Artist Information/Resume


David Giffey

Life With Art

 David Giffey grew up on a dairy farm in Fond du Lac County, Wisconsin. He was drafted in 1964 while working as wire editor of a daily newspaper in the Fox River Valley, and was a combat journalist and editor with the U.S. Army 1st Infantry Division during the American war in Vietnam.

For the past 50 years Giffey has worked as an artist, journalist, and photographer. He didn’t study art formally, and began his visual art career as a street vendor in Austin, Texas. Major visual art projects include icons and murals in Greek Orthodox Christian churches, community centers, schools, and public buildings in Wisconsin, Illinois, Minnesota, and Greece, as well as a series of paintings based on his experiences in the Vietnam War. Hundreds of his easel paintings were commissioned for private and public collections. He designed the Mourning Dove Effigy Mound at the Highground Veterans Memorial Park in Clark County.

Publications include: Long Shadows: Veterans Paths to Peace (2006 Atwood Publishing) with foreword by Howard Zinn; Struggle for Justice: The Migrant Farm Worker Labor Movement in Wisconsin, a chronicle of Wisconsin and Texas co-authored with Jesús Salas; and The People’s Stories of South Madison, edited oral histories with elders of the African American community in Madison, Wisconsin. The publications include Giffey’s photographic and painted illustrations.

 Until 2012, he edited the Home News weekly newspaper, Spring Green, Wisconsin. His weekly columns won a 2008 Wisconsin Newspaper Association first place award and Golden Dozen Awards in 2010 and 2012 from the International Society of Weekly Newspaper Editors.

Giffey is an active member of Veterans for Peace Chapter 25. He lives in rural Iowa County with his wife Nancy.

David Giffey
Visual Artist

P.O. Box 206
Arena, Wisconsin 53503-9403

Born December 20, 1941, Fond du Lac, Wisconsin

Murals and other selected works

1979-2020         •Assumption Church Icon Murals - Madison - 9,000 sq ft
1992-2014          •St. John's Catholic Church, Spring Green, 18 permanent icons
1976-2014          •Approximately 500 icons for churches and collectors
1991-2013           •Viet Nam series, six mural-sized paintings, collection of artist
1999-2002         •“Flowing Time” Mural, Black Earth State Bank, 40 feet X 9 feet
1992-2001          •Boys & Girls Club of Dane County, "Exodus," “Prophets,”
                                    "Community Life," "Tree of Life" murals
2000                   •Bethel Horizons Retreat Center, Dodgeville, "Four Harmonies" mural
1998-2015          •Photo Exhibit Struggle for Justice: The Migrant Farm Worker Labor
                                    Movement in Wisconsin, 30 exhibitions in state
1982-1998           •Greek Orthodox Church, Rochester, Minn., 1,700 square feet, icon murals
1997-1998           •Aldo Leopold School, Madison, "Wildflower Garden" and "Recess" murals
1991-1993            •Door Community Auditorium, Fish Creek, murals "The Land," "The Water"
1989                     •Mourning Dove Effigy Mound (Earth sculpture), Vietnam Veterans
                                    Memorial Park (The Highground), Neillsville
1988                     •"Colleagues" series, 14 life-size portraits of Milwaukee Bucks basketball
                                    team, collection of artist
1987-1988            •Icon murals for church dome and walls, East Moline, Illinois
1985-1986            •Saint Marina Church, Athens, Greece, icon murals, 500 square feet
1971-1978             •Approximately 300 fantasy landscapes acrylic on canvas

