October 11, 2007

Painting Across 10,000 Miles

John Hannafin ’00 travels around nation to capture beauty of national parks on canvas and video

Artist John Hannafin ’00 recently returned from a 10,000-mile adventure across the country, where he painted and filmed images from several national parks. His journey was featured on local affiliates of NBC, ABC, and Fox News and in several publications, including The Philadelphia Inquirer.

He unveiled the masterpiece from the trip, a 14-foot-tall painting of the Marquis de Lafayette at the Battle of Brandywine, on Oct. 5 at the Chester County (Pa.) Historical Society in West Chester. He also made a short film combining the painting’s creation with a re-enactment of the battle, which he has posted on his web site,, along with other images and videos he made of his adventure.

The piece, which he completed to commemorate the 250th anniversary of Lafayette’s birth, had to be removed from display due to space constraints, but other works from the show will remain through Dec. 5.

Hannafin began his Big Art Across America Adventure from his home in West Chester, Pa., traveling to the Blue Ridge Mountains of Shenandoah National Park and the Great Smoky Mountains of the South, continuing to Austin, Texas, and White Sands National Monument in New Mexico.

“I met some amazing people from all over the world and saw landscapes that seem to be from a fantasy land,” he says.

He moved on to Sedona, Ariz.; the Grand Canyon; Zion National Park in Utah; Yosemite and Redwoods National Parks in California; the Oregon and Washington State coastlines; Glacier National Park in Montana; Yellowstone National Park; and the Badlands of South Dakota before returning home.

“The goal of the journey was to grow personally, artistically, and professionally while helping others through charity at the same time,” says Hannafin. “And to visit all the beautiful places in this country that I’ve always wanted to see.”

He donated his first painting from the journey and a percentage of proceeds to the nonprofit Friends Association, the oldest continually operating child welfare agency in Pennsylvania.

Hannafin is the founder of ArtPassionista, which offers original and limited-edition fine art that “exudes uplifting energy.”

He believes that Lafayette helped prepare him for the trip and his art business.

“As an economics and business major, I learned everything to run my business outside of the artistic creation process,” he says. “Accounting, marketing, and people skills in general are all things I learned through my Lafayette experience. Not to mention the connections and friends I stayed with around the country on my trip. I’m grateful to Lafayette for the impression the College has had on me, and the person it has helped me to become.”

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