California Artist Dickson Schneider was born in Seguin Texas, 1955. He lives and works in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Mr. Schneider’s career trajectory seems more in keeping with artists who came to the field from the GI bill. After receiving his BA in Fine Art from California State University at Hayward, Schneider went on to earn an MFA in Painting from Washington State University at Pullman. He returned to California to work for the Social Security Administration as a case worker while pursuing painting. From Social Security he went on to travel in Europe and when he returned, came back to painting while working for Alameda Naval Air Base first in the Kafkaesque role of Forms Manager- making sure the base had all the forms they needed- and later as an Equal Employment Opportunity Investigator, receiving and researching complaints of discrimination and harassment on the most integrated military base in the world. All the while painting.
From 1989 to 1991 Mr. Schneider ran a small gallery, 1350 Upstairs, in Alameda presenting exhibits and conceptual projects, the most popular was an exhibition in which the audience was allowed to destroy the art as the process of de-installation.
The Navy base closed in 1997sending Mr. Schneider to become a primary instructor with the Painting and Drawing faculty at California State University at Hayward, where is teaches still.
In that same year Mr. Schneider created a series of drawings of invented lures and flies for an article for a friend. After they were published in a small, local magazine; The Secret Alameda, the collection and descriptions were published by Viking as a book of fiction which is often confused as a resource book; Every Angler’s Guide to Amazing Lures and Flies by Dickson Schneider, Viking 1997.
Mr. Schneider’s paintings and drawings have been represented by a range of galleries Big Pagoda, San Francisco; Donna Seager, Mill Valley; D.P. Fong, San Jose, Ellis Pilcher Gallery, San Francisco among others. With the recession of 2008 the last of Mr. Schneider’s galleries closed. This loss of prescribed liaison between artist and public led Mr. Schneider to create his current project; The Free Art Project in which Schneider creates art works and takes them to the street or gallery where drawings, paintings, collages and sculptures are offered to the public free of charge.
The project has been presented at Art Basel Miami, Takt Project and Kunstraum Tapir in Berlin, where it was the subject of German National Radio program Deutsch Radio, Paolo Mejia Gallery, San Francisco, T Moro Projects, Santa Clara, andin association with art fairs; Start Up San Francisco 2015 and Aqua, Miami 2012, 2014. The project will be presented this August at the Torrence Art Museum in Torrence, California.
Thousands of small works created for the Free Art Project serve as foundation works for Mr. Schneider’s current studio work expanding micro scale collages into medium and large scale oil paintings and digital prints.
Mr. Schneider is a founder of The Bridge Program at Autobody where he and two other professional artist provide low cost advanced study programs for emerging artists.