Born 1973, Abington, Pennsylvania
Kip Deeds grew up in Newtown, Pennsylvania, where the American folk artist Edward Hicks (1780–1849) spent more than half his life. Deeds considers Hicks a visionary painter who greatly affected his art and thinking.1 A Quaker minister, Hicks is best known for The Peaceable Kingdom , a painting that exists in multiple versions. When Deeds saw the Hicks retrospective at the Philadelphia Museum of Art in 2000, he was especially taken by the oil Noah’s Ark (1846), with its delightful bestiary. This work gave Deeds the boat imagery for Aeolus and the Arkadelphia (lithograph, 2003) (cat. no. 114) , printed at Highpoint and published independently. He further developed his ark narrative in other prints, sometimes adding collaged elements, like stamps for the heads of passengers; Deeds collected stamps as a child. As an artist, he says he is interested in how a stamp’s image can be transformed by the chance location of a cancellation mark.
Deeds graduated with a BFA in printmaking (1996) from the Tyler School of Art and Architecture at Temple University, Philadelphia. He earned an MFA (2001) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he studied printmaking with Dennis Rowan. For years, Deeds taught printmaking at Princeton University, and at the Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore, in addition to thirteen summers teaching art at Interlochen Center for the Arts in Michigan. Deeds’s father was a high school math teacher; his mother was trained as an X-ray technician. Deeds was very close to his Polish-speaking paternal grandmother, the child of Polish immigrants. In 2005 he attended a printmaking conference held in both Berlin and Poznan, Poland. Enchanted, he made a couple of return visits to Poland, where he met his wife. He continues to spend time there while working in web development and making art.
Deeds has had residencies at Soaring Gardens Artists Retreat, Laceyville, Pennsylvania (2012, 2010); Yaddo, Saratoga Springs, New York (2008, 2005); Frans Masereel Centrum, Kasterlee, Belgium (2005); Ucross Foundation, Ucross, Wyoming (2003); and Millay Colony for the Arts, Austerlitz, New York (2003); and a fellowship at Vermont Studio Center, Johnson (2003). He has participated in such group exhibitions as “Telling Tales: Illustration, Narrative, Communication” (2019), Foreman Gallery, Hartwick College, Oneonta, New York, and “Cartographies, Mapping Intersections and Counterpoints” (2014), Zayed University Gallery, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Deeds’s one-person shows have included “Prints and Process, The Alasktic Series” (2015), Second State Press, Philadelphia; “A Forward Way” (2012), Slippery Rock University, Pennsylvania; “All Things Great and Small” (2012), St. Joseph’s University, Philadelphia; “Toward a 49th State” (2007), Philadelphia Art Alliance; “100 Drawings and Related Artist’s Book” (2004), Wakeley Gallery, Illinois Wesleyan University, Bloomington (also displayed at Kalamazoo Book Arts Center, Michigan); and “Constructing a Narrative” (2004), Hunt Gallery, Webster University, St. Louis.
—Marla J. Kinney
Kip Deeds, email correspondence with the author, May–June 2020. ↩︎