Dennis Hanshew

Dennis Hanshew

Bio and Statement

My extensive travels and the journals I keep, both written and photographic, have inspired much of my art as a painter.  My early work focused on tropical still-life, landscape, and seascape as I was living/working in Hawaii.  Upon relocating back to California I became interested in the local landscape, specifically images of trees and orchards.  More recently I have returned to the human figure and portraiture.

2020 brought so much chaos and anxiety to the world that I was compelled to respond with a series of paintings captioned “Existential Threats,” with subjects ranging from the COVID pandemic to climate change.

My palette has been both monochromatic and full color, depending upon the subject and theme.  The scale of my paintings ranges from quite small to rather large.

As a former member of the artist-operated Gearbox Gallery in Oakland, CA, I conducted artists’ interviews for posting on the gallery website in addition to exhibit reviews.

I think of myself as a “painter’s painter.” The materials and mediums are of great importance to me and their manipulation is endlessly fascinating.  The paintings are about surfaces; however, surfaces in and beneath which to find meaning.

Education

Carmel High School, class of 1966, Carmel, CA.

University of Hawaii, Bachelor of Fine Arts, 1972, Honolulu, HI.

University of Hawaii, College of Education, Professional Diploma, 1973, Honolulu, HI.

University of Hawaii, Associate in Science Legal Assistance, 1989, Honolulu, HI. 

Timeline

1960s/1970s:  During my college years at the University of Hawaii, I was actively painting and exhibiting and continued to do so through the decade of the 1970s. 

1980s:  Beginning in January of 1980, I dropped out of the art scene, joined the Merchant Marine and spent most of the decade at sea in Hawaii and French Polynesia.  During this period I also traveled extensively on my own, worldwide, and kept both written and photographic journals.  Although I did not exhibit, I continued to paint and my work from this period is in both public and private collections.

1983:  Patrons Christopher and Gunnel von Essen of Stockholm, Sweden, provided me a year to paint during which I completed a series of seascapes. 

1990s/2000s:  From January 1990 I was employed as a Family Law Paralegal until my retirement in June of 2018. I also served as the first appointed Continuing Education Coordinator for the Paralegal Section of the Bar Association of San Francisco.  I continued to paint throughout the years of my legal career.

Recently:  I was a member of the artist-run Gearbox Gallery in Oakland.  I served on the Curatorial, Installation and Public Relations Committees; chaired the Diversity Committee; and did much of the writing for the gallery’s website. 

Currently:  I serve as a Director on the Board of the Suzie S. Thorn Family Foundation, a private, non-government foundation that primarily assists underprivileged women and children and supports a variety of organizations, locally, nationally and internationally.  The Foundation is dedicated to family improvement through education.

Video & Virtual Exhibits

2022Surviving Covid – An Exhibition at the Triton Museum,  Triton Museum of Art, Santa Clara, CA.

Solo Exhibits

1977Anthuriums And, Honolulu Advertiser Gallery (now The Contemporary Museum/Honolulu Museum of Art), Honolulu, HI.  My first solo exhibit, a group of drawings, prints and paintings of tropical still life.

1991Windows, Ramsay Galleries, Honolulu, HI.  An exhibit of photographs taken from my travels, all having to do with shop windows, both the interior spaces and the reflected environments.

2013Selected Works, Judith Harding Gallery, San Francisco, CA.   An exhibition of land and seascape paintings in various mediums that benefited Kid’s Turn, a non-profit organization designed to help the children of divorcing families.

2020We Will Remember…. These Truths, The Gearbox Gallery, Oakland, CA.  A series of monochromatic psychological portraits and figurative paintings.

2022The Puppet Portraits, MRKT Gallery, San Francisco, CA. A series of vividly colorful portraits of hand-held puppets.

