Born in Zahlé, Lebanon, Chawky Frenn lived his formative years in a country that nurtured him not only with mysticism, spirituality and beauty, but also with paradoxes, conflicts, and delusions. Before emigrating to the United States in 1981, he witnessed six years of civil war whose devastating effects and consequences would powerfully influence his life and work.
Frenn received a BFA from Mass College of Art and Design in Boston, MA in 1985, and an MFA from Tyler School of Art of Temple University in Philadelphia, PA in 1988. He completed the second year of graduate studies at Temple Abroad in Rome, Italy. Frenn taught at Bridgewater State College in Bridgewater, MA; Montserrat College of Art in Beverly, MA and Edinboro University of PA, in Edinboro, PA. He is currently an Associate Professor at George Mason University in Fairfax, VA.
Frenn had exhibits in the United States, France, Germany, Italy, Lebanon, and Paraguay. He participated in museum exhibits including the Hoyt Institute of Fine Arts in New Castle, PA; Housatonic Museum of Art in Bridgeport, CT; Erie Art Museum in Erie, PA; Arnot Art Museum in Elmira, NY; and Sursock Museum in Beirut, Lebanon. His work is included in the collections of the Housatonic Museum of Art in Bridgeport, CT, the Springfield Museum of Art in Springfield, OH, and in private collections.
In 2017, Frenn was awarded the Fulbright-Nehru Academic and Professional Excellence Awards and spent 5 months in New Delhi, India, painting and teaching. He has received numerous awards including the Teaching Excellence Award, George Mason University in Fairfax, VA, in 2009; Summer Research Grant, George Mason University in 2003; Blanche E. Colman Award, Mellon Trust, Boston, MA, in 1998; The Stacey Scholarship Award, The National Academy of Western Art, Oklahoma City, OK and The Sheldon Bergh Award USA, Basil H. Alkazzi Award, London, England, both in 1993; and Gibran Khalil Gibran Foundation Grant, Gibran Khalil Gibran Foundation, Boston, MA in 1982, 1983 and 1984.
Frenn received critical acclaim by the New York Times, NY ARTS, Art New England, Boston Globe, Connecticut Post, Atlanta Magazine, and Pittsburgh Post-Gazette in the United States, and An-Nahar, L’Orient – Le Jour, and The Daily Star in Lebanon.
Frenn is the author of two books 100 Boston Artists and 100 Boston Painters published in 2013 and 2012 by Schiffer Publishing. His work appeared in 100 Artists of Washington, D.C. by F. Lennox Campello in 2011, Male Nude Now by David Leddick in 2001, and Encyclopedia of Arab American Artists by Dr. Fayeq S. Oweis in 2008. Art for Life’s Sake, a monograph on Frenn’s work was published by Fine Arts Consulting and Publishing in Beirut, Lebanon, in 2006.
Frenn lives and works in Arlington, VA.