R. Lane Clark creates work that interrogates the interactions between the forces of nature and human inscriptions on the natural world.

Using a wide variety of artistic media including painting, documentary filmmaking, painted photo-projections and prints, and clay, Lane engages the place of humanity within nature and nature's impact on humanity.

His documentary film and video projects also investigate the interactions between cultures and modern rituals. His eye is attuned to personal stories and how people move through the world.






Artist Statement

Art arises from the tension between earth and spirit, between consciousness and unconsciousness. For both the maker and the viewer the image becomes an intersection between the visible and the invisible.

In my career as an artist over the past 25 years, in which I have lived in the U.S., Switzerland, and Ghana, I have worked in a variety of media including painting, photography, documentary video, clay, stone, and garden design. I am particularly drawn to materials and processes where “wildness” and “civilization” interact to form imagery that activates the imagination of the viewer and honors the forces of nature.

My work is informed by the experience of living in different cultures and learning other ways of seeing, doing, speaking.  I am intrigued by the ways that we bridge differences, and by how images and music can travel across cultures, taking on new meanings and connotations. My work is not only informed by the various artistic movements of the twentieth century but also represents a post-modern visual culture that naturally combines imagery from a variety of people and places, past and present, that I have come to know.   – R. Lane Clark



Clark completed his BFA at Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia in 1980. He moved to Basel, Switzerland, where he spent seven years concentrating on painting, exhibiting in Europe and New York. In 1990, after extensive travel in West Africa, he entered the graduate program in Time-Arts and Painting at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and received an MFA in 1992. Living in Ghana for two years with the support of a Fulbright Research Grant, he worked on documentaries about Akan culture.

Ghana has become a second home to Clark, and he frequently returns to West Africa to make documentaries and to teach. Throughout his career, Clark has constantly explored and exhibited work in a variety of mediums, producing paintings, photography, documentary videos, projected theater sets, and works in clay. He teaches painting, documentary, and general arts in a variety of settings, finding the process of encouraging artistic discovery with students to be stimulating, healing, and meaningful.




1992             Masters of Fine Arts, School of the Art Institute of Chicago

1980             Bachelor of Fine Arts, Tyler School of Art, Philadelphia

1976             Independent studies, Art history and French, Sorbonne, Paris

1974-76       Undergraduate studies in fine arts and sociology, Carnegie-Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania


Videos and Slide-Films

[all self-shot, directed, and edited unless otherwise noted]

2014             “Secrets, Dreams, Faith and Wonder” (animation with music by Stephen Pope)

2014             “Minding Swarthmore” (co-directed, interviews, second camera) documentary on the history of Swarthmore College

2012             “Salt and Light” (co-directed, camera, and interviews) A documentary about the Friends World Conference in Kenya

2010             “Jerusalem’s Secrets,” video animation with music by Stephen Pope        

2009-2012    “Akosombo Stories,” stories about relocation from the construction of the Akosombo Dam in Ghana

2009-            (undergoing final edits) “Are You Sure?” and “If All Else Fails,” produced with Women’s Health in Accra research consortium

2007            “Leur Songe de la Paix,” painted slide video animation

2005            “Enfants de la Rue” (street children in Abidjan)

2005            “Ellen and Dennis, Liberian Refugees in Ghana”

2004            “Apparitions,” painted-slide animation

2000           “The Green Circle Program,” video for GCP Inc., Philadelphia

1999            “Trancefigurations,” painted-slide animations

1998            “Luminary,” portrait of the artist Warren Muller

1997             "Eyes of a Stranger," a 53 min personal documentary looking at the life lessons that local people teach to an American living in Ghana as he endeavors to learn about traditional culture

1995             "Georgina Williams of Ghana," as part of the "Children of the World" series, Colman Communications, Chicago, IL (on site production manager and direction)

1995             "Kyeremu Proverbs," video; local teachers and elders explain meanings of proverb pictures on the walls of an Asafo shrine house in Abetifi, Ghana

1994              "In Memory of Obosomfo Kwasi Mawu," video, portraying a three-day long funeral celebration of a Tegare priest in Pepease, Ghana

1992              "Distance and Desire," video, spatial and emotional explorations of a cruising beach in southern France

1992              "Talking Tro-tros," slide-film installation, depicting hand-painted slogans on public transport buses moving through the landscape of Ghana

1991              "Reaching," slide-film, painted slide animation exploring the figure in a watery realm

1991              "Eboka," slide-film, hand-painted slides animated in response to a Fang vision quest of Central Africa

1991              "Common Sense," video of a peace demonstration before Persian Gulf War

1990               "Merging Traffic," video, portrait of gull feeders on the lake front in Chicago


Public Video Screenings and Time-Arts Showings

October,  2016     “Secrets, Dreams, Faith and Wonder” COMMFEST, Toronto

October, 2016       “Secrets, Dreams, Faith and Wonder” Intl. Film-maker Fest, Berlin

