Painting 'Perspectives': Exhibit spotlights natural landscapes by Stephen Henning

September 12, 2023

"View From 7 Sisters," a painting of an Otter Tail County landscape by longtime Minnesota painter Stephen Henning.
"View From 7 Sisters," a painting of an Otter Tail County landscape by longtime Minnesota painter Stephen Henning.

Landscape paintings by longtime Minnesota artist Stephen Henning are the focus of an upcoming art exhibition at M State’s Beck Gallery in Fergus Falls.

Opening Wednesday, September 20, the exhibition is titled “Perspectives.” A reception with the artist will be held at the gallery on Thursday, October 5 from 1-3 p.m. Both the reception and the exhibition are free and open to the public.

“I have always drawn inspiration from the beauty I see in nature, preferring to paint images of American wilderness and rural settings,” Henning writes in his artist statement. “As my style has matured, my art has become more impressionistic, and occasionally includes a touch of fantasy.”

Henning first picked up a paintbrush in 1989 and went full-time a few years later. In addition to painting, his decades-long career as an artist has spanned the disciplines of graphic design, illustration and video production, and others. He is an alumnus of Minneapolis College of Art and Design and the University of Minnesota.

A founding organizer of the Evansville (Minn.) Arts Coalition, he is also an Honorary Director of the Banfill-Locke Center for the Arts in Fridley, Minn. and a member of the Art of the Lakes Association in Battle Lake. He has participated in several Artist-in-Residency programs, held many public exhibitions in commercial galleries, and his original works have been sold to collectors in all 50 states and on three continents.

“I chose ‘Perspectives’ as the title for this exhibition with double entendre,” Henning explains. “First, for its obvious importance in landscape painting. Secondly, as a reference to how an artist’s focus on the process of painting and depicting subjects may change as one grows. In my early works, I was focused on capturing a visual reference on my canvas. In my recent works, I celebrate the process of painting: sometimes with odd color choices, sometimes with thicker paint, and sometimes with playfulness, pure and simple.”

“Perspectives” will continue at the Beck Gallery through Monday, November 6. The gallery is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and is located at 1414 College Way, on M State’s Fergus Falls campus.