Peter Geisser has been an active member of the New England Arts and Art Education Communities for most of his professional life. His training in painting, ceramics, mosaics and stained glass was done at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, where he received a Diploma and 5th Year Graduate Certificate. He also holds a B.S. in Education and a Master of Fine Arts from Tufts University.
As a Stained–Glass Artist, he works exclusively in European–Antique (mouth-blown) glass. His work can be seen at RI Hospital, Providence, R.I. in the Chapel of Hope, the Cancer Center and Hasbro Children’s Hospital. Geisser is a featured artist in the film: RI Archive Project: http://riaaproject.blogspot.com.
“It is important that my art be of service to people, not to simply be of service to itself. In my career, I have been fortunate to have had commissions in schools, a prison, hospitals, churches, public spaces as well as private homes. What is most important is that I have been an artist/teacher who has been inspired and touched by my students.” –PJGeisser
Professor Paul F. Norton writes:
As is the artist’s custom, no certain meaning is incorporated in his designs. Instead there is an attitude of appropriateness for the space and a relationship with the world of nature seen through the windows. Peter Geisser’s art never deals with the world as we normally see it, but instead with forms that may suggest ideas that are very real to us.
Geisser has complimented his career as an artist with an active career as an art educator, teaching at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Rhode Island School of Design, Dept. of Continuing Education and the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth. After thirty years, he retired as the Art Director at the R.I. School for the Deaf, where he created an Art/Art History Program, which received worldwide recognition and was featured twice in SCHOOL ARTS. He has given workshops on the R.I. School for the Deaf’s Art Program around the world as well as at national and regional art education conventions and has a chapter in the National Art Education Association best selling publication, Reaching and Teaching Special Education Students Through Art. In 2005 Geisser received the Rhode Island Art Education Association Lifetime Achievement Award and in 2013 he became the Eastern Region VP Elect for the National Art Education Association and served on the NAEA Board of Directors as VP from 2014-2016. In 2018 Geisser had a chapter published about the RI Training School Mural in Art for Children Experiencing Psychological Trauma, Heist, Hunter, Johns, Routledge,NY.
He is not only an artist/educator; he is an active force in the community. Geisser with colleague Mika Seeger have created community murals of stoneware sculptural/mosaics at: India Point Park, Providence; the Providence Children’s Museum; the RI Training School, and the Waves of Narragansett for Gilbane Co., reinstalled 30 years of murals in the new RI School for the Deaf, !CityArts! Mural of Hope, Providence, Tiverton Library-Tiverton Trees and ABCs of Tiveton. From 1992-96 he created and directed the CIRCLE OF CLAY, a project for VSA Arts R.I., which decorated seven floors of the Hasbro Children’s Hospital with thousands of ceramic tiles made by 10,000 children from all over the state. He has directed projects and presented programs at the Museum of Art, RISD, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, which have brought special needs populations into the mainstream of the art world.
Mr. Geisser served on the Boards of ¡CITYARTS!, Providence, RI; Past President of the Rhode Island Art Education Association and of Special Needs Art Ed., National Art Education Association. He is a founding member of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts Access Advisory Board on which he served for forty years, and has been an advisor to the RISD Museum of Art, the R.I. State Council on the Arts, the Governor’s Task Force on Literacy and the Arts, the R.I. Committee for the Humanities, Very Special Arts R.I., Perishable Theatre, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, The Kennedy Center and the National Gallery of Art.
He has been honored as: one of the 350 Outstanding Citizens of R.I. by the City of Providence; one of the 50th Anniversary Scholars at the National Gallery of Art; a recipient of a State of the Arts Award from RISCA. He received the R.I. Business Volunteers for the Arts Humanitarian Award, for the CIRCLE OF CLAY project, declared the Best Public Art in R.I. byR.I. Monthly Magazine. He appears in Paul Norton’s Rhode Island Stained Glass, and Stephan Brigidi’s Remarkable People. In 1997, the Rhode Island School of Design awarded him an Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree for his work as an artist, art educator and arts advocate. He received the 2008 Pell Award for Distinguished Achievement in the Arts from Trinity Repertory Company, Providence. In 2012, Geisser was awarded The National Art Education Association Marion Quinn Dix Leadership Award, and in 2013 received the Sr. Ann Keefe Creativity and Social Justice Award from ¡CityArts!, Providence.