Impressionist painter Stephen Henning awarded Signature Status in Oil Pastel Society

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Signature members of the Oil Pastel Society unanimously recognize artist Stephen Henning for his technical mastery and expanding the audience for oil pastel artworks.

The Oil Pastel Society (OPS), an international association of oil pastel artists headquartered in Snellville, Georgia, has unanimously juried Stephen Henning, of Evansville, Minnesota, into signature membership. Signature status is the greatest membership honor awarded to OPS artists for maintaining a high level of excellence in terms of creativity and professional accomplishments while creating art with oil pastels. Jurors making the determination are OPS signature artists.    

Henning's accomplishments with oil pastels are numerous, and 2008 was a banner year for the landscape painter (see In September Henning also received an Honorable Mention in the Oil Pastel Society's annual members-only show. His entry in the online exhibit was one of six originals commissioned for the new oncology department at Douglas County Hospital in Alexandria, Minnesota. 2008 was also the second year one of Henning's oil pastels was juried into the American Impressionist Society's highly competitive annual show, held in December at CODA Gallery in Palm Desert, California. This year's entry, titled "Afterglow," is currently on exhibit at The MAX Gallery in Tucson, Arizona.    

In 2007 Stephen Henning was the first artist to have an oil pastel accepted into the American Impressionist Society Annual Juried Show, exhibited at the Hilligoss Gallery in Chicago. An accomplishment, considering this event is typically dominated by oil painters and water colorists. In 2007 he was also featured as the Oil Pastel Society's Artist of the Month, in an interview with former Ball State Art Faculty member Carol Zack.

Stephen Henning has worked hard to help oil pastels gain recognition as a fine art medium in other ways, too. His originals hang in corporate and private art collections on three continents and in all fifty states. Reproductions of some of his oil pastels are distributed internationally by Grand Image, Ltd. and by Artaissance, a division of Larson-Juhl, where they are very well received. Since November 2006 Henning has also been generating awareness of oil pastels through popular workshops given to art clubs throughout the Midwest. "I think over the past two years I have introduced at least 200 artists to the joy of working in oil pastel; it has been an exciting time for me." To see Henning's work and for information about workshops, visit his website at


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Stephen. Henning

Carly Clements-Hardy
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