Tim Lefens CV/Bio
Tim Lefens: Born 1953 in Detroit, Michigan. Currently lives in Belle Mead just north of Princeton, NJ.
Early Life & College
- Age 15 meets and is befriended by artist Roy Lichtenstein. Spent part of each summer at Roy’s place in South Hampton, sitting in on studio reviews with Leo Castelli.
- Recommendation to art school written by Roy Lichtenstein.
- After VCU BFA, grad work was done at Rutgers Mason Gross School of the Arts.
- Post schooling, had numerous solo shows in Princeton, NJ area, including a show with Princeton Fine Art director, Gary Snyder and a two person show with Walter Darby Bannard at the Ellarslie Museum.
- Regular one on one painting critiques with Clement Greenberg. Greenberg wrote on behalf of Lefens to help him win the Pollock-Krasner Award for painting.
- Shows at Brooke Alexander Gallery, benefit exhibit for the Wooster Group, art show included Jeff Koons and Annie Leibowitz as well.
- Diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa, was told he only had two more years of useful vision left.
- Solo show at the Farah Damji Gallery in Chelsea.
- Lefens exhibited large scale paintings in Jersey City and Hoboken.
- After blindness, Lefens continued to paint.
- Invents laser guided painting system and receives The Arts and Healing Network Award.
- Invented the A.R.T. Flying Eye photography system. A.R.T. received Robert Rauschenburg Foundation Award.
- Invented LASSY [Light Actuated Synthesizer] and received Robert Wood Johnson Community Health Leadership and President’s Awards.
- Invents the A.R.T. C3D machine for sculpture
- Invited to give talk/slide show for students who turn out to be facing the most extreme physical challenges. It was a life-changing experience being with the young people and redirected Lefens life. He then formed a studio painting program at the Matheny school and hospital that became the nonprofit known as “A.R.T.” (Artistic Realization Technologies)
- Lefens has been the Founder and Executive Director of A.R.T. for the last 26 years.
- Lefens received the Robert Wood Johnson Community Health Leadership and President’s Award.
- Received the Arts and Healing Network Award.
- A.R.T. was the recipient of the National Endowment for the Arts Excellence in Arts Programing award.
- A.R.T.’s board has included actor Willem Dafoe, rocker Neil Young, Pulitzer Prize winning author John McPhee, Scarlet Snow Johnson, and David Lichtenstein.
- A.R.T. created studio programs in fourteen states. Support for national campaign from the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation and Bruce Calvert of the Calvert Fund.
- Lefens invented the A.R.T. Dolphin, sonar guided walking stick for the blind.
- A.R.T. artists were given studio program space on Princeton University campus with the Dept. of Art, and two different exhibitions at the Princeton University Art Museum.
- Invents A.R.T. Floating T-square.
- A.R.T. artists have shown at MOCA, Princeton University Art Museum and Sotheby’s.
- Lefens wrote Flying Colors. Published by Beacon Press, was named by Reader’s Digest: Today’s Best Nonfiction Flying Colors translated into Chinese, published in China and is part of numerous university curricula.
- Lefens was included in the book ‘Me to We,’ fellow authors include Oprah Winfrey, Jane Goodall, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Richard Gere, written by authors Craig & Marc Kielburger.
- Lefens featured in People magazine, the New York Times, CNN, PBS, CBS Evening News Eye on America, Senator Bill Bradly’s American Voices Radio Show.
- Gave distinguished artist lecture at SUNY.
- After blindness Lefens continued to paint.
- Lefens gave a TED Talk.
- Lefens invited to address Enshallah Center Conference Doha Qatar, co-hosts Emirs wife to give the title, as well as the wife of Tony Blair, i.e. former PM of Britain.
- CBS Evening News covered A.R.T as well as Lefens in a segment https://youtu.be/kBM3VdWmHXY
- Documentary filmmaker, Lise Zumwalt, of Witness Doc Films is attracting funding for a film on Lefens and A.R.T., working title: The Power of Paint.