December, 2014    “Kyeremu Proverbs” Penn Museum, Philadelphia, PA

December, 2014    “Waiting for Light” preview screening, UC Berkeley, CA

October, 2014       “Mystery, Dreams, Faith and Wonder” Awakened World Film Festival, Santa Barbara, CA

June 2014               “Minding Swarthmore” Swarthmore College, PA

August 2012          “Salt and Light”, Pacific Yearly Gathering of the Religious Society of Friends, Ben Lomond Center, CA

May 2010               “Jerusalem’s Secrets,” video screening, Electroacoustic Music Festival, New York City

January 2010          “Okomfo Tewia’s Shrine,” video screening and lecture, U.C. Santa Barbara

December 2009     “Akosombo Stories,” video screening, Production of Knowledge in Africa Conference, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

May 2004                “Apparitions,” TOPAZ ARTSWoodside, Queens, NY

November 2000     “Remembering Kwasi Mawu,” video presentation, Annual Meeting of the African Studies Association, Nashville, TN

November 2000     “The Green Circle Program,” G.C. National Conference,             Philadelphia, PA

August 2000            “Eyes of a Stranger,” video screening, palace of Nana Okyere Ampadu II, Chief of Pepease, Ghana

April 2000                “Eyes of a Stranger,” video screening, Multicultural Center, U.C. Santa Barbara

September 1998     “Trancefigurations,” painted Slide animation, Fringe Festival, Philadelphia, PA

January 1998            "Eyes of a Stranger," video screening, Galerie 408, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

December 1997       "Eyes of a Stranger," video screeing, Neues Kino, Basel, Switzerland

August 1997             Video presentation and discussion,"Eyes of a Stranger," Terra Nova festival, Montreal, Canada

April 1997                Video presentation and discussion,"Eyes of a Stranger," Visual Anthropology, Temple University, Philadelphia,PA

February 1997         Video presentation and discussion, "Eyes of a Stranger," Bryn Mawr College, Bryn Mawr, PA

December 1996      Video presentation and discussion, "Eyes of a Stranger," Philadelphia Independent Film and Video Association, International House, Philadelphia, PA

November 1996      Video presentation and discussion, "Eyes of a Stranger," Annual Meeting of the African Studies Association, San Francisco, CA

May 1996                 Photo exhibition and video screening, "Posed or Possessed" CAAS Gallery, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

November 1995      Video presentation and discussion, "Kyeremu Proverbs," Annual Meeting of the African Studies Association, Orlando, Florida.

December 1994      Video presentation, "Kyeremu Proverbs--a Work in Progress," Ghana Symposium, Centre of West African Studies, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, U.K.

October 1994         Video presentation, "In Memory of Obosomfo Kwasi Mawu," Pepease Community Library, Pepease, Kwahu, Ghana.

June 1992                Time-arts show, "Eboka," Gallery 2, Chicago.

May 1992                 Audiovisual presentation (slide animated film), "Talking Tro-Tros," Institute for Advanced Study & Research in the African Humanities, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL

December 1991      Field/Frame, video screening, "Distance and Desire," School of the Art Institute of Chicago


Selected Painting and Photo Exhibitions:

May-June 2013         “Luminous Incarnations”, Gallery 525 Ojai, CA

December 2012       Gallery 525 Ojai, CA. recent paintings

November 2011      “Spirit in Flesh,” Pacifica Graduate Institute, Santa Barbara, CA

April 2010                “Luminous Encounters,” Bahdeebahdu, Philadelphia, PA

August 2007             Paintings on Paper, Rütiring 105, Riehen/Basel, Switzerland

May 2007                  Figurative Drawing, Elverhoy Museum, Solvang, CA

December 2006        Paintings, Galerie Zum Kleinen Schwann, Baden, Switzerland

April 2005                 “Dancing on the Wall,” recent paintings, SoHo, Santa Barbara

May 2004                  Solo exhibition, TOPAZ ARTS, Woodside, Queens, NY

April 2004                 Group exhibit, AFSC Friends Gallery, Pasadena, CA

January 2004             Painted-slide sets for “Thin Skins,” dance performance, Lobero Theater and Hatlen Theater, Santa Barbara, CA

October 2003           Art Detour, recent paintings and ceramics, Ojai, CA

October 2003           Focus on the Forum, Contemporary Arts Forum, Santa Barbara, CA

October 2003           Gay Identities III, Frameworks Gallery, Santa Barbara, CA

January 2003             “Spirit Expressed,” Friends Gallery, Pasadena, CA

October 2002           Painted-slide sets, TOVA project, “In Each Other’s Eyes,” International Institute of New Jersey

October 2002           Day of the Dead exhibit, Philadelphia, PA

May 2002                   Painted-slide sets, “Ayo’s Journey,” Dramatic Women, Center Stage Theater, Santa Barbara, CA

November 1998       Open Studios Weekend, recent paintings, 915 Spring Garden, Philadelphia, PA

April 1998                  Painted-slide sets for “An Old Woman Came Through Me,” TOVA, Philadelphia

December 1997         Painted-slide sets for “The Snow Queen,” Rowan University, Glasboro, N.J.

