Artist Biography

Milwaukee-based artist, Josiah Ellner, has a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting and Drawing from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Ellner describes his paintings as abstract narratives that revolve around the relationship between humanity and the natural world, captured through his own personal experiences. Ellner is drawn to moments that embody the feeling of oneness with nature. Decisions made in paintings are informed by the characteristics of these moments, which tend toward the awkward, whimsical, playful, and sometimes slightly humorous. The result is ungainly and awkward figures/environments that are patterned and playful. Through these abstractions Ellner strives to achieve a heightened narrative that encapsulates the connections and interactions we have with the natural world.

Artist statement

The natural world has changed drastically since the onset of the digital age.  With this change, the natural world as we know it has begun to fade and become background noise to new technology.  Despite this, we as humans are still drawn to the natural world and tend to hold onto natural elements in our daily lives, whether that be consciously or subconsciously.  My work tackles the growing complicated relationship that people of the digital age have with the natural world.  My paintings evoke one to further contemplate their personal relationship with the natural world.


2019 BFA University of Wisconsin Milwaukee
2019 Teacher’s Assistant, Painting Strategies, University of Wisconsin Milwaukee


2021 Tchotchke Gallery, Creature Comforts, New York, New York
2021 Eve Leibe Gallery, Regnum Luminis, London, United Kingdom
2020 Visionary Art Collective, Contemporary Portraiture: Redefining the Figure, Online Exhibition
2020 I Like Your Work Podcast, Congruence, Online Exhibition
2020 Show House Jay Jay, Show House Art Call NR 2, Online Exhibition (Curated by Sasha Bogojev)
2020 GIFC, HOT PAPER, Online Exhibition
2020 Frank Juarez Gallery, Rising Amongst the Chaos, Online Exhibition
2020 Between Two Galleries, We Might Have Been Born Yesterday….But We Stayed Up All Night, Milwaukee, Wisconsin USA
2019 Kenilworth Gallery, BFA Exhibition, Milwaukee, Wisconsin USA
2019 Trout Gallery, 39th Annual SECURA Fine Arts Exhibition, Appleton, Wisconsin USA
2019 Kenilworth Gallery, Woven Images, Milwaukee, Wisconsin USA

Publications and Media

2020 New American Paintings, Midwest Issue, No. 149
2020 Paperview Auction, Interview, Artists in Quarantine
2019 Create! Magazine, Summer Edition, Issue 16
2019 Furrow Magazine, Spring Edition, Volume 20