The visual art of Thomas Ellenbecker is a documentation of his unusual life experiences which include extensive education in studio art production and theory. He has earned a Ph.D. in Art Education and a MFA in Visual Art. He produces limited editions of intaglio and lithographic prints in his personal studio on a press he designed and built. Bronze castings, oil paintings and precious metal jewelry are other visual forms created by Thomas.
His academic research resulted in Art Therapy Journal publications. His research investigation is grounded in the analytic psychology of Karl Jung and focuses on unconscious projection manifest in visual art. His fixation with artistic creativity has been deepened through his study in the philosophical field of Epistemology along with his practice of Theravada meditation.
Before his return to college at the age of 35, Thomas and his wife Susan raised three children in the heart of the Black Hills of South Dakota. He built a log house and studio on 80 acres of land surrounded by National Forest. During their 18 year retreat they survived by gardening and heating with wood. During that time period Thomas produced oil paintings which he hung in Minneapolis galleries. He also designed and produced custom jewelry for individuals and multiple lines of jewelry which were sold at Mount Rushmore National Monument and Yellowstone National Park.
Prior to meeting Susan, Thomas homesteaded in the Alaskan wilderness 130 miles from a road. On occasion he has returned to the isolated Alaskan wilderness where he embraces the solitude. Before Alaska Thomas spent several winters in a lake cabin where he first learned to paint. The road to the cabin was not plowed during the winter, allowing Thomas the solitude for intense visual exploration of the creative process. Between his graduation from high school and his Alaskan adventure, Thomas was a dedicated hippy hitchhiking around the country, being part of several communes, spending time in the higher elevations of the Rocky Mountains, eating out of dumpsters and eventually landing on a beach in Mexico where he patiently observed the Ocean.
For the past five years Thomas has been creating art during the colder winter months of Minnesota. The summer has been spent constructing a studio-home nestled along a creek in a semi-isolated valley that empties into the Mississippi River. The unusual design is the result of his extensive Art History studies and is an adaption of older sanctuary style structures.
We’ll see you on Friday, November 1st at 4:00 pm for art, food, drinks, friends and more!