One-person exhibitions 

2017                  •Memories of Vietnam - The Highground - Neillsville

2016                  •Long Shadow: Painted Remembrances - Gallery 211 - Madison

2015                •Caestecker Art Gallery - Ripon College

2015                •Holy Wisdom Monastery - Middleton

2008, 2010     •Community room gallery – Spring Green
2008                •Grassroots Wisconsin – Dodgeville
2007                •Wisconsin Veterans Museum, Madison
2003                •WilMar Neighborhood Center, Madison
1999                 •Uihlein Peters Gallery, Milwaukee
1998-2010     •Photo exhibits in more than 50 public buildings across Wisconsin
1997                 •DeRicci Gallery, Edgewood College, Madison
1997                 •East High School, Madison
1997                 •Door Community Auditorium, Fish Creek
1995                 •Edgewood Orchard Gallery, Fish Creek
1994                 •Milwaukee Chamber Theatre, Milwaukee
1994                 •Milwaukee Area Technical College
1992                 •10 elementary and middle schools in Wisconsin
1989                 •Madison Art Center
1989                 •Pride Classic, Madison
1989                 •Mitchell Field Air Terminal, Milwaukee
1989                 •Milwaukee Public Library
1988                 •Milwaukee Area Technical College
1988                 •Fox Valley Technical Center, Appleton
1988                 •Moraine Park Technical Center, Fond du Lac
1985                 •Valperine Gallery, Madison
1984                 •Edgewood Orchard Gallery, Fish Creek
1981                 •St. Teresa's College, Winona, Minnesota
1979                  •Edgewood Orchard Gallery, Fish Creek
1977                  •Madison Art Center
1975                  •Edgewood Orchard Gallery
1974                  •Woods Gallery, Houston, Texas
1973                  •3-Rooms Gallery, Austin, Texas
1973                  •Student Union Gallery, University of Texas, Austin

Invitational or juried group exhibitions

2014                •River Arts on Water, Prairie du Sac
2013                •Veterans for Peace National Convention, Madison
2003               •Art, Solidarity, and Social Justice, Art Beat Gallery, Madison
1999                •Nicolet College Art Gallery, Rhinelander, Wisconsin
1999                •UW-Whitewater Crossman Gallery Center of the Arts
1998                •Walker's Point Center for the Arts, Milwaukee
1996                •Baptist Assembly Grounds, Green Lake, "The Art of Peace"
1989                 •Wisconsin Artists' Biennial, Manitowoc
1987                 •Ecumenical Liturgical Arts Festival, Richmond, Virginia
1985                 •Liturgical Arts Exhibition, West Bend Gallery of Fine Arts
1982                 •Elvejhem Museum, Madison
1981                  •Miller Art Center, Sturgeon Bay
1975                 •Performing Arts Center, Milwaukee

Selected lectures and residencies

2018                •Edgewood College, Adamah Studio at Bethel Horizons

2015                •Ripon College

2015                •Holy Wisdom Monastery, Middleton
2014                •UW-Milwaukee

2011                 •Chazen Museum – UW Madison
2004               •Black Earth Historical Society
2004               •Wisconsin Historical Society Museum
2003               •Midwest Rural Arts Forum Annual Conference
2000               •Boys & Girls Club of Dane County
1999                •Orthodox Womens' Conference, Milwaukee
1998                •Wisconsin State Historical Society, Madison
1998                •Wisconsin State AFL-CIO Convention, LaCrosse
1997                •Edgewood College, Madison
1996                •Aldo Leopold School, Madison
1995                •Hanoi Fine Arts University, Hanoi, Vietnam
1993                •Door Community Auditorium, Fish Creek
1989                •Madison Art Center
1981                 •St. Teresa's College, Winona, Minnesota
1980                •WSU-Oshkosh
1978                •Art League of Mathra Pradesh State, Bhopal, India

Scenic design for theater

1996                •Amahl and the Night Visitors, Spring Green, Mazomani
1988                 •Fiddler on the Roof, Gard Theatre, Spring Green
1987                 •Merry Widow, Madison Civic Opera, Norman Mitby Theatre
1986                 •Amahl and the Night Visitors, Spring Green, Madison
1986                 •Hamlet, American Players Theatre, Spring Green

Selected Other

2015-2020      •Numerous Power Point presentations

2014                 •Icons at Assumption – Hour-long DVD narration/tour of work
2009                 •Cover art – OM Band album Pilgrimage
2007                  •Cover art – OM Band album God is Good
2006                 •Book cover art -  Long Shadows: Veterans Paths to Peace
2001                  •Book cover art – The People’s Stories of South Madison
1986                  •Painting for Dane County sesquicentennial commemorative poster
1972-73             •Comics for The Rag, Austin, Texas

Art Grants received for various projects

Madison Community Foundation
Dane County Cultural Affairs Commission
Wisconsin Arts Board
Madison CitiARTS
Wisconsin Labor History Society
Wisconsin Humanities Council


1977 onward       •Studied icon painting and materials with master iconographers and muralists during two years spent in Greece beginning in 1977 including prolonged visits to icon studios in the monasteries of Mount Athos.

1985                 •Received official permission to photograph historic church murals in ancient churches of former Yugoslavia from Ohrid (Macedonia) to Belgrade (Serbia).