John Rutkowski

John Rutkowski

John Rutkowski’s work is a creative battle between prethought concepts and spontaneous and impulsive expressions of emotion. With texture and layers being a critical component of his work, John “seasons” his raw canvases with things like bleach, graphite and acrylic washes then layers paint on paint to achieve the desired depth. Sometimes for added texture and substance other objects like canvas, paper, or found objects will be layered in as well.

John’s early painting experience was as an editorial illustrator where his focus was on conceptual solutions which established an instinct for approaching his work with predetermined ideas. After stepping away from illustration for a while John re-emerged as a painter with a desire to push and challenge himself for more spontaneous and personal expression. One thing has remained consistent in his work though and that is a fascination with texture and layering. What was a backdrop to his earlier editorial work now serves as the heart and soul of his paintings. “There can be so much substance in a mark made. In the layers applied. The viewer may not understand or identify all that the artist intended or felt in those details but if the work elicits a feeling or reaction of any kind maybe that substance resonated in some way. And that’s a cool and profound thing.”

As well as an Illustrator, John was an Art Director and Creative Director during his career and is currently co-owner of a branding agency. John grew up in Houston, Texas and now lives in Springfield, Missouri with his wife, Whitney, stepdaughter, Grayson, and their two dogs, Sterling and Phoenix.


B. 1968, Waukegan, Illinois
Lives and works in Springfield, Missouri


1991 BFA, College for Creative Studies, Detroit MI
1986 High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, Houston TX

Selected Exhibitions

C-Art Spring Exhibition, The Vecino Group, Springfield, MO
Fresh Gallery Art Show, Fesh Gallery, Springfield, MO
Caught My Eye, The Creamery Arts Center, Springfield, MO

C-Art Inaugural Exhibition, Randy Bacon Gallery, Springfield, MO
What Was Left Behind, Solo Exhibit, Hotel Vandivort, Springfield, MO
SRAC Annual Member Show, The Creamery Arts Center, Springfield, MO
The Big Show, Sky Gallery, Springfield, MO
April Group Art Show, Jones Gallery, Kansas City, MO

SRAC Annual Member Show, The Creamery Arts Center, Springfield, MO

Context III, Foundry Arts Centre, St. Charles, MO
June Group Art Show, Jones Gallery, Kansas City, MO
The Art of Collage, OH Gallery, Springfield, MO
Art at the Center Exhibit, Tomahawk Ridge Community Center, Overland Park, KS