Fred Stonehouse has loved to draw since his youth but didn’t begin the formal study of art until he enrolled in college. He was raised in a blue collar Milwaukee neighborhood and went on to study at the University of Wisconsin, Madison where he earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 1982. As a student, he began exhibiting prints and collages, and by the time he graduated found wider success exhibiting and selling his work. Today he is a major figure in Wisconsin art.
Although exposed to abstract expressionism as a student in the 1970’s, Stonehouse’s work has remained representational in various forms. Influenced by Renaissance Art, Mexican Folk Art, and later, Surrealism, he has developed his own unique style. With detailed animal and human imagery in flattened space, he creates dreamlike stories of humor and sadness in a complicated world. He explains, “In the marsh of my imagination the rules of logic and natural science are reborn as whimsy and invention.”
Stonehouse has been a lecturer of painting and drawing at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee and UW Madison and is presently Assistant Professor of Art at UW Madison. He has received the Wisconsin Visual Arts Lifetime Achievement Award and his art work has been reproduced in national publications. He has had a retrospective exhibition at the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, exhibits nationally and is represented in numerous museum collections. After many years living in West Allis and working in his studio in a converted garage, he has moved out of the city. He currently resides with his family, near the woods and wildlife in rural Slinger, Wisconsin.