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Mike Manthey

Mike Manthey was raised in a small farming community in south-central Wisconsin. He attended the University of Wisconsin - Madison, receiving a Bachelor of Science Degree in Art in 1979. In 1990 he was accepted into the University of Wisconsin Department of Art Graduate Program. Granted a Teaching Assistant Scholarship, he taught studio courses in Drawing and Design to undergraduate students from 1990 to 1993 while completing graduate work. In December 1993 he received a Master of Fine Arts Degree from the University of Wisconsin - Madison with an emphasis in Painting and Drawing. He moved to Chicago in spring of 1996 and joined the faculty of the Illinois Institute of Art - Chicago in fall of that year. He taught drawing studios in the school's Foundations Department nearly 20 years, until June of last year. He is now enjoying retirement and pursuing his own studio practice and research.

He lives in Chicago with his wife Debra and their two dogs, a short bike commute to Lake Michigan. His ongoing interest in eastern meditation practices and Buddhism continues to strongly influence his philosophical outlook and inform his aesthetic sensibility and approach to painting. He feels a work of art should offer the viewer sanctuary, or at least momentary respite, from the usual daily internal gossip and endless external distractions that engulf us. It should provide an open space within which we can pause to appreciate the magnificence of our own human awareness, a perishable gift we so easily and habitually take for granted. He hopes that anyone who becomes interested in his surfaces will approach them as a kind of "paint garden" for the mind, something created to be enjoyed but that also points to the larger field we all inhabit and are interdependent with.