Artist, Critic and Educator Dan Tranberg Passes Away at 53

[photo: Laura Ruth Bidwell]
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Earlier this week, respected painter, educator and art critic Dan Tranberg passed away due to complications after a long battle with cancer. He was 53. 

Raised outside of Chicago, Tranberg told ideastream's Dee Perry in 2002 that he wanted to be an artist at an early age.

"I always made art, you know I would've no matter where I grew up.  But certainly growing up around Chicago and being exposed to the Art Institute of Chicago, which is an amazing museum, and certainly being exposed to that collection had a profound impact on me," he said.

After moving to Cleveland after college Tranberg made a name for himself as a painter.

"When I paint it's like I have my own impulses, my own intuition and then I really pay a lot of attention to the accidental qualities of the medium.  I do things that I just sort of have a gut feeling that something interesting will happen.  So to me it's this very interesting dialogue between my ideas and then really the ideas of the material," he said.

Along with his career as a painter, Tranberg was an art critic who worked for the Free Times and Plain Dealer.

"I do tend to empathize with an artist who's putting a show together, and if I get a sense from someone that there's a real sincere effort there I definitely, you know (laughs), connect with that, give them the benefit of the doubt," he said.

Tranberg also shared his knowledge and experience with his students at the Cleveland Institute of Art.

"I love teaching. My style of teaching is very much based on conversation.  I really enjoy my students and we have have wonderful discussions.  I look at them in a sense as peers.  I'm just a little older and more experienced but in many ways we talk about things the way I talk to my friends," he said.

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