April 1996                  "Images of Kwawu", CAAS Gallery, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

March 1996               "Divinations," recent paintings, Art Lounge, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

April 1994                  "Posed or Possessed," photo exhibit, Block Gallery, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL

February 1993           Group exhibit, paintings, Gallery 2, Chicago

October 1992           Solo show, paintings, Janiak and Freivogel, Binningen, Switzerland.

April 1992                 Masters Thesis Show, paintings, School of the Art Institute of Chicago

March 1992              Time Arts Event, "Light-paintings," N.A.M.E. Gallery, Chicago

September 1991      Group exhibit, paintings, "Around the Coyote," Chicago

June 1991                  Group exhibit, paintings, "QuArt," Beret International Gallery, Chicago

November 1990      Group exhibit, installation, "Day of the Dead Show," Chicago

September 1989     One-man show, paintings, Janiak and Freivogel, Binningen, Switzerland

December 1988      Group exhibit, paintings, "Weihnachtsausstellung," Kunsthalle, Basel, Switzerland

December 1988      Group exhibit, paintings, Galerie Mainetti, Basel, Switzerland

September 1988     Solo show, paintings, sculptures, and light-painting installation, Galerie Quasar, Regensburg, Germany

June 1988                 Two-artist exhibit, paintings and sculptures, Galerie W, Wangen, Switzerland

December 1987      Solo show, paintings, The Knitting Factory, New York

September 1987     Solo show, paintings and prints, Galerie Freiraum, Munich, Germany

August 1986             Group exhibit, paintings, Berowergut, Riehen, Switzerland.

June 1986                 Wegweiser-Aktion,  installation, "Art 17," Galerie Palazzo, Liestal, Switzerland.

December 1985      Group exhibit, paintings, Galery Vasalucci, Amsterdam, Netherlands

May 1985                 Solo show, paintings and installation, Atelier 408, Amsterdam, Netherlands

October 1984         Solo show, paintings, Galerie Arsenal, Binningen, Switzerland.

July 1982                  Solo exhibit, paintings, Chelsea Lion, New York



2000-2002                Karl Miescher-Stiftung, Switzerland, artist’s research grant

1995 -1996              Artist in Residence, International Institute, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

June 1994                 Illinois Arts Council, Special Assistance Grant

May1994                  New Television Award, Center for New TV, Chicago, Illinois.

1993-1994               Resident Fellowship, Institute for Advanced Study & Research in the African Humanities, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL

1992-1993               Fulbright Research Grant in support of independent projects in Ghana, West Africa


Teaching and Related Experience:

2012-                         Teaching Art, Santa Barbara Healing Sanctuary, CA

2009                          Curator, “Still: 2 Troubles One God,” work by contemporary Ghanaian painters, Revisiting Modernization Conference, Institute of African Studies Gallery,
                                   University of Ghana, Legon, Ghana

2008-2009                Curriculum development, teaching, and design work for “Right to Dream Foundation,” Accra, Ghana

2004-2007                Studio Arts Instructor, Dunn School, Los Olivos, CA

2005                           Video post-production and mentoring of Peace Media teams, Everyday Gandhis, Santa Barbara, CA and Liberia

1994-2004                La-la Productions, Director, Artistic Projects and Video Productions for Social Change

2000-2001                Faculty Research Associate, Video documentary instruction and field director, Accra, Ghana / University of Michigan, Women’s Health in Accra

1999                           Painting Instructor, Department of Art, University of California, Santa Barbara

1998                           Independent contracting for GVB Video Productions, Manayunk, PA

1997-98                     Slide paintings and set designs for Philadelphia theater companies and performers including; TOVA Artistic Projects that Speak for Social Change,
                                    Warren Muller's "Boichic," and Melanie Stewart's production, "The Snow Queen," Rowan University, Glasboro, NJ

1997                           Freelance video production including: script writing, camera work and on-site production management for "In Search of Eagles Productions,"  Elwood, NJ,
                                    covering "Sun and Fun" flight convention and other aviation projects

July 1997                   Videography and on-site production in Beijing, China for an independent project by Laurie White, Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Winter 1996              Instructor, Film and Video, seminar: "Screening Social Change," University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

Fall-Winter 1996       Coordinator, "Screening Social Change" International series of independent film and video on social movements in a globalizing world, organized through the International
                                    Institute and Film & Video/ Communications departments of the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

1995-1996                Artist in Residence and Program Development, The International Institute, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

Winter 1995             Instructor, Afro-American and African Studies, "Possessing Africa:  Issues in African Television and Video," University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

1994                         On-site production manager and second camera, Akropong, Ghana, for "Children of the World Series" video, Colman Communications, Evanston, IL



Swiss German