About Kenneth Hershenson
Kenneth Hershenson has been painting and drawing for over 50 years. He spent the majority of those years teaching himself how to paint and draw and taking workshops from some notable West Coast artists: Eric Weigardt and Lee Wexler (watercolor), Butch Krieger (life drawing), Ned Mueller (portraiture and gouache), and Ann Kullberg and Gary Greene (colored pencil). Kenneth’s artistic approach is rooted in the twin disciplines of realism and illustration. Architectural design and illustration are the basis of much of his professional life, which included serving as an architectural designer with Disneyland and designing Japan stores for Starbucks while living in Seattle. His art influences include 16th century Flemish realists, the creativity and surrealistic styles of Dali and Magritte as well as the craftsmanship and humor of early Donald Roller Wilson.
Kenneth has participated in many juried art shows and has won a number of awards in watercolor, drawing and painting. His acrylic painting A Pair of Jacks has won several recent People’s Choice Awards and a Best in Show Award. It also won an Honorable Mention in the December 2015 issue of The Artist’s Magazine. His “I DO Know Jack!” series was in the final Top 25 Public Vote (out of nearly 1,000 entries) in ArtPrize 7, the largest international art competition and exhibition.
Kenneth is a member of the National Oil & Acrylic Painters' Society and he teaches Realism in Acrylics at the Atelier Art Studio in Royal Oak, Michigan.
A Pair of Jacks also appears in North Light Books’ “AcrylicWorks 3: Celebrating Texture”, and Apple Jack apears in "AcrylicWorks 4: Captivating Color" in their series "The Best of Acrylic Painting" in which artists from around the world submit their work for inclusion. Jack of Diamonds was selected for the May 2018 release of "AcrylicWorks 5: Bold Values". In addition, Jack and Coke was selected for the May 2019 release of "AcrylicWorks 6".
He capped off a successful 2015 by winning the 4th Annual MI Great Artist Competition which is sponsored by Oakland County Michigan Executive L. Brooks Patterson and Park West Gallery of Southfield, Michigan. Park West Gallery is the largest private gallery in the world. For more information visit www.MIGreatArtist.com.
In addition to being published in several North Light Books Publishing art books, Hershenson also had three of his "jack" paintings included in the 2016 Richeson75 Still Life and Floral exhibit and exhibit book (two finalists) and four more in their 2017 book, three of which were finalists. Two more were selected for the 2018 Richeson75 Still Life and Floral exhibit and exhibit book, both paintings making it as finalists. Richeson Art School holds an annual competition whereby they select the 75 best paintings from around the world. The majority of accepted artworks are oil paintings. Only 6 acrylic paintings were chosen for 2016, 3 of which were his. His painting, A Pair of Jacks, was selected for the 2016 book's cover and Jack of Diamonds selected for the 2017 Title Page.
As a former member of the Colored Pencil Society of America, Kenneth’s self-portrait was published in The Best of Colored Pencil 3 and Portrait Inspirations, both by Rockport Publishing.
In the Fall of 2017 his painting, Jack of Clubs, was one of ten Awards of Excellence given in the 2017 Fall Online International Exhibit by the National Oil & Acrylic Painters' Society and in December 2017 his painting, Jack of Diamonds, was selected as a Finalist in
The Artist's Magazine Annual Art Competition.
“I have always gravitated towards expression through the medium of paint and pencil. My concentration and focus has been on capturing the idea, the image, and the reality of those serendipitous moments that catch my eye and heart simultaneously. I am currently exploring the magical geometry and abstractions of reflections in chrome in my new series of acrylic paintings called “I DO Know Jack!” I am coupling my extreme interest in reflective surfaces using the ubiquitous children’s toy chrome jacks with my love of humor by titling each painting with a pun or play on words. I am fascinated with placing these jacks in unexpected settings and scales.
The game of jacks has existed for thousands of years and spans continents and cultures. The Greek philosopher Plato credited the Egyptians with the invention of the game. It has appeared in paintings and sculptures from the ancient Greeks, the paintings of Pieter Bruegel in the 16th century and a handful of contemporary artists. The geometric design of the modern metal jack with its sleek and reflective surfaces called to my imagination and childhood memories. They represent the simplicity of childhood and the complexity of adulthood. I choose to create stark and simple images that exemplify what a child might see...the complex distilled down to basic truths. If my engagement with the canvas brings pleasure to others…I am profoundly pleased.
While I understand and appreciate art as a conduit to voice political beliefs or explore the depths of the human spirit, as an older artist I prefer to capture humor and whimsy. It is my experience that the human condition is filled with enough stresses and challenges on a daily basis. I prefer to provide a smile or a moment of carefree fun.”