Door County Art Scene: Ed Fenendael Featured in New York

“Following the Sun” by Ed Fenendael.

Artist Edward Hopper is recognized as America’s foremost artist of the inter-war period, his paintings a reflection of solitude and introspection. A comparison to Hopper’s works is justifiably the highest compliment an artist could hope to achieve. It is, therefore, a great compliment for Door County artist Ed Fenendael to have earned such praise. And like Hopper, Fenendael is being lauded for his artistic merit.

One of peninsula’s premier artists, Fenendael’s beautiful landscapes and florals – painted in the mediums of watercolor, pastel, oil, and ink – are headed to Brooklyn Heights, New York for a new “one-man” gallery exhibit. Opening on December 4, the exhibit will be hosted by the Callahan Center for the Arts.

That’s a long way from home for the Wisconsin native who grew up on a farm in rural Pound on the other side of Green Bay. Even as a boy, however, Fenendael recalled, “I loved the scent of a new box of crayons or a freshly sharpened pencil.” Today, the artist who honed his craft over more than 30 years is delighted his paintings draw comparisons to the artist who achieved greatness in the mid-1900s.

“A visitor to one of my exhibits once said of my work ‘it has the stillness of Edward Hopper.’ That couldn’t have made me happier,” Fenendael smiled.

Fenendael’s upcoming New York exhibit completes his “triple crown.” In the past year the artist, who is represented at the Watergate Gallery in Washington, D.C., has also been exhibited in Giverny, France. The site of Monet’s home and gardens, the setting could not be more appropriate for an artist whose watercolor paintings are alive with spontaneity.

“To exhibit in France – and most especially in Monet’s village – is a dream come true,” said Fenendael. “I never thought this would actually happen.”

A second “crown” was presented to Fenendael earlier this fall when the Door County Art League named him 2008 Master Artist. Awarded annually, the Master Artist award recognizes an outstanding Door County artist.

“I was overwhelmed to be chosen; to be selected from so many wonderful artists in the region,” Fenendael said.

In Door County, Fenendael exhibits his artwork at Ephraim Clayworks, The Bridge in Egg Harbor, and his own Morning Mist Studio in Baileys Harbor. His paintings are also exhibited in corporate and private collections worldwide, and in the Miller Art Museum’s permanent collection.

A world traveler and observer of his environment, Fenendael is never at a loss for inspiration. Pastoral scenery and rural landscapes tempt and tease him to take brush in hand. The Baileys Harbor resident encourages the emerging artist to “paint what you know, what is close to your heart.”

A graduate of Marquette University, Fenendael regularly teaches and conducts workshops in locales both abroad and in the United States. Internationally, he has instructed students in Italy and France. Nationally, Fenendael has held workshops in Florida, California, and Kansas City. And locally, he teaches classes at Morning Mist Studio at Windmill Farm in Egg Harbor and the Peninsula School of Art in Fish Creek.

The renowned artist and teacher Robert Henri encouraged his student Edward Hopper to “make a stir in the world.” The emerging artist who lived from 1882 – 1967 is quoted as saying of his craft, “The man’s the work. Something doesn’t come out of nothing.”

With the premiere of his work in New York, Fenendael is making his own stir in the art world. He is worthy of sharing Hopper’s sentiment, an embodiment of the world he views with an artistic eye and readily shares with the viewer.

The Callahan Center for the Arts is located at 180 Remsen Street, Brooklyn Heights. An opening reception for Ed Fenendael’s exhibit will be held on Thursday, December 4, from 5 – 7:30 pm.

For additional information about Ed Fenendael and his artwork visit