Garin Baker : Realism and relevance


Dec 7, 2023 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM


Smith library, online on Zoom


Salmagundi Library Committee


Open to the public
RSVP required

For those who cannot attend in-person, Zoom streaming is available!
FREE | General admission
$15 | Zoom access to attend online
+ $50 | prix-fixe dinner
+ $8 | glass of wine

About the Event

“The life of our city is rich in poetic and marvelous subjects. We are enveloped and steeped as though in an atmosphere of the marvelous; but we do not notice it.”

From Charles Baudelaire’s On the Heroism of Modern Life, from the Salon of 1846.

Using the premise of the true and historical definition of “Realism”. Garin Baker will discuss and examine various forms of contemporary realist painting and sculpture, decretive, stylized, and or symbolic. Should work that is merely representationally in form garner the definition of Realism? Or does Realism connotate works that are seemingly rare in our contemporary art world representing an objective truth about the times in which we live?  Are these works relevant in our times? Does the future of Representational Painting in our modern world allow for diversity of vision and narrative works that move past the rigid mold of contemporary classical realism now so celebrated as a singular voice? These and many other questions will be raised and surely a lively discussion will ensue.

A Garin Baker painting of two people standing at a crosswalk.

About the Speaker

Born in 1961 in New York City, Garin Baker was raised on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. With a strong focus on working from life, his works include complex compositions to simple figure studies. His works are a poignant testament to his unwavering dedication to storytelling. Each brushstroke serves as a vessel for conveying the intricate nuances of contemporary life. An artist who upholds the torch of Traditional Realism in its truest form. Baker breathes life into his subjects, capturing not only their physical forms but also the essence of the human experience.

Baker studied at Pratt Institute in the early 80’s and began a career as a fine Artist and illustrator enabling him to raise a young family and renovate a 1790 historical property in the lower Hudson Valley just north of NYC. As an instructor of life Painting & Drawing at the prestigious and world-renowned Art Students League in NYC. Baker continues the long lineage of famous and notable American artists who have studied and taught there.

Garin Baker painting.

As a Professional Muralist, he has initiated several community-based public art projects and as a nationally and internationally recognized muralist, he has collaborated on many development initiatives partnering with governments, businesses, and grassroots organizations, creating iconic and heralded works of public art. To his credits are numerous gallery exhibitions and awards including Grand Prize at Plein Air Easton, The Irvine Museum Award, and several invitations to the American Masters Exhibitions in NYC. His work has been featured in many publications including The Washington Post, American Artist, Fine Art Connoisseur, Plein Air Magazine, and countless others. In addition, Baker runs a Public Art Mural Company, which offers apprenticeships to young artists working to improve their craft while gaining hands-on experience in the public art realm.


Salmagundi Collectors’ Circle and Salmagundi members who would love to cap the night off with dinner may make a reservation via our Reservations page and include the message “Collectors Circle dinner”.

There is a prix-fixe dinner with a chicken / pasta entree and wine available. If interested, please add these add-ons when RSVP-ing via Eventbrite.

Not your fancy? There is also an a la carte menu to choose from. Pay for your meal in-person with a card or your membership account (no cash).

Salmagundi Collectors Circle

This lecture is part of the Salmagundi Collectors Circle: an annual program for art lovers to unite for enrichment in the arts. There is access to a series of lectures per year, tours, dinners, meeting with artists, and the opportunity to share information with other enthusiasts. Find out more!

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