New Album by Alpha Mule

ALPHA MULE ALBUM_FINAL04Okay, while clearly not about painting, this is a project I’ve been working on for some time, which is now finished! So, I thought I’d mention it here. More info can be found at

In January, Eric Stoner and I recorded an album of original songs at WaveLab Studio in Tucson, AZ under the band name Alpha Mule.

Eric and I have been playing music together since 2013, and we’ve each been playing music for decades.

We were fortunate enough to record with some amazing musicians, including Calexico’s Joey Burns and Jacob Valenzuela, who played upright bass and trumpet, respectively.

Chris Schultz recorded the sessions, and WaveLab owner Craig Schumacher mixed the record and played on many tracks, as well.

The music might best be called Americana or alt-country, and is primarily played on acoustic instruments – guitars, banjo, upright bass, drums, trumpet, harmonica, along with some electric guitar, pedal steel, Hammond organ, and Mellotron.

There’s more info at, and the CD, titled Peripheral Vision, is finished, and now available there to stream, purchase or download. It’s also on itunes, amazon, and bandcamp (download), cd baby (CDs & download), and spotify (streaming).

The record will also be available on Vinyl in December (a slower production process, especially given the welcome resurgence of vinyl).

The player below contains the 10 tracks on the Vinyl record, but not the bonus tracks on the CD. It works on all platforms but iPhone, apparently, but the whole album streams here.


Joe Forkan – guitar and vocals

Eric Stoner – banjo and guitar


Joey Burns – upright bass and electric bass

Fen Ikner – drums

Craig Schumacher – hammond B3 , harmonicas, mellotron, phono harp

Connor Gallaher – pedal steel guitar

Jacob Valenzuela – trumpet

Steff Koeppen – backing vocals



©2016 Giant Meteor Records. All Rights Reserved. 

All songs published by Alpha Mule Music (ASCAP).

Unauthorized duplication is a violation of applicable laws.

Etherton Gallery – The Artists of Lewis Framing

This summer I was invited by Etherton gallery in Tucson to participate in the exhibition: The Artists of Lewis Framing. The exhibition ran from June 7 – August 27th, and showcased the work of seven Tucson artists who work, or have worked, at Lewis Framing Studio, one of Tucson’s preeminent framing establishments.


Back before leaving for graduate school, I worked off-and-on at the studio in Tucson, which is a kind of hub in the local art community. It provided, and still provides, great framing of art and art objects, but it’s also a place where a lot of institutions, museums, galleries, collectors and artists cross paths and connect with each other.

Owner Bea Mason has built a great business and a great resource for the local arts community. She has also created a positive working environment for the artists she employs. She’s very supportive of them and their artistic pursuits, (even after they’ve moved on from the shop for many years, as I have). I am pleased to have been included in this show, and happy that Terry Etherton mounted an exhibition that not only showcases a lot of local Tucson talent, but gives some much deserved credit to Bea Mason for her support of local artists, and the position she holds in the local art community.

The show was a chance to exhibit with artists I’ve known for many years, but have never had the opportunity to show with, and also nice to have another body of work up in Tucson during my Lebowski Cycle exhibition at University of Arizona Museum of Art. Below are the paintings I had in the Etherton show.


University of Arizona Museum of Art Lecture (updated)

Lecture 01

UAMA Lecture Joe Forkan 01

My exhibition of the Lebowski Cycle at the University of Arizona Museum of Art ended recently. I got to wrap it up the week before by giving a talk about the work for a nice crowd at the museum. Great to have the work up in Tucson and to see so many old friends at the talk, including my favorite professor from my undergraduate days, Classics professor Dr. David Soren, whose classes I took at UA back in 1987 and 1988! A real treat to catch up with this brilliant man after all that time. (I’m showing my age, because it didn’t occur to me to take a selfie with him…)

lecture 02

UAMA Lecture Joe Forkan 02

The lecture was fun for me, (what’s not to like about talking about painting, and a big body of work I spent 5 years making)? It was much easier, and a lot more effective, to talk about the paintings when they were actually in the room. Talking about paintings from slides somehow does not have the same effect.

Tucson Sky

Tucson Sky

In my lecture, I was going to explain how growing up in Tucson was responsible for my love of color as a painter. I think the sunsets that whole week explained it a lot better.

Raft of the Medusa - installation shot

UAMA Raft of the Medusa – installation shot

The installation shots really help to give a sense of the scale of these paintings. So much of what I was after here was the impact that the old master narrative paintings have because of their size, their physical presence, which never translates in photos or on the internet.

Exhibition - installation shot

UAMA Lebowski Cycle Exhibition – installation shot

It was great to have the work up at the University of Arizona, my alma mater, in my hometown. That had a nice symmetry. Thanks to everyone at the Museum, and to everyone who came out for the lecture. Thanks to Eric Stoner for the installation & lecture photos. 

Lebowski Talk flyer

University of Arizona Alumni Magazine Article

The University of Arizona Alumni Magazine just published a nice piece tied to my exhibition of The Lebowski Cycle at the UA Museum of Art. It’s great to have the paintings up at the UAMA in Tucson (through Sept 25th). Thanks to Margaret Regan for writing a great article and Jacob Chinn for the great photos.

Joe Forkan Art-3sm

Opening Reception • The Lebowski Cycle • The University of Arizona Museum of Art

The University of Arizona Museum of Art in Tucson, Arizona is hosting an exhibition of The Lebowski Cycle in the museum’s Main Gallery from May 28th through September 25th, 2016.

The exhibition will include all 15 of the large-scale oil paintings from the cycle.

An opening reception will be held on June 2nd from 5-7 pm at the museum.

Supper at Emmaus (After Caravaggio) • Joe Forkan 2006-2009 oil on linen 96?x 38?

Supper at Emmaus (After Caravaggio) • Joe Forkan 2006-2009 oil on linen 96?x 38?

I am particularly looking forward to this show, as I largely grew up in Tucson, and received my BFA in Studio Art from the University of Arizona. The UA Museum of Art was also the first art museum I went to when I was young, and it will be great to have my work shown there.