George Mead attended The Museum School of Fine Arts in Boston, Massachusetts in 1971, then Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio in 1972. He received his undergraduate degree in drawing in 1976, and Master of Fine Arts degree in 1978 in painting, while under a scholarship in painting from the California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland, California. He also took graduate classes at The University of California at Berkeley toward his Masters Degree. His graduate degree was in painting and his focus was photo-realism, under the instruction of Robert Bechtel and Richard McLean. His mentor, Arthur Okamura, an instructor at CCAC, was the major influence in his vision, medium, environmental involvement, and reaction and interaction in this regard, with his artwork.
Between 1974 and 1978, while attending CCAC, Mead won two California Arts Council Grants, a San Francisco Arts Commission Grant, (NIPP Grant), and a National Endowment For the Arts Grant. These awards were for mural projects, three of which involved community oriented arts programs for federally subsidized, low-income housing projects. The National Endowment for the Arts Grant was a Bay Area wide competition he won for a mural project celebrating the bicentennial of America, which was a 30’(W) X 80’(H) mural in downtown Oakland, California.
During his graduate years (1977-1978), Mead lectured on public art at the University of California campuses of Berkeley and Davis, and was appointed the head of a seminar on public art by the California Arts Council, at The University of California in Santa Cruz.
In 1978 and1979, Mead worked for Bill Graham's FM Productions designing and painting backdrops for rock and roll tours. During this time, he also worked in Los Angeles as a journeyman scenic artist, painting TV and movie sets for Universal, Warner Brothers, MGM and Paramount Studios. As well Mead worked for ACT and The San Francisco Opera painting stage sets.
In 1980 Mead founded Wet Paint Studios, in Berkeley, California, (re-named Wet Studios in 1992), a design and large format paint studio. Since 1980 Wet Studios has designed and produced numerous hand painted touring sets for the entertainment industry, including The Rolling Stones, The Grateful Dead, Santana, ZZ Top, Billy Joel, Elton John, Britney Spears, Robert Plant, Justin Timberlake and dozens more. As well The Studio produced hundreds of hand painted projects for Tower Records, Casinos, Museums, Theaters, Design Firms, Record Labels, and Corporations. Among the many high profile jobs, an important one to mention would be a 30’X 60’ painting of The Potala Palace in Lhasa, Tibet, for His Holiness The Dalai Lama. Please view the website www.wetstudios.com for a more complete description, portfolio and select client list.
For two years, 1987 through 1989, Mead taught two classes at the Academy of Art in San Francisco in airbrush technique and commercial art production.
In recent years, Wet Studios has repositioned itself as a digital design and production management company for large format digital printing. This ‘new’ direction has resulted in numerous projects, the latest being the design and production of the sound wings for the Billy Joel and Elton John stadium tour (2009).
In the last few years, since the repositioning of Wet Studios, there has been time available for George to work on his personal “Fine Art’ which has resulted in a number of series of paintings. George travelled extensively in 2006 and 2007, and lived in Prague for the better part of 2008 painting his fine art work.
These paintings represent his ongoing involvement with reactions to social and environmental issues with his technique and imagery. These personal statements of juxtapositions and dialects are importantly the message.