Justin Kellner

Justin Kellner

Profile | Statement | Biography | News Links


Justin Kellner • News Links

"Birds in Art", American Art Collector, September 2015

"reCollect" Solo Show @ Calvin's (106) Gallery", LG News Link

"Justin Kellner - Solo", LG News Link

"Artist Spotlight - Justin Kellner", LG News Link

"Justin Kellner Painting Live - Art & All That Jazz", LG News Link




Justin Kellner • Profile

 

Justin Kellner

Beautiful and wild, Justin Kellner’s combination of aggressive, abstract brushstrokes with silky veils of color and realistically-rendered birds creates unexpected spaces in each canvas.  With a confident use of deep browns, red-oranges, brassy yellows, sky blues and mossy greens, his work begins by simply laying down a few marks in acrylic paint.  These marks are then used to guide the placement of thinned washes of paint which stain the canvas in calming, muted tones.  On top of this subtle background, paint is built up in certain areas, becoming thick and layered while others are left thinly masked with soft color.  At times these areas of dense, caked paint are home to an expertly rendered bird.  Loons, nuthatches and gulls emerge from confident brushwork, revealing that the painting is not just about light, color and paint application.  The viewer becomes aware that blocks of color allude to untamed landscapes and layered, craggy paint references the weathered surfaces of the natural world. 

It is in this realization that we find ourselves between Kellner’s two conflicting planes of being.  One plane has us questioning what, if anything, is truly real while the other provides tactile, solid evidence that the physical world does absolutely exist.

A graduate of Kendall School of Art and Design’s MFA program, Kellner has shown his work throughout Michigan and has been honored with several awards.


Justin Kellner • Statement

Our lives are comprised of two entirely different planes or levels of being that are intertwined to create the universe we all know and accept to be life. The artwork strives to combine our two different levels of consciousness: consciousness within our mind and consciousness pertaining to our natural environment, the artwork’s intent is to enlighten the viewer on these two very different, yet linked, surrounding environments.

The first aspect of the artwork is based on the premise that everything we know, feel, and experience in our physical world is an illusion. Our living illusion existence relates more towards our state of mind when we are dreaming that to the physical world we perceive on a daily basis. In this state of mind reality, where time is cyclical and constant rather than linear, each individual thought, emotion, and action throughout one’s entire life eternally revolves an infinite amount of times exactly the same in a never-ending life cycle. At this exact moment we are unaware of this eternally revolving cycle and we are only attuned to our physical world through our many senses. The surrounding world we experience is constructed through the various stimuli received in our environment. If we are void of all our sense and are unable to perceive the world around us, are we only left with pure consciousness?

Yet at the same time, the existence of our physical world and nature is indisputable, even if it can be thought of as some grandiose illusionary deception. In my current body of work, the mixed media acrylic paintings deal with humankind’s negative impact on the environment’s various cycles that exist throughout Earth’s many ecosystems. Specifically the proposed sulfide mining in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and the interrupted migratory cycles of many bird species, such as Michigan’s own Kirtland’s Warbler, which run the risk of extinction because of habitat loss, are subjects influential to my paintings. The bird’s migratory patterns have become distressed through human expansion and pollution to the environment. This leaves many species having to adapt to new unnatural habitats or face the threat of extinction. In the physical world there are issues of pollution, animal extinction, and climate change that cannot be ignored.

Compositional balance and color harmony are two of the more important formal issues of my paintings. Using an even blend of abstractions and realistic landscape elements, I attempt to weld both mental and physical environments into on combined unit. Trying to achieve the push and pull effect from abstraction to landscape in the paintings is a strong desire of mine. The addition of a physical three-dimensional sculpture on to the two-dimensional surface of the painting is also extremely important. This alludes to and further emphasizes the idea of both human states of existence and the combination of our two surrounding environments.

The intention of my artwork is to enlighten the viewer on these two very different, yet linked, surrounding environments. The artwork also attempts to make the viewer conscious of the various cycles that underlie our everyday existence.


Justin Kellner • Biography

EDUCATION

2010
Master of Fine Arts in Painting, Kendall College of Art and Design, Grand Rapids, MI

2007
Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting/Drawing, Central Michigan University, Mt. Pleasant, MI

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Sculpture, Central Michigan University, Mt. Pleasant, MI

Minor in Art History, Central Michigan University, Mt. Pleasant, MI

SELECTED EXHIBITIONS

2017
"Freshly Considered", LaFontsee Galleries, Grand Rapids, MI
"Displacement", Solo Installation, LaFontsee Galleries, Grand Rapids, MI

2016
"sELECTED Works", LaFontsee Galleries, Grand Rapids, MI
"Toast", LaFontsee Galleries, Douglas, MI
"Everyone in the Pool", LaFontsee Galleries, Douglas, MI
"Collective Alchemy", LaFontsee Galleries, Grand Rapids, MI

