June 25, 2016 Celebration of Frank Covino's life 



Frank Covino

1931-2016

We are devastated at the sudden passing of our beloved maestro, Frank Covino, husband, father, mentor and friend…

Born to Italian immigrant parents in 1931, Frank Covino discovered his love for art at an early age. By 1950 he enlisted to fight in the Korean war, with a promise of paid college education. Extensive casualties awarded Air Force Sergeant Covino and his Battalion the prestigious Syngman Rhee Presidential Unit Citation, a distinguished medal of honor. Upon discharge, Frank enrolled at Pratt Institute, earning his Bachelor and Master of Science degrees in Art Teacher Education in 1959.  By 1960, Frank was hired by Norman Rockwell to teach the portrait course for The Famous Artists School in Westport, Connecticut, before establishing his own Academy of Art in Fairfield, Connecticut, in 1963.

Twenty-four years later, Covino closed the doors to his Academy and took to the road, where he continued to conduct seminars in major cities from coast to coast. In 1995, Frank led 15 art students on a precedent-setting trip to the Louvre in Paris, where they each completed a copy of an Old Master.

Over the course of 5 decades, Frank was commissioned to paint a wide range of portraits, including British Prime Minister, Sir Harold McMillan; retiring President of RJR Nabisco Corporation, Ross Johnson, the notorious subject of the year’s top selling book, “Barbarians at the Gate“. Frank’s life-sized portrait of singer Dinah Shore was dramatically unveiled during the popular national television show 20/20, and was displayed for years at the Mission Hills Country Club in Palm Springs. Covino was also commissioned to paint a large portrait of film actress, Gloria Swanson and another study of Marvin Gaye.

In the 1980’s the World Wrestling Federation commissioned Frank to sculpt the original bronze Slammy Award.  

Frank has authored three major art books: The Fine Art of Portraiture, Discover Acrylics With Frank Covino, and Controlled Painting. His latest and final book, The Left Brain Alternative, is set to be released later this year as an eBook. He has also produced 12 instructional art videos.

Stationed in the Rocky Mountains before his Korean deployment, Frank discovered a passion for skiing. After he survived the war, he pursued the sport relentlessly, becoming a ski instructor in 1955 and continuing to teach for 22 years, guided initially by his mentor and close friend, Olympic ski champion, Stein Eriksen. Stein invited Frank to participate in a clinic held at Sugarbush Valley, from which would develop the new Stein Eriksen Ski School. Over the years, Frank and Stein collaborated on a nationally syndicated newspaper column entitled “Ski Tips From Stein Eriksen” which Frank edited and illustrated. Together they invented the “Chalk-Talk”, a popular audio-visual presentation that involved ski instruction narration by Stein supported by live action sketches, which Frank drew on an overhead projector.

In 1975, Frank was asked by Digest Books to collaborate with Olympic Gold Medal Champion, Jean-Claude Killy, which resulted in the book “133 Ski Lessons by Jean-Claude Killy.

Frank’s three ski instruction manuals, illustrated by the author, were published by Digest Books in the seventies, culminating in his most significant ski book, “Skiers’ Digest “ in 1976.

In 1999 he co-authored the popular health and fitness book, “Rage Against Age” with Dr Charles Anderson. An avid body builder and health enthusiast throughout his life, Frank decided to enter the Vermont Regional Bodybuilding Championships, and took home two Silver trophies and a First Place Gold for the Super Senior Division at the advanced ages of 79 and 80.

Frank loved life to the fullest. His many adventures also included bareback bronc riding in the Federal, Wyoming rodeo; skydiving; heli-skiing in British Columbia; surfing; horseback riding and kayaking.

            Frank leaves behind the love of his life Barbara; his son Mark; daughter Cameron; his sister Carol; his brother Lee; his sister in-law Geri; as well as cousins, nieces, nephews and extended family. Frank was predeceased by his beloved brother Bob.

            The family will hold a memorial celebration of Frank Covino’s incredible life in late June at a date and time to be determined. This will be a public ceremony held in the Mad River Valley. Please keep checking this website for updated details as they become available.

            In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Mad River Ambulance, or the Waitsfield Community Fund.

With gratitude & love,
Barbara & Mark


Attn. Students:
At Frank’s request, his wife Barbara will go forward with art classes in 2016 here in Vermont, the dates of which will be decided later this spring.



Classical Academic Painting with Oils
in the Italian Renaissance Manner
Frank Covino's replica of Da Vinci's "Mona Lisa," from his close analysis of the original at The Louvre, in 1995. This work is now stored in a bank vault, since the last professional copy, not nearly as accurate, sold for $250,000.00, a worldwide record for the sale of a replica.

