Clifton Henri

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Above: Wings, print, 11.5 x 11.25″

Award-winning Chicago-based artist Clifton Henri has a story to tell. Henri’s influences include imagery from the Civil Rights Movement, the Harlem Renaissance, and artists such as fellow Chicagoan Kerry James Marshall. Cultural influences, personal anecdotes, and political commentary all converge within Henri’s photos. The artist considers these works as ‘stills from a film with an ever-evolving narrative’. Wings is a small but irreplaceable piece of this story; a young girl finding strength and confidence from her own reflection. 

To see more of Henri’s story, check out his website at cliftonhenri.com, or follow his Instagram

Fun Fact: In 1839, the precursor to the modern day photograph was invented. Named for its inventor, the daguerrotype gained popularity in the 1850s, giving rise to the new profession of Photographer. One of the first documented professional daguerreotypists was Augustus Washington.

Check out his Portfolio

Gold Leaf Design Group

The Current Iowa features several sculptures by the Chicago-based Gold Leaf Design Group. In our lobby, we proudly feature Heartthrob and the Love Bench collection. This corner of the lobby is the perfect backdrop for both group photos and selfies! In our pool, you can spot another Gold Leaf creation – a bright yellow duck!

Above: Love Benches & Heartthrob, fiberglass and marble // Duck, fiberglass

Gold Leaf creates a wide range of products – check out their online catalogue, or find them on Facebook!

Jennifer O’Meara

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Above: American Beauty on Black, photographic pigment & encaustic on board, 57 x 43″

American Beauty is one of multiple series that focus on specific sites, namely barns of midwestern America. Every year, O’Meara returns to her favorite barns to revisit and recapture the majesty of these structures. Within her works, O’Meara combines photography pigment and printmaking methods with painting techniques such as encaustic, or painting with a pigment-wax mixture. O’Meara has been a pioneer in photographic printmaking since 1991, and continues to search for new technologies to use in her work. 

See more of the Colorado-native’s works here.

Fun Fact: ‘Encaustic’ comes from the Greek word enkaiein, meaning to burn in (the pigment mixes with hot wax), and its usage dates back to ancient Greece as well. Before being adapted for use on panels, encaustic paints were used to decorate Greek warships and merchant vessels because of the waterproof nature of the wax. 

Scott Clark

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Above: Growing Apart, oil on wood, 48 x 24″

Scott Clark is from Illinois and is an artist across platforms. A skilled painter, Clark is also an avid photographer and dedicated musician. As a painter, Clark creates visual landscapes that are a fascinating combination of intimate and isolating. 

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Above: We Are Not Alone in This, oil on wood, 24 x 48″

The process behind these works involves the layering of many thin coats of oil paint. Over time, deep and varied compositions begin to form from the fields of color, and are broken up by the occasional variance in texture. 

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Above: An Offering, oil on wood, 24 x 48″

Many of Clark’s works are inspired by personal events, and expanded to reflect on the emotions that everyone experiences.  For more of Scott Clark’s paintings, check out his website below!

scottclarkartwork.com

Fun Fact: The earliest known oil paintings are Buddhist murals in Afghanistan from around the 7th century BCE. Oils did not become popular in the west until the 15th century.

Justin King

Above: Lincoln, acrylic on canvas, 14 x 18″ // Distorted Waters, mixed media on canvas, 30 x 24″

Justin King believes that art is for everybody. Through a focus on color, movement, and texture, King delivers unique art through a distinguishable style. King’s portfolio spans from abstract paintings to colorful portraits to sculptures of many kinds. Works by King inspire excitement and intrigue – mirroring the artists’ adventurous use of materials. Lincoln and Distorted Waters add a burst of color and energy to The Current collection. 

See more of Justin King’s wide range of works on his website or follow him on Instagram!

Fun Fact: Abraham Lincoln is honored in the National Wrestling Hall of Fame with the Outstanding American award for his wrestling career when he was younger. Lincoln lost only one out of 300 matches.

Gary Passanise

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Above: Manic Blue, oil on canvas, 42 x 60″ // Untitled #7, oil on canvas, 42 x 60″

Gary Passanise is a St. Louis based artist, but has exhibited works across the U.S., Europe, and Asia. Gary prefers to work with oils, wax, charred lumber, found objects, limestone, and steel.  Both the unique materials and their expertise application contribute to the intriguing surface quality achieved in Gary’s works. In both Manic Blue and Untitled #7, an interest in implied forms influences the composition. The two paintings work together to provide enough structure to invite the viewer in, while simultaneously existing in a reality parallel to our own. 

Gary Passanise is affiliated with Bruno David Galleries of St. Louis. 

Fun Fact: The reality we see is not how we actually see it. Our two eyes perceive two slightly different angles of the world, and our brains are constantly working to combine those two images into one. The brain is creating our perception every second, and fills in any blanks by using subconscious clues.

Joanna Kinnersly-Taylor

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Above: Resonance, dyed linens, 16 panels 18.5 x 13.25″ each

Joanna Kinnersly-Taylor, of Glasgow, Scotland, is one of the few international artists featured in The Current’s collection. Joanna works with natural fibers such as linens and wool, and uses many techniques to dye, screen print, paint, or manipulate the fabric. Joanna has spent over 20 years perfecting her craft; she’s written a successful book on screen printing and dyeing techniques, regularly teaches a variety of classes, and is a guest lecturer at degree level. Her work Resonance is one of many in her portfolio focused on memory and process. Joanna uses layering, repetition, and abstraction of recognizable forms to create a hazy yet somehow familiar setting. Even the title, meaning deep and reverberating, echoes the process of creating this work.

See more of Joanna’s powerful work, as well as her lines of domestic linens, on her website: joannakinnerslytaylor.com.

Fun Fact: The human brain has a memory storage capacity of about 2.5 petabytes. Thats equal to about 1 quadrillion bytes, or over 2.6 million continuous hours of television!