Trained at the Museum School of Fine Arts in Boston, Dan has had twenty-one man shows in galleries from Chelsea NYC to LA California. The Montclair Art Museum (MAM), the Newark Museum and the Morris Museum have all featured his work.
His many public artworks can be seen around New Jersey and beyond. Museums, libraries, schools, community centers, performing art centers and hospitals have commissioned Dan to create artwork for their spaces. Fenelon writes, "I have always made art that reflects a raw and expressive vision. Paintings are worked in layers, images are sanded off, splattered, collaged, painted over and re-constructed using a mix of different media. I often leave my paintings unfinished for months finding myself contemplating the work in search of more successful solutions. I feel my art has matured to a level that makes it strong and unique. My inspiration comes from primitivism, street art, neo-expressionism and pop art. However, I do feel my work is influenced by many other movements and I continue to study different artists and genres."
Q: What town do you live in?
A: Morristown, NJ
Q: What kind of art do you create/what do you do in the arts?
A: My wife Kadie and I own Core Creative Placemaking LLC. We enliven communities with Creative Events and Public Art. I also create fine art paintings and sculpture in a modernist style.
Q: What is your art background/education/
A: I am a graduate of the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. After school I worked as a Graphic Designer, Illustrator and Fine Artist
Q: How do you balance your time in the studio/in the workplace with other commitments?
A: I use my google calendar keep track of things and I try not to over schedule.
Q: Has your practice changed over time? Why/How?
A: Yes, I went from graphic design/illustration to fine artist and creative place-maker. I was an illustrator for twenty years and always worked on my fine art. Then as Kadie and I began working more together we started creating public engagement events and turned that into our company.
Q: What is your favorite thing about being in the arts? Least favorite?
A: My favorite thing is I love using my creativity to uplift communities through art.
My least favorite thing is rejection.
Q: What inspires you? Who are your favorite artists/ artwork? Favorite museum/ gallery (outside of Morris County
A: I have a broad taste in art, but I especially love artists like Elizabeth Murray, Gary Panter, Wayne Wright, Keith Haring, Nick Cave, Jean Michel Basquiat and Kenny Scharf. My favorite Museum is Mass MOCA!
Q: What are a few of your big artistic career goals? What is your dream project?
A: I want to do more public sculpture on a larger scale. As far a dream project I would like to create an artwork for a big public space like an airport terminal.
Q: How do you stay connected and up to date with the art world?
A: I use a lot of tech to create my artwork and have been creating artworlds in Virtual Reality using a variety of different programs. I read a lot about the latest happenings between tech and art.
Q: When you are working through problems in your arts practice, who do you talk to? What is the best piece of advice you've been given? What advice do you have to give other artists?
A: I have a great network of artist friends who I can bounce thoughts off of and Kadie is my main art confidant. The best piece of advice is the advice all artists receive at some point. Just believe in yourself and keep working. Stick with the people that support you.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: School murals for Dover Township, The Pumpkin Illumination and the Theatre of Light plus some new paintings and sculptures
Q: What memorable responses have you had to your work?
A: Once I won an award at a show. I was standing in front of my art and a lady came up to me, not knowing I was the artist. She looked at me and said, “I can’t believe this won when there was so much better work in the show”. I smiled, looked at her and said “I know can you believe it” then someone told her I was the artist. I gave out a good laugh and red faced she smiled back at me.
Q: What do you want others to know about your art practice/artistic themes/stylistic choices/materials you use?
A: My work is a reflection of how I feel about the world. The fact that as a race in geological time we are not too far removed from our tribal roots. We have created all this modernization in an incredibly short period of time yet in some ways tribalism is still in our DNA but now it has become a sort of urban tribalism which is what I want my art to reflect.
Q: Do you have any exhibitions/events/performances coming up?
A: I just finished a series of sculptures for Wildflower Sculpture Park, I am working on a series of murals for the Dover School system, and I am presently exhibiting at End of Elm in Morristown. You can see my work in public spaces mainly around northern NJ.
Q: Where is your favorite place to find visual arts in Morris County?
A: the Morris Museum, Morris Arts, The Boonton art scene.
Q: What was the weirdest/worst “survival” job you ever had?
A: I haven’t really had any weird/worst jobs. All of my employment has been in the creative field.
Q: What is the perfect food?
Q: As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Q: What is your most treasured possession?
A: I don’t have a treasured possession.
Q: Are you an early bird or night owl?
A: Night Owl
Q: What place would you like to visit?
Q: What superpower would you have and why?
A: The ability to heal pain. Because it is needed.