Biography of the Artist

FRANK  COVINO    B.S., M.S., A.T.E.
PRATT  INSTITUTE ,  NEW YORK CITY
PORTRAIT ARTIST, AUTHOR,
CLASSICAL ACADEMIC ART SEMINAR PROFESSOR        
   

     The 15th century  Florentine  method  of  painting with oils,  with an accent  upon  Portraiture has been passed on to Frank Covino from a string of Italian grandfathers.   Frank did not choose to be an artist.  He was ordained.  There is a coin portrait of Leonardo da Vinci’s patron, Lorenzo di Medici, by Renaissance sculptor/painter Giovanni da Covino, at The National Gallery in Washington, D.C.  Born to newly immigrant, relatively poor Italian parents in 1931, Covino enlisted to fight in the Korean war in 1950, with a promise of paid college education at any Institution of his choice, if he returned. Extensive casualties awarded Sergeant Covino and his Battalion the prestigious Syngman Rhee Presidential Unit Citation., a distinguished medal of honor. Enrolling upon discharge, Frank earned Bachelor and Master of Science degrees in Art Teacher Education in 1959, from the most honored Art College in the country, Pratt Institute.  In 1960, Frank was hired to teach the portrait course for The Famous Artists School in Westport, Connecticut, before establishing his own Academy of Art in Fairfield, Connecticut, in 1963.

Twenty-four years later, Covino closed the doors to his Academy and took to the road, where he still conducts pragmatic seminars in major cities from coast to coast.  His students have  produced  over  30,000  paintings under his direction, all executed in  the Classical manner. Some of these oil painters and sculptors  have been loyal Covino students for over three decades!

     Frank’s life size portrait of singer Dinah Shore was dramatically unveiled during the popular national television show 20/20, and was displayed for years at the Mission Hills country club in Palm Springs.   Covino was also commissioned to paint a large portrait of film actress, Gloria Swanson, shortly before her passing, and another study of the late Marvin Gaye, when the singer was at the height of his career.

     His bronze, sculpted  portrait  of a  heroic  Westport, Connecticut  Police  Captain  may be seen  in that town’s Pasacreta Park, where it is likely to rest, forever.  The World Wrestling Federation commissioned Covino to sculpt their  two muscular athletes in combat  Championship Trophy, cast in true bronze, the Slammy Award.  Following his Renaissance ancestors, Maestro Covino has created portraits in a variety of mediums. Retiring President of the RJR Nabisco Corporation, Ross Johnson, hired Frank to portray him at his desk, replete with his quintessential Rolex, shortly before the multi-millionaire executive became the notorious subject of the year’s top selling book, “Barbarians at the Gate“.

     Frank has authored three major Art books to guide aspiring artists, The Fine Art of Portraiture   (Van Nostrand/Reinhold, 1970)… Discover Acrylics With Frank Covino,  (Watson/Guptill,1974), and Controlled Painting, (North Light Books, 1982).

He also has produced 12 instructional DVD presentations for oil portraitists, portrait sculptors and pastel portrait artists seeking demonstrations and private guidance in the craft, and is working to complete a fourth art book, defending The Classical Academic Painting method  as  “...a highly intellectual, Left-Brain activity, of no less value than academically composed Classical Music“.

     Basic military training, before Korea, stationed Frank in the Rocky Mountains where he discovered a passion for high altitude snow skiing.  He pursued  the sport  relentlessly after the War, becoming  a  ski instructor in 1955, and continuing to teach for 22 winters, guided, initially, by his mentor and close friend, Olympian ski champion, Stein Eriksen.  Frank’s three ski instruction manuals, Illustrated by the author, were Published by Digest Books in the seventies, culminating with the most complete book ever written about the winter sport, “Skiers’ Digest “ in 1976.
 Indefatigable, as  he approaches his 81st birthday, the physically fit artist/author/skier reveals the source of his energy in a book that has helped thousands of its readers combat the aging process, “Rage Against Age“, (New Century Books, 1999), which reveals contemporary nutritional and physical culture secrets to active longevity, plus a fascinating chapter on correcting psychological imbalance.


     Book search companies, like amazon.com, continue to offer Frank’s original art books for hundreds of  dollars. They are in the collection of major libraries, nationwide, and abroad.  “My most talented student, my wisest life consultant, and my dear wife for the past and best 28 years of my life, sweet Barbara Jean,  has surely been  my greatest inspiration!”, the artist is quick to confess.