Biography

David Keefe is an artist, educator, and community activist. In 2015 he co-founded a non-profit organization called Frontline Arts, which supports socially engaging art projects to connect communities, rooted in printmaking and papermaking.

In 2011, he co-developed and built a nationally recognized and awarded program called Combat Paper NJ (CPNJ). For over 6 years, CPNJ was a community and social practice art project that brought veterans and non-veterans together to make paper and art out of military uniforms. Ultimately, the goal was for veterans to publicly share the veteran experience, make witnesses of bystanders, and change the culture of the “silent veteran." CPNJ has recently morphed into a new papermaking program under Frontline Arts, called Frontline Paper.

He currently holds the position of Senior Assistant Dean for Veteran Initiatives at Columbia University’s School of General Studies. At Columbia University, David has developed a hub of veteran activity that centralizes resources and strengthens the veteran community.

For the last 7 years, David has also been an Adjunct Professor of Art at Montclair State University where he developed the “Combat Paper for Veterans” class. The course was a veteran-only class that uses the CPNJ model of story telling and community building - the only class of it’s kind in the country. David has also taught painting and independent study at MSU.

David works out of his local studio in Verona, NJ, and frequently shows his paintings, paperworks, and prints all across the country. Just recently, he had a solo show in Portsmouth, Virginia at the Portsmouth Cultural Arts Center.

Because of his own art and his work with Combat Paper NJ, he has been a visiting artist and lecturer at various Universities and Museums, a keynote speaker, featured in numerous TV shows and articles, published, and awarded the Krider Prize for Creativity in 2013. He also works as an art project and curriculum consultant and curator.

From 2001-2009, he served as a Sergeant in the United States Marine Corps, and from 2006-2007 he completed a tour of combat duty in Iraq as a riverine infantry scout. He holds a Master of Fine Arts degree from Montclair State University and a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Delaware.

Exhibitions

2018                Veteran | Artist, Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, Deer Isle, ME

                         Frontline Paper, Barron Arts Center, Woodbridge, NJ

                         Frontline Paper, Frontline Arts, Branchburg, NJ                         

                         Warrior Art, El Barrio, PS 109, Harlem, NY

                         Migration – Papermaking and poetry with immigrant communities in the US and other countries

                         By Our Own Hand – Art Consultant and Production Coordinator on a Combat Paper Installation Project

2017                 Artist presentation, Montclair State University, Montclair, NJ

                         Warrior Art, El Barrio, PS 109, Harlem, NY

                         Combat Paper NJ presenter – Creative Connections Symposium, NJIT, Jersey City, NJ

                         Combat Paper NJ sustainable workshops at USO Metro, 4 per year, 2013 to date. Washington, DC

2016                 Combat Paper NJ at Columbia University, New York, NY

                         David Keefe Solo Show, Portsmouth Cultural Art Center, Portsmouth, VA

                         Creating Safe Space – Combat Paper NJ at Interference Archive, Brooklyn, NY

                         Keynote Artist Presenter, Craft and Social Practice, Renwick Gallery, Smithsonian, DC

                         Combat Paper NJ and Veteran Dream Project at The Kimmel Center, Philadelphia, PA

                         Combat Paper NJ and Veteran Art Movement Organizer – Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, ME

                         Combat Paper NJ workshop at Grounds For Sculpture, Ewing, NJ

2015                 Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, Deer Isle, ME

                         David Keefe solo show, Warren County Community College, Warren, NJ

2014                 Front Lines, Bergen Community College, Paramus, NJ

                Year of the Veteran, The Art League and Torpedo Factory, Alexandria, VA

                Trigger Experience at Morristown, Morris County Admin Building, Morristown, NJ

                See Me Now, Workhouse Art Center, Lorton, VA

 Surrealism and War, National Veterans Museum, Chicago, Il

                         Trigger Experience, Pop-up Gallery, Somerville, NJ

                         Social Paper, Center for Book and Paper Art, Columbia College of Chicago, Chicago, Il

                         Monmouth Musuem presents Combat Paper NJ, Monmouth Museum, Lincroft, NJ

2013                Turning War into Art, Caldwell College, Caldwell, NJ

                         Witness, Pop-up Gallery, Somerville, NJ

                         The Art of Conflict, Noyes Museum, Stockton College, Stockton, NJ

                         David Keefe, Parlor Hair Studio, Montclair, NJ

2012                War Torn, Gallery U, Montclair, NJ

                         Book as Witness, Center For Contemporary Book Arts, Chelsea, New York, NY

                         Mad Hot Young at Arts on Division, 59 Main Pop-up Gallery, Somerville, NJ

                         Arts, Military, + Healing, The Corcoran Art Gallery, Corcoran Art, Washington D.C.

