New England born ED PARKER combines a respect for history and great American traditions, with unique inventiveness that has placed him among the leaders of today’s generation of Americana painters. Inspired by folktales, sea chantys, nautical folk art and a studio on Southport Island, Maine, this respect for tradition is reflected in his whimsical interpretations of maritime subjects.
Over the past 30 years, his paintings and illustrations have graced books, magazines, private and corporate collections from coast to coast. Working in the great American folk art tradition, Parker has carved out a name for himself using a sophisticated sense of design, proportion and color to create charming and whimsical vignettes of Americana life.
Ed’s paintings have a romantic simplicity, a refined naivete, capturing the best parts of every moment. The paintings borrow from maritime lore and history creating inspired moments in time and imagination. They become visual stories that one can interpret and complete, each in their own way.
He received a BFA in graphic design from the Massachusetts College of Art and an MFA in painting and illustration form the Rochester Institute of Technology. He served as Art Director of Boston Magazine and several Boston advertising agencies before starting Ed Parker Studio. His teaching experience includes design and illustration positions at Massachusetts College of Art, the Art Institute of Boston, Montserrat College of Art and Salem State College. In addition, he has guest lectured and conducted seminars on illustration at the collegiate and secondary level.
The artist’s work has been exhibited in galleries and museums throughout the U.S. including: The Norman Rockwell Museum, Stockbridge, MA; Museum of American Illustration, New York, NY; Mt. Vernon Museum, Mt. Vernon, VA; Marine Arts Gallery, Salem, MA and Naples, FL; Cavalier Galleries, Nantucket, MA and Greeenwich, CT; the Maritime Gallery at Mystic Seaport, Mystic, CT; Gallery One, Mentor, OH; and the Wehana Gallery, Dayton, WA. He has also been the recipient of numerous awards including recognition from the Advertising Clubs of Boston and New York, the Art Directors Club of New York and the Society of Illustrators, New York. He was elected to the Society of Illustrators in 1986.
Music is an important part of Ed’s artistic muse and, when not painting, he is usually playing folk guitar and singing traditional songs, the lyrics of which often find their way into his paintings, completing a circle of folk inspired American traditions.