Stephen Magsig at George Billis Gallery in NYC

When I think about the conventions of painting — a tradition I respect immensely — I notice that my concern has always been with the interplay of light and structure” says artist Stephen Magsig. “Light, since it defines everything, is what my work is about — how light changes things, how it inflects the surfaces of places we imagine for ourselves and inhabit, like sunlight touching a window sill, illuminating and creating contrasts and shadows.”

Working with images he personally photographs, Magsig looks for crucial details in both the highlights and the shadows, in the brightness and obscurity of each scene. The artist says, “I get caught up in the mix of organic and non-organic human signs: the color of loaves of bread in an Italian bakery window, the reflections of facades in the car’s windshield, the abstracted angles of cornices and architectural detail.” New Yorkers will recognize many of the scenes Magsig paints, yet the universal appeal is the atmosphere and mood which attracts those for whom the images hold no personal significance. The painterly quality of the work provides enough photo-like detail to “slow people down to look and wonder about the scene.” The artist creates work that depicts New York City as a dynamic metropolis — although his images are devoid of people. The appreciation Magsig holds for the subjects he paints allows him to create beauty in streets that may escape even those of us who live there.

Brooklyn Bridge, 20x30
Brooklyn Bridge, 20×30
Greenpoint Reflections, 30x60
Greenpoint Reflections, 30×60
Reade St. Shadows
Reade St. Shadows
Greene St. , 62x48
Greene St. , 62×48
Spring St. Corner, 42x36
Spring St. Corner, 42×36
Caffe Reggio, 48x40
Caffe Reggio, 48×40
Artist: Stephen Magsig

Stephen Magsig
April 28, 2015 – May 23, 2015
George Billis Gallery

New York, NY

Profile: 121 Wood: maple Finish: 13 black opaque


Deep Floating Profile: 121
Type: floating frame for 1-1/2″ deep canvas paintings
Wood & Finish: maple wood frame with black opaque finish
Purchasing Options: joined wood frame with splines
Framing Advice: fitting floating frames

Eric Ketelsen at Bloomington Theatre and Art Center

Eric Ketelsen’s abstract paintings and drawings may, at first glance,  appear to be a series of repetitive lines, but it is the detail happening below and within the layers of each piece that reveal the subtle yet rich variations in tone, texture, color, and gestural mark.

Influenced by Japanese Zen calligraphy, Ketelsen’s work centers on his fascination with the quality of line, mark, and stroke of the brush or pencil. Equally intrigued by the Japanese aesthetic of wabi-sabi, which recognizes the beauty of the imperfect, Ketelsen states, “I often strive for a look of faded color or an imperfect wash in my work. The small areas of paper or canvas where no paint is deposited by the brush fascinate me.”


Evanescence I, Nero pencil on paper, 17 x 14
Evanescence I, Nero pencil on paper, 17 x 14
Cow Lick, Nero pencil on paper, 30 x 22
Cow Lick, Nero pencil on paper, 30 x 22
Untitled Byways, Nero pencil on paper, 20 x 20
Untitled Byways, Nero pencil on paper, 20 x 20
Things Once Lost, Nero pencil on paper, 17 x 14
Things Once Lost, Nero pencil on paper, 17 x 14

Eric Ketelsen
April 17, 2015 – May 29, 2015
Bloomington Theatre and Art Center
Bloomington, MN 55431


Wood: Ash Finish: 13 black 1/2" spacer 3/4" strainer 4 ply rag backing regular acrylic acid free foamboard


Standard Profile: 101
Type: floating gallery frame
Wood & Finish: ash wood frame with black lacquer finish
Purchasing Options: joined wood frame
Custom Wood Spacer: 1/2″ wood frame spacer
Custom Wood Strainer: 3/4″ wood frame strainer
Custom Cut Matboard: 4 ply white matboard cut to size
Custom Frame Acrylic: regular acrylic cut to size
Custom Frame Backing Board: acid free foamboard cut to size
Framing Advice: fitting gallery frames

Jim Hittinger MFA framing award winner

Jim Hittinger is a co-winner of our annual MFA framing award. Providing professional framing advice to art students has been a long term goal of ours. For artists to be successful as they enter their professional life it is necessary to understand how to present their work professionally.  Our goal is to help students understand the basics of framing their work and to help us better understand what we may need to do to make the process easier for them.

