3/21/1940 - 5/14/2006
John Wisnosky is best known for his romantic painted impressions based on the light, landforms, the sea, and the nature of Hawaii. Born in Springfield, Illinois in 1940, he received both his Bachelor of Fine Arts and Master of Fine Arts degrees in Painting and Printmaking from the University of Illinois. As a scholarship recipient, he also studied at Yale University's summer school of art and music, Norfolk, Connecticut. Prior to moving to Hawaii in 1966 he taught as a Graduate Assistant at the University of Illinos and as an Instructor in Art in the College of Architecture, Virginia Polytechnic Institute.
His early reputation as an abstract expressionist painter and printmaker gained recognition with awards from the Society of American Graphic Artists, New York; the Boston Printmakers and the Mint Museum, North Carolina, among others. Later exhibitions and collaboratons include more than twenty one-person shows including those at the Honolulu Academy of Arts, The Contemporary Art Center of Hawaii, and a retrospective exhibition at the Illinois Art Association in Springfield. In 2006 the retrospective "Little Seen, Less Seen, Unseen" was shown at Gallery Iolani at Windward Community College and was Whisnosky's last show.
Through the years Wisnosky's work has been included in juried exhibitions such as Drawings-USA, the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis: Expo-74, Spokane Washington; Cityscape-Landscape, the Franz Bader Gallery, Washington, D.C,; the First Pan-Pacific Exhibition, Seoul, Korea; The Contemporary Artists of Hawaii, Manila.
John Wisnosky's Hawaii commissions included the Pan Pacific Hall for the State of Hawaii Pavilion, Expo 70-Osaka, Japan; Co-Designer, the Onizuka Center for the International Astronomy, Mauna Kea, Hawaii; The Alii Place, Honolulu; the Acute Care Facility, Hilo, Hawaii; The Kahala Hotel; Hawaii Convention Center, Honolulu; Central Oahu Regional Park Aquatic and Tennis Complex, City and County of Honolulu. Private commisions and collections include those in Canada, Columbia, England, France, Hong Kong, Japan, Thailand, and throughout the United States. Among Hawaii commissions were those for the late Honorable Clair Booth Luce.
His work can be found in instituional and corporate collections of the Rose Art Museum, Brandeis University; Southern Illinois University; The Honolulu Academy of Arts; the Hawaii State Foundation on Art and the Arts and the Bank of Hawaii.
He received three research grants for creative art from the University of Hawaii and was awarded a Fellowship to the Hand Hollow Foundation in East Chatham, New York. From 1976 to 1985 and from 1998 to 2003 he chaired the Department of Art at the University of Hawaii. In 1987-1988 he was appointed Visiting Professor and Actiing Chair of the Art Department, George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia.