New England born Ed Parker combines a respect for history and great American traditions, with unique inventiveness that has placed him among the leaders of today’s generation of Americana painters. His illustrations have an original way of capturing the complexity of modern culture with a sometimes compelling, often-whimsical sense of tradition.
Over the past 30 years his paintings and illustrations have graced books, magazines, private and corporate collections from coast to coast. Working in the great American folk art tradition, Parker has carved out a name for himself using a sophisticated sense of design, proportion and color to create charming and often humorous vignettes of American life.
Ed’s paintings have a romantic simplicity and a refined naiveté. The artwork borrows from maritime folklore and history to create inspired moments in time and imagination. They become visual stories that you can interpret and complete, each in their own way.
Ed received a BFA in graphic design from the Massachusetts College of Art and a MFA in painting and Illustration from the Rochester Institute of Technology. He served as Art Director of Boston Magazine and several Boston advertising agencies before starting Ed Parker Studio. His teaching experience includes design and illustration positions at Massachusetts College of Art, the Art Institute of Boston, Montserrat College of Art and Salem State College. In addition he has guest lectured and conducted seminars on illustration at the collegiate and secondary level.
Ed Parker’s work has been exhibited in galleries and museums throughout the U.S. including: The Norman Rockwell Museum, Stockbridge, MA; The Maritime Gallery at Mystic Seaport Mystic CT; The Texas Seaport Museum, Galveston TX; Museum of American Illustration, New York, NY; Mt. Vernon Museum, Mt. Vernon, VA; Marine Arts Gallery, Salem MA, and Naples, FL; Cavalier Galleries, Nantucket, MA and Greenwich CT; and the J.Russell Jinishian Gallery in Fairfield, CT. He has also been the recipient of numerous awards including recognition from the Advertising Clubs of Boston and New York, the Art Directors Club of New York and the Society of Illustrators, New York. His maritime paintings have been included in the International Marine Art Exhibitions at the Mystic Seaport Museum. He was elected to the Society of Illustrators in 1986 and was elected to the American Society of Marine Artists as a Signature Member in 2010.
Music is an important part of Ed’s artistic muse, and when not painting he is usually playing folk guitar and singing traditional songs, the lyrics of which often find their way into his paintings, completing a circle of folk-inspired American traditions.