JIm Hittinger, "Sunbather" oil on canvas, 2015, 60"x84"

JIm Hittinger, “Sunbather” oil on canvas, 2015, 60″x84″

Jim Hittinger,  "Ice Fisher," oil on paper, 2015, 18x24 inches.

Jim Hittinger, “Ice Fisher,” oil on paper, 2015, 18×24 inches.

hittinger installation

Artist Statement
The world my images exist in is one of memories and traces. The world is semi- autobiographical, based on banal urban and suburban spaces modeled after Metro Detroit. Subdivisions, strip malls, and undeveloped lots off the interstate near the airport are common locales in my imagery. I am drawn to objects that act as stand-ins for human activity or that imply rather than illustrate events: overturned lawn chairs, tornado sirens, and inflatable tube men advertising used cars, often without the presence of humans. Situations are suggested and pointed to indirectly, creating an atmosphere of dread and impending disaster.

Jim Hittinger was born in 1990 in Chicago, Illinois and grew up primarily in the Metro Detroit, Michigan area. He received his Bachelor of Fine Arts with a concentration in painting and drawing from Wayne State University in Detroit in 2012.

The following is an interview we did with him to find out more about his experience at the University of Minnesota MFA program and his plans for the future.

How did you decide on which MFA program to attend?

Jim Hittinger
There were a few specific things I was looking for in an MFA program: funding, facilities and studio space, teaching opportunities, and location in a major city.  I didn’t want to be in a small college town that didn’t have an art community outside of the confines of school. The University of Minnesota fit all those criteria as well as any program I researched.

What is the most valuable thing you learned and what would you advise others who are considering getting their MFA?

Jim Hittinger
For me, grad school was a place to develop my work and hone in on what I really want to make with the support of faculty and other graduate students. I learned how to balance exploring my existing ideas with keeping an open mind toward experimenting with new things. Some of those experiments with ideas and materials outside of my comfort zone failed, and I think being okay with failing once in awhile is an important lesson to learn. I have a giant pile of bad paintings I’ve made over the past three years, and I think in a way, I learned more  from those than from the pieces in my thesis exhibition.

How long have you been painting? 

Jim Hittinger
I’ve been painting since I was in high school, so about twelve years. I’ve been drawing my whole life, since I was able to hold crayons. That’s all I wanted to do when I was a kid.

What are your goals after graduating?

Jim Hittinger
First and foremost, I will need to find studio space and keep painting. My work has evolved so much over the three years that I’ve been in graduate school, and I’m incredibly excited about the direction I’m going in. I see my work in the thesis exhibition as a turning point towards a new body of work. Aside from continuing to make work, I’ll be applying to teaching positions. I really loved teaching the past few years and would be very happy to continue doing it.

Underlined Action is a group exhibition of 10 artists about to complete the Master of Fine Arts degree in the Department of Art at the University of Minnesota. The artwork represented is made in a diverse range of media including, ceramics, drawing, painting, photography, sculpture, installation, film and video.

Artists included in the exhibition
Beth Dow, Mara Duvra, Chris Groth, Jim Hittinger, Antony W. Lakey, Joshua McGarvey, Candice Methe Hess, Lorena Molina, Kevin Obsatz, Erin Paradis           

Underlined Action
April 7 – 25, 2015
Katherine E. Nash Gallery
Regis Center for Art (East) | University of Minnesota

Saturday, April 11, 2015
Public Program | 5:30 – 6:00 PM | InFlux Space
Reception | 6:00 – 10:00 PM | Regis East Lobby

Wood: ash Finish: 05 pickled white, 3/4" matching spacer, 4 ply white board, .100 acrylic, acid free foambaord


106MP01 - Version 2


Standard Profile: 106
Type: floating gallery frame
Wood & Finish: ash wood frame with pickled white finish
Purchasing Options: joined wood frame
Custom Wood Spacer: 3/4″ wood frame spacer
Custom Cut Matboard: 4 ply white museum board cut to size
Custom Frame Acrylic: regular acrylic cut to size
Custom Frame Backing Board: acid free foamboard cut to size
Framing Advice: fitting gallery frames