Remembering Corcoran Professor Emeritus Dennis O’Neil - Innovator in Screenprinting

Dennis O’Neil
November 19, 2020

Dennis O’Neil, Corcoran Professor Emeritus and Director of the Handprint Workshop International, passed away November 2, 2020, at age 74, following a courageous battle with progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP), a neurodegenerative disease. He was at home with his wife of forty-three years, Nancy Zimler, and his sons, Colin and Robin, and their wives.


Dennis not only taught in the Printmaking department for thirty years but also acted as Chair of the Fine Arts Program and Faculty Association President at different times during his tenure at the Corcoran College of Art and Design. As founder the Handprint Workshop International in Alexandria, he also started the Moscow Studio in Russia during the 90s. He brought many of the Russian artists who worked with him there to the U.S. to speak and work with Corcoran students in printmaking. He was acknowledged as an innovator in the medium of screenprinting and was invited across the country as a Visiting Artist to hold workshops for printmaking students. He had a passion for collaboration and worked with countless American and foreign artists for years, providing internship opportunities for many Corcoran students to participate in these studio projects.


See a video that features Dennis’ work (and his wonderful sense of humor).


Dennis received the Printmaker Emeritus Award at the SGC national print conference in 2018, recognizing his innovation in the field. Additionally, he started the Corcoran’s study abroad program in Skopelos, Greece and taught there over the years with fellow Corcoran faculty Steven Cushner and Georgia Deal. He taught studio programs in Spain and Italy as well.


Dennis will be remembered for his generosity and commitment to his students, with many tributes posted onto the Corcoran College of Art + Design Facebook page. Dennis will be missed by the many students he influenced, as well as his Corcoran colleagues and friends over the years. Messages of condolence can be sent to his family at [email protected].