David Gordon is a third-generation Kern County native who grew up south of Bakersfield, California. He attended Lakeside School in the middle of the local cotton fields and reservoirs before graduating from Bakersfield High School. David earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Applied Arts and Design from San Diego State University and a Masters Degree in Landscape Architecture and Horticulture Science with a concentration in Painting from North Carolina State University. David is a landscape painter and has had numerous successful painting exhibitions.
David was the Assistant Director of the Bakersfield Museum of Art for twelve years before being selected as the Executive Director of the Arts Council of Kern. Among his many duties, David produces the annual Kern County Plein Air Painting Festival, one of the arts community’s most prominent local events. In addition to his role as a leader in the non-profit arts world, David has been designing residential and public landscapes throughout California for twenty years.
David is a permanent and popular figure in the public art scene in Bakersfield. He has appeared as a regular guest on a variety of radio programs and has co-hosted membership drives for Valley Public Broadcasting.
David lives in east Bakersfield with his husband Robert and their four dogs.
I grew up in the southern San Joaquin Valley. My subjects are usually those which others would seldom afford a second glance. I am partial to fields separated by dirt roads, canals, and valley vistas and to the highways that lie between and beyond. I approach my subjects with the reverence and dignity their importance and subtle beauty deserve.
I am drawn to everyday, seemingly dull scenes, both rural and urban, that when in that moment, help me to be present. Being present is a state of mind which is a constant struggle for me which I work on through the act of painting. I find simplicity in subject matter such as farms, fields, palm trees, and streets, and I convey to canvas the sense of peace I get from them. The sound of a truck, heat of a parking lot, or the shadow of a palm tree can simplify the complexity that makes up each of us and can help us become more manageable people and appreciate in ourselves that we are doing the best we can in the places we live.