Meditation on the Music of JS Bach by John Fennell

Local artist to bring “Light+Form+Color” exhibit to William Woods University

A new academic year in art exhibits at William Woods University (WWU) will begin next week with a show featuring the work of painter John Fennell, entitled “Light+Form+Color: The Intersection of Landscape and Abstraction.” Fennell’s work that crosses boundaries to find inspiration in nature, the city and in the purity of color and shape will run on the WWU campus for five and a half weeks beginning August 24 at the Mildred Cox Gallery.

End of Day in the Age of Covid by John fennell

Admission to Cox Gallery is free and limited to William Woods students, faculty and staff. Due to COVID-19, the gallery and exhibit will not be open to the general public.

Everyone is welcome to experience the exhibit virtually by visiting

Based in Columbia, Fennell is eclectic in his artist influences, painting landscapes, jazz-inspired cityscapes and abstractions, all of which depend upon form, color and light. For Fennell, light in all of its manifestations is the foundation of seeing and, in a broader sense, a metaphor for knowing

 “In a world where so much of our lives are prescribed,” Fennell said, “I find that these explorations into the unknown, whether in the woods, on a street corner or in the silence of the studio, reconnect me with the inner spirit, the driving force of life.”

A native of Chicago, Fennell has been a painter for more than 35 years and currently works out of Orr Street Studios in Columbia.  After graduating from Northern Illinois University, he attended the American Academy of Art in Chicago and then studied privately with artists Milford Zornes and Gianni Cilfoni. He later earned a master’s degree in painting and drawing from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. He has exhibited in Chicago and Milwaukee, as well as in St. Louis, Kansas City, Fulton, Ashland and Columbia, Missouri. His work is in many private and corporate collections. Before teaching he was an award-winning journalist and editor. An emeritus professor of the Missouri School of Journalism, Fennell taught magazine writing, design and publishing. The Light+Forms+Color art exhibit will be on display at the Cox Gallery in the Gladys Woods Kemper Center for the Arts on the William Woods campus. The show will run from Monday, August 24 until Tuesday, September 29. Cox Gallery is open to members of the WWU Community from 12 p.m. – 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 1-4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.