2015
"Let's Get Started", LaFontsee Galleries, Grand Rapids, MI
"Preserved!" Land Conservancy of West Michigan hosted at LaFontsee Galleries, Douglas, MI
"Birds in Art" 40th anniversary exhibition, Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum, Wausau, WI
"Look Out", LaFontsee Galleries, Douglas, MI
"Everyone in The Pool", LaFontsee Galleries, Douglas, MI
“Lookie Here”, LaFontsee Galleries, Grand Rapids, MI

2014  
“Annual Fall Celebration”, LaFontsee Galleries, Grand Rapids, MI
“URBAN/RURAL Michigan Outlook”, LaFontsee Galleries, Douglas, MI
“Unusual Suspects”, LaFontsee Galleries, Douglas, MI
“Hop Skip & a Jump”, LaFontsee Galleries, Douglas, MI
“reCollect” Solo Show, (106) Gallery, Calvin College, Grand Rapids, MI

2013  
“Justin Kellner - Solo”, LaFontsee Galleries, Grand Rapids, MI

2012  

“25 Year Gala”, LaFontsee Galleries, Grand Rapids, MI
“LG-Group”, LaFontsee Galleries, Douglas, MI
“Color Context”, LaFontsee Galleries, Douglas, MI
“Power of Pattern”, LaFontsee Galleries, Douglas, MI
“Fresh Squeezed and Locally Grown”, LaFontsee Galleries, Douglas, MI
“Act II”, LaFontsee Galleries, Douglas, MI

2011  
“2011 Juried Fine Arts Exhibition”, Crooked Tree Arts Center, Petosky, MI
“Come Out and Play”, LaFontsee Galleries, Grand Rapids, MI
“83rd Regional Exhibition”, Juried Exhibition, Muskegon Museum of Art, Muskegon, MI, Director’s Choice Award Winner
“Fall at the Lakeshore, LaFontsee Galleries, Douglas, MI
“West Michigan Area Show”, Juried Exhibition, Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, Kalamazoo, MI People’s Choice Award Winner
“2011 Festival of the Arts Regional Exhibition”, Grand Rapids Art Museum, Grand Rapids, MI
“Art Prize”, International Juried Exhibition, Collins Art Gallery, GRCC, Grand Rapids, MI
“14th Annual Open International Society of Acrylic Painters”, International Juried Exhibition, Santa Cruz, CA
“All Michigan All Media Visual Arts Competition”, Juried Exhibition, Holland Area Arts Council, Holland, MI First Place Award Winner
“Fortified”, Dinderbeck Studios, Grand Rapids, MI
“Free Radicals”, 10 Weston Free Radical Gallery, Grand Rapids, MI
“29th Annual Michigan Artist Competition”, Art Center of Battle Creek, Battle Creek, MI
“Balance”, Group Exhibition at Buckham Gallery, Flint, MI
“Merge:Grand Rapids ART:Downtown”, Two Person Exhibition, 117 S. Division, Grand Rapids, MI
“Many Hands Make Light Work”, Inaugural National Exhibition, Culture Works, Holland, MI
“Art League of Hilton Head’s 2011 Biennial National”, National Juried Exhibition, The Walter Creer Gallery, Hilton Head Island, SC
First Place Award Winner in 3-Dimensional Category
“Emerald Spring Exhibition”, National Juried Show, Emerald Art Center, Springfield, OR
“Japan Tsunami Relief Art Auction”, SanChez, Grand Rapids, MI
“Group Show”, Portage District Library Gallery, Portage, MI
“Opening Celebration”, LaFontsee Galleries, Douglas, MI
“Solo Exhibition”, BRAINS Neurological Science Research Center Gallery, Grand Rapids, MI

2010
“ArtPrize”, International Juried Exhibition, Plaza Towers, Grand Rapids, Michigan
“Painting: The Artful Palette”, Juried Exhibition, Foundry Art Centre, St. Charles, Missouri
“Holland Area 47th Juried Fine Arts Competition”, Holland, Michigan
“13th Annual Winter Festival” Uptown Gallery, Grand Haven, Michigan
“A Conscious Benefit: The Artist is the Human is the Animal”, The DAAC, Grand Rapids, Michigan, All profits donated to The Farm Sanctuary, New York
“82nd Regional Juried Exhibition”, Muskegon Museum of Art, Muskegon, Michigan
“Mindshare: Art of the Bridge”. Devos Center, Grand Rapids, Michigan, All profits donated to Grand Rapids art education
“Grand Rapids ART: Downtown”, Grandville studios, Grand Rapids, Michigan
“Kendall Graduate Exhibition”, Grand Rapids, Michigan
“Concentration”, Gallery 114, Grand Rapids, Michigan
“Red Exhibition” Juried Exhibition, Kendall Gallery 602, Grand Rapids, Michigan
“Master of Fine Arts Thesis Exhibition”, Gallery 114, Grand Rapids, Michigan

