Connell attended Brown University, in Providence, RI (1958–1960), the Art Students League, NY (1960–1961) and New York University (1962) where he studied Chinese print making. His first show was in New York in 1962.
I painted these rooms that were like drooling little flashes of leaves---a quick stroke. I made paper rooms that you would walk into and they would kind of rustle. That was an attempt at an environment. It wasn't terribly complete . . . kind of like the shell. Actually, I didn't think of those as 'environments'. I didn't have that word then.