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Joseph A. Whalen

Joseph A. Whalen

Born: Lockport, NY, USA

Joseph Whalen is a painter and educator born and based in Lockport, N.Y. He works primarily in watercolors and acrylics, often painting barroom scenes, landscapes, and portraits.

As a young boy, Whalen spent three years in the hospital with a bone disease. He began drawing during this time to pass the hours. He started painting between the ages of 16 and 20 and then went to Rochester Institute of Technology to study art. After completing his degree at RIT, Whalen studied at the Albright Art School, the University of Buffalo, Niagara University, and Buffalo State College. Over the course of his education, he credits teachers Sister Mary Julia, S.S.M.N., Marion Hazen, and Ralph Avery as particular inspirations.

Whalen taught art at North Park Junior High in Lockport for 33 years. He founded the Niagara Frontier Watercolor Society, became a member of the Buffalo Society of Artists, and is president of the Market Street Art Center in Lockport. He has given private lessons at his summer studio in Olcott Beach and spent four summers in the medical illustration department at Roswell Park Hospital and three summers in the technical illustration department of the Cornell Lab.

Whalen’s paintings and drawings, taken as a whole, constitute a chronicle of life in Lockport over more than a half-century. He has exhibited his work at such venues as the Burchfield Penney Art Center and the Albright Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo and the Kenan Center in Lockport, and he has won a Gold Medal from the BSA.

He and his wife of over fifty years, Kathleen, have 8 children, 26 grandchildren, and 2 great-grandchildren. 

In 2013 Whalen was designated a "Living Legacy" by the Burchfield Penney.