                         Healing Through the Arts, Puffin Cultural Forum, Teaneck, NJ

2011                 New York City Six Summit Salmagundi, Gaslight, Chelsea, New York, NY

                         Insight: New Jersey Artists, Bergen Community College, Paramus, NJ

                         NP Studios Open Studios, NP Studios, Passaic, NJ

                         Juxtaposed, Six Summit Gallery, Ivoryton, CT

                         Let’s Play, Christie’s Staff Exhibition, Christie’s Auction House, New York, NY

                         Montclair State University Alumni Show, MFA Gallery, Montclair State University, Montclair, NJ

                         New Wilmington Painting, Pierre S. DuPont Arts Center Gallery, Wilmington, DE

2010                 As Seen on TV, Beta Art Spaces, Brooklyn, NY

                         Dio sul tetto e il Marine, Cremona, Italy

                         Pontirolo e Piadena, Lega di Cultura di Piadena, Pontirolo, Italy

                         Paper Trails, Pearce Gallery, Whitecliffe College, Auckland, New Zealand

2009                From Across the River, West Steuben Gallery, Pratt University, Brooklyn, NY

2008               Two Six Packs, Redsaw Gallery, Newark, NJ

                         Boys and Power, Redsaw Gallery, Newark, NJ

 

Professional Experience

Current

Senior Assistant Dean of Students, Veteran Initiatives, Columbia University, New York, August 2015 to date

Program Director/Founder, Frontline Arts, Branchburg, NJ, Aug 2015 to date

Adjunct Professor of Art, Veteran Papermaking: A Connective Practice, September 2018

 

Other Teaching

Haystack Mountain School of Craft Instructor, Combat Paper Making, Haystack, Deer Isle, Maine 2013, 14, 15, 16, 18

Visiting Artist at SUNY New Paltz, New Paltz, NY October 2013

Adjunct Professor of Art, Combat Paper for Veterans Course, Papermaking/Printmaking/Painting, Montclair State University, 2013 to date

Adjunct Professor of Art, Painting Instructor, Montclair State University, Montclair, NJ, 2009 to 2012

MFA Graduate Independent Study Mentor, Project Criticism, Montclair State University, Montclair, NJ, 2010 to 2011

Visiting Artist/Lecturer at the University of Delaware, Newark, DE, October 2010

Graduate Assistant Teacher in Painting, Drawing, Film, and Metalworks, Montclair State, Montclair, NJ 2008-2009

 

Past

Assistant to Artist/Filmmaker/Researcher Dr. Donna Bassin, Montclair, NJ 2012 to 2015

Interim Education Director, Printmaking Center of New Jersey, Branchburg, NJ March 2012 to 2013

Lead Art Handler, Christie’s Art Auction House, Rockefeller Center, New York, NY January 2011 – October 2011

United States Marine Corp, Scout Infantry, Sergeant, 2001 – 2009, One combat tour to Iraq 2006 – 2007

 

Curator

Warrior Art, El Barrio, PS 109, Harlem, NY

Combat Paper NJ, Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, 2014, 15, 16

Front Lines, Bergen Community College, Paramus, NJ

Trigger Experience at Morristown, Morris County Admin Building, Morristown, NJ

Trigger Experience, Pop-up Gallery, Somerville, NJ May 2014

Witness, Pop-up Gallery, Somerville, NJ May 2013

Hunterdon Medical Center Exhibition, Hunterdon Medical Center, Flemington, NJ

War Torn, Gallery U, Montclair, NJ

Co-Curator, Healing Through the Arts, Puffin Cultural Forum, Teaneck, NJ

Co-Curator for Into the Light, Traveling, MFA Gallery, Montclair State University, Montclair, NJ January 2011

Co-Curator for Paper Trails, Pearce Gallery, Whitecliffe College, Auckland, New Zealand, July 2010

Beginning Painting Show, 3.5 Gallery, Montclair State University, Montclair, NJ, Fall 2009

Co-Curator for Stimuleye, MFA Thesis Exhibition, Sideshow Gallery, Brooklyn, NY, May 2009

Co-Curator for Two Six Packs, Redsaw Gallery, Newark, NJ, August 2008

 

Exhibition Coordinator/Art Organizer

Migration, Participatory Art Project with Canto Mundo and Mobile Print Power

Assistant to Donna Bassin’s Combat Paper installation project: By Our Own Hand

Over 50 workshops/exhibitions/events through Frontline Paper all over the East Coast, including venues such as, Haystack Mountain School of Craft in Deer Ilse ME, Monmouth University, Stockton College, Montclair State University, Somerville NJ, and Newark NJ.

