Mark Priest



Professor Priest's focus over the past thirteen years has been on Underground Railroad conductor Harriet Tubman, the early life of Frederick Douglass, Slavery in Maryland and Freedom Seekers. He started his current research by following the probable routes on which Tubman took passengers to freedom. Many events were recounted by noted historians, genealogists and descendants while he traveled through, Maryland, Delaware, New York, and Canada; retracing the steps of many who went before him on these routes to freedom. The wealth of personal experiences and detailed information obtained is the foundation of these narrative bodies of work. Large and small-scaled dramatic compositions full of vibrant color, strong mark-making and powerful use of light portray the intensity of each moment. In an ever-changing era these artworks are the chronicles of an almost silent part of history.

Course Offerings

ART 107: Foundation Drawing
ART 207: Foundation Figure Drawing
ART 315: Drawing and Composition
ART 301: Introduction to Painting
ART 501: Concepts in Painting
ART 502: Advanced Concepts in Painting
ART 503: Special Topics in Painting
ART 504: Directed Study in Painting
ART 601: Workshop in Painting
ART 602: Professional Practice in Painting


Figure Drawing and Painting • Underground Railroad

Service to Profession

Invited and Organized lecture, painting critic, and spearheaded the exhibition of artist William Bailey (2013)
Invited and organized a lecture, class demonstration and painting critic of artist Hanneline Røgeberg  (2012)
Invited and organized lecture, painting critique and spearheaded the exhibition of drawings by artist Steven Assael. (2011)
Juror, Nude 2011, Lexington Art League, Lexington KY, 2011


Presentation of Drawings, “Freedom Seeker: Early life of Frederick Douglass”, Frederick Douglass Honor Society, Easton, MD, 2014
Gallery Lecture, Underground Railroad featuring Harriet Tubman & Stewarts Canal, Exhibition, Denton Museum, MD, 2013
Workshop, “Art of History Student Workshop”, Troy, NY, 2010
Workshop, “Art of History Student Workshop”, Troy, NY, 2010


Morgan Faculty Research Grant, University of Louisville, KY, 2016
Research and Creative Activity Grant, University of Louisville, KY, 2016
Commission on Racial Equality and Diversity Grant, University of Louisville, KY, 2015
Project Completion Grant, University of Louisville, KY, 2014
Project Completion Grant, University of Louisville, KY, 2010
Initiative Research Grant, University of Louisville, KY, 2010
Al Smith Individual Artist Fellowship, Kentucky Arts Council, Frankfort, KY, 2009


State of Painting, Georgetown College Art Galleries, Georgetown KY (group), 2016
Cressman Center, Narrative of the early years of Frederick Douglass :Drawing Series, (solo), Louisville, KY, 2015
Allen R. Hite Gallery, Life of a Freedom Seeker: Paintings Drawings and prints of Harriet Tubman and other freedom seekers, (solo),  Louisville KY, 2015
Strecker-Nelson Gallery, Manhattan, Kansas, (solo), 2011
Rensselaer County Historical Society, A Fugitive Slave Rescued, Troy, NY. (solo), 2010
Kentucky Visions at the Capitol 2015, Frankfort, KY, (group), 2015
"Struggles and Triumph,"
Rotunda Art Project, Metro Hall, Underground Railroad Series, Louisville, KY. (group), 2013