Born in 1962 and raised in Studio City, California Purchin started painting seriously when he was 16. While in high school, he won a Bank of America Award for a painting of a construction worker in pink. Purchin developed an individual major at UC Santa Cruz entitled, The Arts and Social Action. Through this major, he created art exhibits and experiences in which participants were encouraged to interact with the art.
In the last seventeen years, Purchin has been painting on site, be it landscapes or at events such as weddings or at historical moments. Purchin puts himself in the middle of things, capturing the movement and the mood. Purchin has created on site paintings in downtown Manhattan, at the 2009 and 2013 Presidential Inaugurations and the “We Are One” concert in Washington DC.
In 2010, Purchin founded the Artists Everywhere Project in which he creates installations of artists creating work in public with the aim of shifting the paradigm so that the making of art will be as popular as the playing of sports and the shopping for things.
Purchin collaborated with artist Lisa Hochstein in 2011 to create “Doings and Undoings” a day long performance installation at the Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History, MAH involving on site painting and tearing and manipulating a 1000 foot roll of paper.
At the same time Purchin campaigned for the making of art everywhere by everybody and made art in public at the Republican and the Democratic national conventions in the summer of 2012. He organized A Thousand Artists: A Public Art Making Installation at the 2013 Presidential Inauguration in which over a hundred people made art amongst the spectators.
He has been an artist in residence with The Fields Project on two occasions in which he lived on farms in Ogle County, Illinois sharing his art process with the farmers as he painted scenes from their lives. Purchin’s work has been published in American Artist and in the Santa Cruz Cultural Council Calendar for 2007-2008. Purchin was awarded a partial fellowship to Vermont Studio Center where he was artist in residence in 2005. Purchin’s work has been exhibited and honored in many venues including The Triton Museum in Santa Clara, Lana Santorelli Gallery in NYC (Chelsea), The Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History, the Santa Cruz Art League, The Santa Cruz Institute of Contemporary Arts, Sanchez art center and Atelier Gallery. Purchin is a Santa Cruz County Open Studios participant.
(Photo: Jon Kersey)