward W. Redfield, had painted a century earlier. Myles answer to my question was no, explaining that he discovered the Delaware Valley painters only after returning from art school in New York. His work, he says, was first influenced by the French Impressionist, Edouard Vuillard, and then later by the New Hope School painters.

Water Lilies by Miles CavanaughMyles grew up in Lambertville in a home surrounded by art where he says “it was ok to make a mess [to make art].” His interest in becoming an artist developed early, but with the interest came a weighty sense of the all-or-nothing commitment that art demands—a sense that kept him from saying he was an artist. Winning a Shad Festival scholarship for high school seniors in 1991, he went to New York to study at Pratt Institute. In his second year at Pratt, he finally called himself an artist.

After a painting trip to Spain in 1995, Myles returned to Lambertville to a one-man show and a commission for a ceiling mural. Setting aside his youthful uncertainty, the transition to professional artist came easily. In the next five years his career catapulted and today his paintings are snapped up by the inner circle of local collectors.

The Rain in Spain by Miles CavanaughWhile he revels in painting abroad, Myles says he would not want to live anywhere else. When asked why, he placed the river valley light at the head of his list. His other reasons echo artists who have been coming here for more than a century: the area’s cultural richness, proximity to New York, and the camaraderie of the local art community.

Myles Cavanaugh is represented by Riverbank Arts in Stockton, and is sharing a two-man show with Paul Rice at Riverrun Gallery in Lambertville in October 2000.

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