1935 – 2017
Axleroad drew inspiration from Greek mythology to make connections between the ancient and modern worlds.
Axleroad received numerous awards from prestigious organizations including The Salmagundi Club, NY, The National Arts Club of NY and The Allied Artist of America. He exhibited in major museums on the east coast and in a UN sponsored traveling exhibit of 100 American printmakers. A graduate of Pratt Institute, he studied with Philip Guston, Richard Linder and Antonio Frasconi.
By the time he was 14, Axleroad had earned a top award from the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards program for a linoleum cut print and was well on his way to a career in art. By his 20s, following graduation from the Pratt Institute in 1956, his art was being featured in exhibitions in several major museums.
After art school, he opened a photo and art studio in New York City, which became an ad agency, the Food Group, in 1969. From those offices, Axleroad and his team designed products and launched advertising campaigns for food corporations for decades. (He sold it in 1998.) The agency work paid the bills, while he honed his drawing and painting skills during vacations. At night and on weekends, he studied with such masters as the late Richard Lindner and Antonio Frasconi and Philip Guston. It was his work with Frasconi, who is considered one of America’s greatest printmakers, that helped Axleroad discover what would become a preferred medium — the woodcut.
A self-described narrative artist, with a story behind nearly every piece, Axleroad utilizes ancient mythology to express challenges that faced ancient man and continue to plague his modern counterparts. Axleroad adopts characters, such as Icarus, as well as ancient symbols, to express the seemingly capricious nature of fate, the struggle of the haves and have-nots and the battle against time to stave off an inevitable loss of physical strength and, in some cases, mental acuity.
In addition to pursuing his artistic career, Axleroad reached out to help dozens of others move forward in their lives. He sponsored outreach events to educate the public about Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. Axleroad was also the founder and Executive Director of the ARI Artist’s Initiative of Stamford which teaches developmentally disabled adults to draw and paint.