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