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Local Artist Works on Archdiocese Commission

Jun 05, 2015 12:36PM, Published by Kevin, Categories: Arts+Entertainment, Today


Photo courtesy of Neilson Carlin Sacred Art.



In early 2014, Kennett Square artist Neilson Carlin was commissioned by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia to paint the official portrait for the Catholic Church's World Meeting of Families, a gathering expected to draw Pope Francis and more than a million people from across the globe to Philadelphia in September.

Carlin, 44, a native of West Chester, wanted to draw comic books as a child, according to a recent story by Michaelle Bond of the Philadelphia Inquirer. However, when he met his future wife, a devout Catholic, Carlin converted to Catholicism and began painting saints.

Neilson completed his undergraduate training at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, receiving a BFA in illustration, according to his biography on his website. 

"He concluded his formal studies privately under figure painter Michael Aviano, a pupil of the legendary instructor and illustrator Frank J. Reilly. Through Aviano, Neilson traces his instructional lineage directly to the Ecole des Beaux-Arts of 19th century France."

In addition to his commission work, he has taught drawing, painting, and composition for more than fifteen years at Studio Rilievo School of Painting in Kennett Square, PA. Through Studio Rilievo, he is training the next generation of artists in the representational tradition. 

To read the full story, click here. To find out more about Carlin, click here.

Carlin's studio is at 128 S. Willow St. in Kennett Square.

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archdiocese world meeting of families pope paintings saints local artists