David received an M.A. and M.F.A. from the State University of New York at Albany. While at SUNYA he studied with renowned painter Mark Greenwold and art historian Roberta Bernstein. The experience affirmed a conviction and validity for the disciplined refinement and integrity of representation, as well as the metaphysical and pared down nature of postmodern and conceptual art.
David’s teaching is founded on helping students broaden and deepen artistic perceptions. His students are encouraged to cultivate self discipline and perseverance and expand their awareness of innate capacities for joy as creative individuals---to equip them with confidence to live their lives with vision, as artists---along whatever vocational path they tread.
David Coughtry was appointed to the Principia College faculty in 1985. Four years later he left academic life to become a professional artist, carrying on a successful and reputable profession as a painter, receiving a Florida Fellowship Grant for painting, as well as inclusion of his work in major travelling exhibitions throughout the United States. Rejoining the faculty in 2002, David has been involved in the design and leadership of Principia Abroad field programs in the western U.S. and more recently through Turkey and Greece. His being an educator at Principia has provided the means to continue refining and sharing much wisdom and inspiration, within an indubitable art of teaching.