John Sebelius is an interdisciplinary artist and filmmaker who holds an M.F.A. in drawing and painting from University of Kansas and B.F.A. in illustration from Rhode Island School of Design. Sebelius’s work has been featured in : Harper’s, Express, DETAILS, CNN, Review, Aspen Daily News, The Washington Post, and The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. John has exhibited at Gallery Two in Sydney, Austraila, Woods-Gerry Gallery in Providence, RI, Vermont Studio Center, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Kansas City Artists Coalition, and a solo exhibition at Gonzo Museum in Aspen, CO. He was invited to be a juror for the National Endowment for the Arts in 2010, 2011 and 2012 and was named the Best Artist of 2012 and 2014 by Lawrence Journal-World. John lives with his wife Allie and dog Norman in Lawrence, KS.
He grew up in the heart of America. He was raised in an active political household that celebrated diverse communities and people. This type of upbringing has helped him to be open to humankind and has led him to investigate individuals from unconventional communities. Exploring his own identity and voice within these diverse subcultures has become an essential part of his current artistic practice and process. His most recent work investigates his connection and exploration of masculine cultures and the individuals he lived amongst. The physicality of his paintings is created through a constant reworking process. Building up layers of ground and physically removing them allows him to connect with his subjects and materials on a physical and individual basis. The imagery for the work emerges through a constant drawing and sanding process. His works combine traditional and alternative materials with a colorfully impactful palette. Growing up in a family that defied traditional gender roles, John is intrigued in examining ways in which masculinity is celebrated within various communities. The direction of his current work is an ever-evolving practice. There is great physicality to his paintings that are created through a constant reworking process. Continually building up layers of ground and physically removing them allows him the ability to connect with his materials on a physical and individual basis. By scraping oil paint and embedding it with drawing, he hopes to create a descriptive surface that can hold disparate images within a unified field. The combination of spray paint and drawing juxtaposes the sensitivity of the line with the visceral and intense mark of the paint. Working mainly on wood allows me to manipulate and alter the surface through his physical practice. Memories and dreams surrounding certain individuals and images continue to serve as inspiration for the paintings. It is in the interplay between exploration and expression, drawing and painting, landscape and the figure, that John hopes to locate himself as a visual artist, educator, and humanitarian.