Over 150 workshops/exhibitions/events through Combat Paper NJ all over the East Coast, including venues such as Pyramid Atlantic Art Center Silver Spring MD, VisArts in Rockville MD, Haystack Mountain School of Craft in Deer Ilse ME, Monmouth University, Stockton College, Bergen Community College, Montclair State University, Somerville NJ, Asbury Park NJ, and Newark NJ.

Trigger Experience, Pop-up Gallery, Somerville, NJ May 2014

CPNJ at Allergan Installation, Bridgewater, NJ June 2013

LNY/Combat Paper NJ/Immaculata High School Mural, Somerville, NJ May 2013

Witness, Pop-up Gallery, Somerville, NJ May 2013

War Torn, Gallery U, Montclair, NJ September 2012

Paper Trails, Pearce Gallery, Whitecliffe College, Auckland, New Zealand, July 2010

Co-Designer, Registrar, Installer, and Fabricator for historical and contemporary art exhibitions including:  Student

Works, Legacy of Lincoln, Jazz Loft: David X. Young, Gardini di Toscana, Mario Lanza, and MEXICANation, Snug Harbor Cultural Center/Newhouse Center for Contemporary Art, Staten Island, NY, 2009 to date

Designer and Installer for Stimuleye, MFA Thesis Exhibition, Sideshow Gallery, Brooklyn, NY, May 2009                           

American Student Film Screening, Whitecliffe College, Auckland, New Zealand, July 2010

 

Education

MFA in Studio Art, concentration in painting, Montclair State University, Montclair, NJ, 2009

BFA in Studio Art, concentration in painting, University of Delaware, Newark, DE, 2003

 

Artist Residencies and Awards

Residencies

2010               Lega di Cultura di Piadena, Pontirolo, Italy, July – August

 Artistic Awards

2013               Impact Garden State Award for Combat Paper NJ

           Wounded Warrior Grant Recipient for Combat Paper NJ

       Krider Prize for Combat Paper NJ

2010               Nominated by the Institute of International Education National Screening Committee for the U.S.

Fulbright, Leipzig, Germany

2009               Anne Chapman Scholarship, Montclair State University, Montclair, NJ

2008-09         Graduate Assistantship, Montclair State University, Montclair, NJ

2009               F. Paul Shields Fund, Montclair State University, Montclair, NJ

2008               Nominated for the Dedalus Foundation Fellowship, New York, NY

 

Press

2016                New Jersey Association of Universities and Colleges

                        Princeton Review

                        Columbia University

2015                State of The Arts, PBS Documentary

2014                Local Art and Writing Helps Vets Move Forward, Lorraine Ash, Daily Record, Sept 2014

       Vets Turn War Trauma to Art, Kevin Coughlin, Morristown Green, Sept 2014

       Combat Paper Turns Soldiers Old Uniforms in to Healing Art, Ralph Bellantoni, Courier News, May ‘14

2013               Printmaking Center Opens New Chapter, Ralph Bellantoni, Courier News, Dec 2013

                       The Art of Conflict, Noyes Museum, Stockton College, NJ

                       David Keefe, Montclair Times, Montclair, NJ

2012               FOX News, Vets Healing Vets, Live segment

                        PBS Newshour with Jim Lehrer, Combat Paper NJ special, PBS

                       “Branchburg Offers Place for Veterans to turn old Uniforms into Works of Art”, Peggy McGlone,

                               Star Ledger, March

                        “Veterans turn old uniforms into art form” Howard Prosnitz, Teaneck Suburbanite,

                        "Il marine-pittore ritrae Piadena", Marco Bazzani, La Provincia, 8 August

                        "Morandi e Micio all'Aniene Filmfestival", Katia Bernuzzi, La Cronaca di Casalmaggiore, 8

2008               “Group Show at MFA Gallery” Linda Bee Koenemund, The Montclarion, September

 

Publications

2014                 I Used To Believe, But Now I Know, Warrior Writers 4th Anthology, May 2014

2013                 Rasul, by David Keefe, The New Jersey Council for the Humanities, Fall 2013