For the last decade Alvin Pettit has produced a significant body of work through painting and model making. Highly detailed clay models and meticulously rendered drawings and paintings, have garnered him a body of clientele ranging from individuals to large corporations. Alvin has produced work for companies such as NBC TELEVISION‚ THE GAP‚ TODAY’S BLACK WOMAN MAGAZINE‚ WALT DISNEY‚ WAL-MART‚ NEW DIRECT PUBLISHING‚ IMPULSE RECORDS‚ and the MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY. He is constantly striving to create art that is both marketable and creative.
Raised in Baltimore‚ MD‚ Alvin Dwight Pettit Jr. was born on September 10‚ 1970 in Washington DC. Growing up in a house that was filled with paintings done by his father‚ grandfather and uncle‚ he was influenced at a very early age. He received his first formal training at nine years old‚ when he was enrolled in weekend life-drawing classes at Maryland Art Institute in Baltimore City. In 1984 he began attending the prestigious Baltimore School for the Arts‚ where he received intensive training in various fine arts disciplines. During this time‚ he also placed first in the statewide ACTSO Award for Artistic Merit. Prior to starting his junior year‚ Alvin was awarded an art scholarship to study abroad for three months at Scarborough University in England.
Alvin attended the School of Visual Arts in New York City‚ where he earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Illustration and a minor in sculpture. While attending the school‚ he had the opportunity to study under some to top artists in the business such as legendary comic book penciler Will Eisner‚ sculptor Joel Perlman‚ and illustrators Marvin Mattelson and Marshall Arisman.
Not long afterwards‚ Alvin landed a position as an assistant sculptor to artist Jeff Koons‚ where he played a key role in helping to produce large-scale works of art. These pieces were later exhibited in the Guggenheim Museum and other major galleries around the world. It also provided him with knowledge of new techniques and materials in which he later incorporated into his own work. Around this time Alvin enrolled in the New York Art Students League‚ studying under master landscape painter and author Greg Kreutz.
When Alvin started illustrating professionally in 1996‚ one of his clients‚ NBC‚ gave him the opportunity to work behind the scenes on the Conan O’ Brian Show and Saturday Night Live. Here he collaborated with the show’s writers to produce illustration used in comic skits by Conan himself‚ and other players. Another noteworthy client was THE GAP. Here he created colorful images of painted butterflies that were used in a line of girls clothing wear. One can also see his illustration on the John Coltrane release "The Complete 1961 Village Vanguard Recordings." In late 1997‚ Alvin’s work was exhibited at Barnes & Noble in New York.
In 1998, he accepted a position as Head Sculptor for the model-making department of Telco Creations‚ a Long Island based company whose primary product lines include animated holiday display items. He played a major role in conceptualizing, designing and developing clay prototypes for the company. Many of which became Telco’s largest selling items‚ sold on the shelves of Sears‚ Wal-Mart‚ Kmart and others.
Over the years, Alvin has been involved in major projects at the Museum of Natural History in New York City. Many of his sculpted models of animals and plants can be viewed in the museum’s permanent displays in The Hall Of Ocean Life and The Hall Of Biodiversity.
The artist continues to work from his studio in Jersey City, NJ, where he’s constantly searching for new ways to advance his craft to the next level.