Along with his success as a landscape painter, Professor Todd L. W. Doney of County College of Morris (CCM) also is a well-versed portrait painter whose latest work now hangs in the Leede Arena at Dartmouth University.
Doney, who teaches drawing, painting and portfolio presentation at CCM, was commissioned to paint a portrait of women’s basketball coach Chris Wielgus by Dartmouth Athletic Director Harry Sheehy shortly after Wielgus left her post at the university.
The oil painting depicts Wielgus with a warm and inviting smile in a black button-down shirt and gold jacket. “It really captures Wielgus,” wrote staff writer Tris Wykes in an article about the portrait in the Valley News, West Lebanon, NH.
Doney, who began his higher education at a community college, is widely known for his vivid Neo-Impressionistic paintings of New Jersey’s Great Swamp. His work, reflecting the beauty and variety of nature accented by the bright colors of the sun, most recently has been on display at an exhibition of New Jersey landscapes at Drumthwacket, the governor’s mansion. Last year, he also held a solo exhibit at the Morris Museum. He also has held one-person exhibits at Broadfoot & Broadfoot, the Gallery MacEgan in Morristown, the College of Saint Elizabeth, New Jersey City University, Griffin Gallery in Madison and at the Brickton Art Gallery in Park Ridge, IL.
The invitation to paint a portrait of Wielgus came as a result of the work Doney previously had done for Rick Bender, Dartmouth's director of media relations for athletics. When Bender was at Davidson College, Doney created a number of portraits for the college’s Sports Hall of Fame.
“When I create a portrait, I try to create more than just a likeness of the sitter,” says Doney. “I try to transmit some kind of understanding; to tell something of the subject’s personality. Basically, I try to depict people the way they are.”
Wielgus, now director of Women’s Basketball Operations at the University of Massachusetts, is a three-time Hall of Fame coach with more than 400 wins and 13 conference titles.
Born in Chicago, Doney earned his associate degrees from William Rainey Harper College, a community college in Illinois, and the American Academy of Art in Chicago, his B.A. from Thomas Edison State College and his MFA in painting from New Jersey City University. He joined the CCM faculty in 2011.