Invitational Exhibits

1997Sea-Sky-Land Scapes, The Contemporary Museum/Honolulu Museum of Art, Honolulu, HI.  I was one of four invited artists showcased in this exhibit featuring Hawaiian land and seascape painting at The Contemporary Museum/Honolulu Museum of Art, 1997.  The Honolulu Mayor’s Office Of Culture & The Arts acquired my seascape painting,  Clouding Up, oil and wax medium on canvas, 63×48, 1994.

1998Recent Acquisitions, Gallery Iolani, Windward Community College, Kaneohe, HI.

2002Enriched by Diversity, The Art of Hawai’i, Hawaii State Art Museum, Honolulu, HI.  I was one of 284 artists honored to exhibit work, acquired over decades by the Hawaii State Foundation On Culture And The Arts, in the inaugural exhibition at the newly opened Hawaii State Art Museum, Honolulu, 2002.  My painting, Blue Dusk, Hilo – oil and wax medium on canvas, seascape, 1995, was featured in the exhibit.  It was subsequently placed in Senator Brian Taniguchi’s chambers in the Hawaii State Senate in Honolulu.

Juried Exhibits

1970Artists of Hawaii Annual, Honolulu Academy of Arts, Honolulu, HI.

1971Ala Moana Easter Art Festival, Ala Moana Center, Honolulu, HI.

1972College Art, Ala Moana Center, Honolulu, HI.

1972Hawaii Craftsmen Annual, AMFAC Plaza Gallery, Honolulu, HI.

1972Artists of Hawaii Annual, Honolulu Academy of Arts, Honolulu, HI.

1972Art Scholarship Show, University of Hawaii Art Gallery, Honolulu, HI.

1973Annual Hawaii Art Educators Exhibition, AMFAC Plaza Gallery, Honolulu, HI.

1973Young Artists, AMFAC Plaza Gallery, Honolulu, HI.

1976Art Hawaii Two, Honolulu Academy of Arts, Honolulu, HI.

1976Art Hawaii Showcase, Honolulu Academy of Arts, Honolulu, HI.

1977Men Look at Women, Contemporary Art Center, Honolulu, HI.

1978The Great Hawaiian Art Show, AMFAC Plaza Gallery, Honolulu, HI.

1982Bad Art!, Honolulu Federal Building, Honolulu, HI.

1992Honolulu Art for Life, the Contemporary Museum, Honolulu, HI.

2021Crocker / Kingsley, Blue Line Arts, Roseville, CA and the Crocker Museum, Sacramento, CA.

Acquisitions/
Collections

Paintings acquired by the Hawaii State Foundation On Culture And The Arts:

Manoa Series No. 5 – acrylic on canvas, 48×48, landscape, 1972.

Passing Over Lenny – encaustic on panels, 20×52 diptych, literary portrait (from Steinbeck’s Of Mice And Men), 1972.

Ming’s – oil and gold leaf on canvas, 66×50, tropical still life, 1976.

Billowing Cloud – watercolor on paper, 20×16, seascape, 1994.

Blue Dusk, Hilo – oil and wax medium on canvas, seascape, hanging in the Hawaii State Senate, 1995.

The Honolulu Mayor’s Office Of Culture & The Arts:

Clouding Up – oil and wax medium on canvas, 63×48, 1994.

The Persis Collection, Honolulu:

Hibiscus – oil on canvas, 65×65, landscape, 1977.

Memberships

The Gearbox Gallery
770 West Grand Avenue
Oakland, CA 94612
(510) 271-0822

I have recently left the gallery to devote more time to my studio practice.  While a member, I served on several of the gallery committees:  Curatorial, Installation, Public Relations; and routinely posted artist interviews and exhibition reviews to the gallery website.  I chaired the Diversity Committee, doing most of the research for and drafting of various proposals submitted to the gallery’s membership.

The Suzie S. Thorn Family Foundation
Established in 1998 in San Francisco, California is a US Charity, 501(c)3 primarily tasked to assist underprivileged women and children and supports a variety of organizations, locally, nationally and internationally.  It is dedicated to family improvement through education. I serve as Director on the Board.

Contact

Dennis Hanshew
(510) 893-0753
hanshewdennis@gmail.com