2009
“ArtPrize”, International Juried Exhibition, 45 Ottawa, Grand Rapids, Michigan
“Festival of the Arts”, Juried Exhibition, Old Grand Rapids Art Museum, Grand Rapids, Michigan
“Kendall Graduate Exhibition”, Grand Rapids, Michigan
“Grandville Studios Spring for the Arts Exhibition”, Grand Rapids, Michigan
“Solo Exhibition”, Kendall Gallery 602, Grand Rapids, Michigan
“Figurative Paintings”, Juried Exhibition, Kendall Gallery 602, Grand Rapids, Michigan
“Landscape Miniatures”, Juried Exhibition, Kendall Gallery 602, Grand Rapids, Michigan

2008
“80th Regional Juried Exhibition”, Muskegon Museum of Art, Muskegon, Michigan
“Festival of the Arts”, Juried Exhibition, Old Grand Rapids Art Museum, Grand Rapids, Michigan
“Kendall Graduate Exhibition”, Grand Rapids, Michigan
“Grandville Studios Spring for the Arts Exhibition”, Grand Rapids, Michigan
“Choosing by Chance”, Three-Person Exhibition, Kendall Student Gallery, Grand Rapids, Michigan

2007
“One Night Stand Art Exhibition”, Central Michigan University, Whitman Hall, Mount Pleasant, Michigan
“Bachelor of Fine Art Thesis Exhibition”, Central Michigan University, University Art Gallery, Mount Pleasant, Michigan
“Residence Life Show”, Central Michigan University, Troutman Hall, Mount Pleasant, Michigan
“One Night Stand Art Exhibition”, Central Michigan University, Whitman Hall, Mount Pleasant, Michigan
“Annual All-Student Juried Art Exhibition”, Central Michigan University, University Art Gallery, Mount Pleasant, Michigan
“Scholarship Recipients Exhibition”, Central Michigan University, West Gallery, Mount Pleasant, Michigan

2006
“Bronze Sculpture Exhibition”, Central Michigan University, West Gallery, Mount Pleasant, Michigan
“Annual All-Student Juried Art Exhibition”, Central Michigan University, University Art Gallery, Mount Pleasant, Michigan
“Scholarship Recipients Exhibition”, Central Michigan University, West Gallery, Mount Pleasant, Michigan
“Annual All-Student 2005 Juried Art Exhibition”, Central Michigan University, Library Baber Room, Mount Pleasant, Michigan

HONORS & AWARDS

2012   
Artist Spotlight, LaFontsee Galleries, Grand Rapids, Michigan

2010
Muskegon Museum of Art Award of Excellence, “13th Annual Winter Festival”, Uptown Gallery, Grand Haven, Michigan

Third Place Winner, “Mindshare: Art of the Bridge”, Devos Center, Grand Rapids, Michigan

2006
Steven Barstow Artist Award, Central Michigan University, Mount Pleasant, Michigan

2005
Steven Barstow Artist Award, Central Michigan University, Mount Pleasant, Michigan

PUBLICATIONS

2012
25 Year Book, LaFontsee Galleries

International Painting Annual vol. 2, Manifest Gallery Press

2011
Traverse, Northern Michigan’s Magazine, September Edition

2010
Artist Portfolio Magazine, Online Art Magazine Winter Edition

2009
Studio Visit Magazine, Reproduction, Spring Edition

2002
Carved Marks, Publication of Student Artwork

2000
Idle Ramblings, Publication of Student Artwork

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

2016       
Live Painting Event, LaFontsee Galleries, Douglas, Michigan

2013           
Live Painting Event, LaFontsee Galleries, Grand Rapids, Michigan

2012           

Live Painting Event, LaFontsee Galleries, Douglas, Michigan

2008-2010
Kendall College of Art and Design, Continuing Education Instructor in Drawing & Painting

Kendall College of Art and Design, Graduate Assistant, Worked under Professor Jay Constantine

Kendall College of Art & Design, Graduate Assistant, Workshop Overseer

Kendall College of Art & Design, Graduate Teaching Seminar Participant, Full Semester Course under Deborah Rockman

2009
45 Ottawa, Artprize Venue, Volunteer, Grand Rapids, Michigan

Earthwork Music Harvest Gathering, Artist Vendor, Lake City, Michigan

Bay Harbor Art Festival, Artist Vendor, Bay Harbor, Michigan

The Water Festival, Art Exhibitor, Grand Rapids, Michigan

2008
Charlevoix Art Fair, Artist vendor, Charlevoix, Michigan

Earthwork Music Harvest Gathering, Artist Vendor, Lake City, Michigan

The Water Festival, Art Exhibitor, Grand Rapids, Michigan

2007
Earthwork Music Harvest Gathering, Artist Vendor, Lake City, Michigan

Farmhouse Music Festival, Artist Vendor, Johannesburg, Michigan

Art for All Juried Art Fair, Artist Vendor, Menominee, Michigan

The Water Festival, Art Exhibitor, Grand Rapids, Michigan

The Big Art Show, Art Exhibitor, Kalamazoo, Michigan

Artist Mentor for Bronze Sculpture Class, Helped students troubleshoot to create successful bronze sculptures

2006
Central Michigan University Study Abroad Program: Drawing in Florence, Drawing onsite and expanded Art History education throughout various cities in Italy

Central Lake Art Festival, Artist Vendor, Central Lake, Michigan