Art, design, history and museums have inspired Jeffrey’s life since childhood. By age sixteen, he had won a first place at Yale University’s Student Art Show for his oil painting. During his university years, Jeffrey spent two years of individual study with Pulitzer Award-winner, Professor Rudolph F. Zallinger (“The Dinosaur Man”), Artist-in-Residence at Yale University’s Peabody Museum of Natural History.
Jeffrey applied his creative skills in the business sector as commercial art director, creative director, architectural designer and museum designer.
From 1972 through 1998 Jeffrey gained national recognition as a fine artist for his commissioned illustration, wildlife art and figurative portraits.
In describing the evolution of his painting styles, Jeffrey recalls, “when I was nine, my school went to the Museum of Natural History in NYC. The fieldtrip changed my life. The dioramas amazed me. The backgrounds were painted so realistically I could not tell where the foreground merged into the painted background. What was real, what was not? I had no idea this fieldtrip would influence my personal art and was responsible for my passion in designing cultural attractions and museum exhibitions which inspire and educate.”
“There are two diverse styles to my painting”, stated Jeffrey. “I am intrigued by details of photo realism, often reflected in my wildlife art and figurative portraits. My other side is motivated to combine elements of realism with design elements of color, texture and positive-negative shapes. I often begin by designing small, detailed collage ‘studies’ using mixed media and paper. I translate my studies into large, complex, abstract, expressionistic, ‘painted symphonies’, immersing the viewer into worlds which balance both natural elements of ecological ‘biotopes’ with symbolism of human technology.”
“There are questions,” Jeffrey poses. “Is my art a galactic landscape or a micro-scape? Is it nature, technology, or both? Does it represent past, present or future?”
From 1987 until 1990 Jeffrey served as Museum Director and Design Director for The National Geographic Society, Washington, DC.
In 1989, Jeffrey negotiated the first US-USSR Cultural Business Joint Venture between National Geographic and State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia, paving the way for Russian museums to create business ventures with western companies or museums, and included developing the Catherine the Great blockbuster exhibition tour.
Jeffrey was honored in 1989 as first American museum director to serve on an active committee of the Board of Governors of a Russian museum, The State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia.
In addition to his personal painting, Jeffrey established himself as an independent consultant in 1996.
- Dering Fine Art Consultants, specializes in the development, marketing and business management of fine art assets from Old Masters to Modern Masters, working with private collectors, museums, corporations and foundations.
- Dering Cultural Attraction Consultants specializes in the design, development and project management of cultural-entertainment attractions, exhibitions, museums and public art programs.
From 2014 to 2016, Jeffrey served as design project manager for the new Heroes and Legends, United States Astronaut Hall of Fame at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center Visitors Center.