Joan Potkay was born in Hartford, CT and raised around tobacco farms and the New England coast. Her family encouraged her artistic talent with visits to New York City and art classes at the Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford. Joan’s childhood visits to NYC evoked a love for the combined juxtaposition of the urban and the rural. Because of this love she chose to attend NYC’s Parsons School of Design, graduating in 1971. She continued her art studies at the Art Students League while developing her art career in New York for the next twelve years. She has traveled throughout Europe and Northern Africa. The stark beauty of Ireland precipitated her next logistical move to Nantucket Island, MA and Morocco later influenced her move to Santa Fe, NM.
While splitting her time between New York City and Nantucket Island, Joan began to established her art career with numerous painting shows. She also taught and helped administer at Nantucket School of Design and the Arts which is affiliated with the Massachusetts College of Art. She continues to teach at Nantucket School of Design and the Arts during the summer.
In 1986, Joan was chosen for a residency with Helen Frankenthaler at the Santa Fe Art Institute and did a follow up invitational tutorial with Helen again at the SFAI in 1991. This dialogue with Frankenthatler helped create Joan’s present approach to the energy in her artwork. During this time Joan began looking for a year round community for her art and relocated to Santa Fe, NM in 1987.
1985 "Nantucket Influence," Nantucket Island School of Design, Nantucket, MA
1985 "Paperworks of Nantucket," George Davis, Nantucket, MA
1983 "Recent Paintings and Drawing," Kenneth Taylor Galleries, Nantucket, MA (also 1980, 1977)
1982 "Swimmers," Alcove Show, Artists Assoc. of Nantucket, MA
1981 "Small Paperworks," Tina Bruer Gallery, Nantucket, MA