Title: Artist, Educator, Director
Location: Gainesville, Florida, United States
John A. O’Connor, Artist, Educator and Director, has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Artists for dedication, achievements, and leadership in art education.
Originally intending to be an architect, Mr. O’Connor fell in love with art while studying the field and decided to pursue this venture. Since then, Mr. O’Connor has carved out an exciting career as an artist and educator, instilling passion for the arts in generations of students and having his work exhibited and celebrated all over the world. One of his most notable career achievements includes being one of 14 American artists to exhibit at the 33rd International Festival of Arts at the Mediterranean Museum of Contemporary Art in France. In addition, he is proud to have founded the Florida Higher Education Arts Network, which was the first statewide public and private institution to bring all forms of art together in the state. He also founded the University of Florida’s Center for the Arts in Public Policy which was the first art public policy center in the United States. Mr. O’Connor taught art law for 15 years.
Mr. O’Connor pursued his own academic interests at the University of California, Davis, receiving a Bachelor of Arts with honors in 1961. He continued at the institution to receive a Master of Arts in 1963. He began teaching art in 1963 as an instructor at the University of California, Santa Davis. He then taught for a few years at Ohio University. In 1969, he joined the faculty at the University of Florida and remained an educator at the institution until achieving the professor emeritus title in 2005. In his career, he has been recognized with a number of awards for his service, artwork and educational leadership. These include being a US Air Force grantee at the University of Florida in 1974 and an Individual Artists Fellow for the Division of Cultural Affairs in the State of Florida. He was also a fellow of the Southern Arts Federation/NEA Regional in 1992 and 1993. Furthermore, he received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Florida Higher Education Arts Network in 2005.
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