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Clayton Pond was born in 1941 in Bayside, NY, and raised in the Long Island sailing community of Port Washington, NY. As a child he was always interested in drawing, designing (houses, cars, and boats), and model-making. He got his first sailboat while in high school, sparking a life long interest in sailing

When the U.S.S.R. launched the first satellite, Sputnik, in 1957, Pond and his high school peers were encouraged to study math, science and engineering so that the U.S. could beat the Russians in the space race. Not until his sophomore year at Hiram College was he able to take his first elective: he chose art. That spring, during his first one-man show in the lobby of his dorm, he proudly announced (to his parents’ dismay) that he wanted to go to art school and become an artist. He transferred to Carnegie Institute of Technology (now Carnegie Mellon University) and earned his BFA degree in 1964.

One of the first Pop Art shows was held a short walk from the school at the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh, PA. It was not clear to Pond at the time what Pop Art was about. The artists’ work on display was diverse, the only common thread appearing to be a mutually shared art dealer, Leo Castelli.

His graduate studies at Pratt Institute (MFA degree, 1966) were formative for his art career. It was there he began to discover his artistic individuality. He developed his drawing style and a keen interest in the use of bright, intense color relationships in his paintings. He also taught himself the serigraph process.

While pursuing his graduate degree at Pratt, he began exhibiting and selling his art and building an exhibition resume. He became affiliated with the Pratt Center for Contemporary Printmaking and joined Sylvan Cole’s Associated American Artists Gallery, where he was featured in their New Talent Exhibition in 1966. In the same year his silkscreen prints were shown in the 15th National Print Exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum and in the Boston Printmakers Annual where he won the Boston Museum of Fine Arts Purchase Prize Award. The following year Pond’s work was included in a group exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art.

In the fall following his graduation from Pratt he joined the Martha Jackson Gallery, one of the most prominent galleries in New York at that time. He had his first New York painting exhibition there in 1968. Martha Jackson Gallery remained Pond’s primary gallery for his paintings and prints throughout most of his New York career. Later on, the gallery transitioned to become the David Anderson Gallery, owned by Martha Jackson’s son, and the relationship continued.

Pond was among the early artists to pioneer the SoHo area of lower Manhattan. He moved to his Broome Street studio in 1966, and then to Greene Street in 1969. Compared to his suburban childhood on Long Island, life in the art community and industrial loft building area of New York City was an exciting experience. The interiors of his studio lofts, and the street-found objects he used to outfit them, became the subject matter for much of his art during this period. Of particular interest were the Greek-columned façades of the SoHo Cast Iron District, declared a National Historic Landmark area in 1978. Pond lived and worked in his studio loft on Greene Street for twenty-six years.

In 1995 Pond moved to Atlanta, Georgia with his family, where he continues to work in his studio making drawings, collages, paintings, and painted relief sculptures. He spends part of his summers in Vermont and the Adirondacks Mountains of upstate New York.


  • Created: 1973
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