Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Heathers Corner: Spoltight On Oro Valley Artist Harry Greene

There is something very special about someone who has succeeded in a career that is rooted in critical and analytical thinking yet has remained faithful and attuned to the creative aspects of his life.  This is exactly what Oro Valley resident Harry Greene has managed to do.

Greene has a long decorated career in the medical field.  He served as Battalion Surgeon-82nd Airborne Division; taught Medicine at Harvard University, The University of Massachusetts and The University of Arizona; was Executive Vice President of The Massachusetts Medical Society; and served as Publisher of the renowned New England Journal of Medicine.   It seems medicine was in his blood.   Perhaps it was, as he followed in his physician father's footsteps.

It was Greene's mother's passion for art and the fact that she "thought nothing of driving him to St. Louis (2 plus hours away from his home) to view art and to take lessons from visiting artists," as a child, that led him back to his artistic endeavors. That is where we find him today.

Greene's interest in art came from wanting to recreate the things he found beautiful in life onto and through different mediums. His primary interest has always been portraiture, as one might assume, given his background in human anatomy and science. Even through his publishing days, it was the drawings that helped bring the information to life that were his favorite aspect of the medical textbooks that he edited or co-edited and published.

Harry Greene settled in Oro Valley in 2002.  He was welcomed by the active artist community here. He has served on the GOVAC ("SAACA") Visual Arts Committee and served as Co-chair member for the Southern Arizona Arts Guild.  He is also a member of The Overton Arts Group and Portrait Institute of America.

"Natures Bounty"
I asked Mr. Greene to share an interesting experience he recalled about one of his pieces. He reflected on a restaurant in Boston. He was enjoying a lobster meal.   He noticed one of his paintings on the wall, He was not surprised because his pieces are in more that a hundred private home and business collections from coast to coast.

Greene asked the server about the painting, curious as to the kind of reception it was receiving but not giving away that he was the creator.  What happened next has to be probably the most flattering, awkward, and unexpected response an artist can receive.  The server explained that the painting was quite popular with guests; and that he, the server himself, was the artist.  He asked Mr. Greene what he thought of his work. Eventually the truth prevailed and the evening ended with a good laugh and with no hard feelings from the kind-natured true artist of the painting.

I've included an example of Harry Greene's work.  It is called "Natures Bounty." It is a portrait of a young Mexican woman named Mariah who is in the garden after just harvesting some vegetables.  The painting was done at Steam Pump Ranch. The  model is an Oro Valley resident. 

The artistry of Harry L. Greene have been seen nationwide at galleries such as Wyatt Earp Gallery, Tombstone, The Sea Breeze Gallery, Massachusetts, and J and R Gallery, Tucson. You can view current pieces at Toscana Studio and Gallery, Oro Valley. He currently teaches classes at his private studio and at  Toscana.   Please contact him through his website.
Heather Nenadovich has lived in Oro Valley a total of five years. She has a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Arizona. Her husband is Canadian so she is a hockey fan by default and so are her two very clever children. When not being a mommy, she enjoys hiking in Catalina State Park, hand building pottery, and gardening. Her favorite things about living in Oro Valley are the towns recognition of art and culture, their commitment to preserving nature and the Christmas parade. (Also anything from GMG Chinese Bistro.)

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