John Thein is an associate professor of Art who teaches drawing and printmaking in the Fine Art Department at Creighton University. He received his M.A. and M.F.A. in Printmaking from the University of Iowa. Over the span of his career, he has had more than 30 one-man exhibitions.
Oil paints and watercolor in the hands of artist John Thein are seductively fluid media which allow him to create expressive, figurative compositions. A faculty member at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska, Thein has researched the culture of the American Indian for over a decade and focused on interpreting its historical context in his work. A monumental suite of paintings, “Wounded Knee- The Painted Spirit”, that he exhibited in a solo show at Creighton University serves as his personal, visual document of the horrors of that event. In it, larger-than life forms confront the viewer with an unthinkable description of man’s inhumanity to his fellow man.
Thein has traveled widely in his teaching career, conducting classes in Xian, China, Leister, England and the Dominican Republic. Many of the techniques which he uses in his watercolors were refined from his knowledge of traditional Asian sumi-e painting. The artist states that the sumi-e brushstrokes allow him to bridge distinct cultures: “The sumi-e brush moves across the paper in a fleeting second, allowing its washes to mingle together… after drying, the human figure is created with a slow layering of small washes… bringing together east and west in a coherent whole.”
Thein lives and works in Omaha, Nebraska where his three dimensional work has been recently installed on the riverfront at Miller’s Landing. His work has been exhibited and won prizes internationally. It is also included in many museum, private and corporate collections throughout the world.