enculturating las vegas into the next millennium... art, dance, film, music, poetry, theater, history, nature and everything else that enriches the lives of those who live and visit southern nevada... Since 2003...

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

James Henninger an artist for the ages...

No matter how many years of experience or MFA's (Masters in Fine Arts) an artist may have, some could not draw a straight line if there life depended on it. I am of the strong belief that you are either born with talent or you are not. Local artist James Henninger is one of the fortunate ones, born with an ability that few possess and many wish they had. I have known James for almost a decade and have watched his ability to draw the human form grow. I honestly believed for a minute that he may have even signed a secret pact with "you know who", because every time I would see his work I would doubt that he drew it. But in all honesty James is an amazingly talented artist, always pushing himself to the limits and using techniques that defy the mind.

James Henninger
Born in the sun drenched bastion of Southern California James was highly interested in art and an early age. Though he never received formal training in the classical sense, he was nonetheless fascinated with 20th Century American artist Norman Rockwell and 15th Century artists Hieronymus Bosch, Albrecht Dürer and Leonardo De Vinci, all renowned draftsmen of their time. As a draftsman myself I completely comprehend James' talents and respect the fact that he takes his queues from the greats that came before him.

James own exploration with various techniques and implements has allowed him to experiment with all types of media. Donning magnifying glasses and working with pins, quills and iron-gall ink, which he makes himself, he meticulously draws the human form with such accuracy that many times you are left wondering if you are looking at a photograph. Though his figurative works are of contemporary subjects he is always seeking techniques that were born hundreds if not thousands of years ago. 

In his latest body-of-work he has decided to experiment with the ancient use of encaustics. Encaustic was born in ancient Egypt and Greece. Found in tombs and mentioned in early texts, the media is a technique of art that uses pigmented beeswax. The wax is heated with a hot iron or implement and then used as paint across a surface. Not necessarily an easy media to work with considering how quickly wax settles. After musing with his latest collection created in this technique I immediately thought to myself could James get any better? 

Usually dressed in a kilt with a long beard, he is a humble soul and not one who takes well to compliments. He works in his small studio located at the Arts Factory in Downtown's Arts District, working at night when he is most creative. His goal is to create constantly as an avenue of self expression, curiosity about the world around him and his love of art history. 

This coming First Friday James will be unveiling his latest collection in his newly remodeled studio and gallery. This show is a must see and one I personally recommend.

Preview Thursday 6 to 9pm
First Friday 6 to 10pm

The Arts Factory
107 East Charleston Boulevard Suite 115
Las Vegas, Nevada 89104

Paul McCartney by James Henninger
Encaustic on panel, 2011
Nevada Public Radio
For more information on the Cultural Arts in Las Vegas please visit Nevada Public Radio. NPR has detailed listings of many cultural and civic events hosted by area non-profits click on this linkhttp://www.knpr.org/common/psa/listNEW.cfm and if you are planning an event in the next few months, be sure to get your free listing in Nevada Public Radio's Desert Companion magazine by submitting the information here at http://www.knpr.org/culture/eventaddnew.cfm
Have You donated to KNPR? Pledge Now at http://www.knpr.org/index.cfm

Brian Paco Alvarez enculturating Las Vegas into the millennium...

posted by Brian Paco Alvarez, Curator and Chronicler of Culture at


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