Painter Audrey Ushenko puts finishing touches on painting created in the James R. Thompson Center

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Painter Audrey Ushenko puts finishing touches on painting created in the James R. Thompson Center
Audrey at work. Photo: Jane Stevens.

CHICAGO, IL.- For the past three years, acclaimed painter Audrey Ushenko has been intermittently visiting the James R. Thompson Center, 100 W. Randolph Street, to work on a 4.5’ x 5.5’ painting depicting the cross section of individuals that visits the Illinois government building. During the week of July 21, she will visit the facility for the last time to put the finishing touches on the painting that will officially be unveiled in Fall 2014 in Illinois State Museum’s Chicago Gallery.

“I love working in public venues, where I can be inspired by the stream of life surrounding me,” says Ushenko. “I am fascinated by the web of relationships I see, and capturing the diversity of people coexisting in the same space, each bringing a sense of individual history and cultural identity. Juxtaposing the geometry of the Thompson Center’s post-modern architecture against this microcosm of individuals has been fascinating and inspiring.”

Gregarious and engaging, Ushenko, prefers not to work in isolation, but rather in the spaces she depicts in her works. She invited office workers and passersby to ask question, and he frequently incorporates those who make lasting impressions on her in the paintings. Her art has been reviewed three times in Art in America, where critic Gerrit Henry called her work “magnificent… the artist is a master chronicler of realities small and large.”

Ushenko has executed public painting projects for the University of Chicago Center for Advanced Medicine, the Chataqua Institution, the Indiana State Museum, the St. Louis University Musuem of Art, the Brauer Museum, the Ft. Wayne Museum of Art and more. She is an elected member of the National Academy of Design (where she also taught) and has been on the art faculties of Indiana University, the University of Illinois, Columbia College and Northwestern University.

Ushenko has won numerous awards and has been featured in dozens of solo and group exhibitions thoughout the United States. Her work is included in the collections of the National Academy of Design, New York; St. Louis University Museum of Art, St. Louis; The Brauer Museum of Art, Valparaiso; The Everson Museum of Art, Northwestern University and the JP Morgan Chase Corporate Collection. Her work is represented by the Denise Bibro Fine Art gallery in New York, and she was featured in Cynthia Dantzic’s 2006 book “One Hundred New York Artists.”

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