Ben Bauer

Hailing from St. Paul, Minnesota, Ben Bauer was born in 1980 to an adventurous family who introduced him to the great outdoors from a young age. Bauer grew up hiking, camping, hunting, and fishing, giving him an early interest in the natural world. He credits this upbringing for his commitment to “recording a natural history” through his art. As the world continues to change, and we witness the continuing depletion of the environment, Bauer considers this natural record to be even more valuable, as means of communicating the importance of conservation. 

Always drawing and cartooning, eventually Bauer’s love of nature coupled with his love for art. He began following in the footsteps of renowned wildlife painters and printmakers, such as David Maass, exploring landscape and wildlife scenes in his drawings. Ben then submitted his first entry for the Minnesota Junior Duck Stamp Competition. While his composition did not win overall, Ben was awarded first place in his age group, out of about 1100 entries. This was no small feat and encouraged the young artist to continue pursuing his talent. 

Throughout high school, Bauer took every art course available to him, and eventually graduated from The University of Wisconsin-Stout in Menomonie with a major in painting. During this time, Bauer was not drawn to the in-vogue painting styles of academia, but found himself inspired by professors Tamara Brantmeier and Charles Lume to stick with it and develop his own artistic style.  

Today, Bauer continues his education through independent research and experimentation. Drawing a wide range of inspirations from the masters of old and nature alike, Ben’s own work continues to evolve through constant exploration of the landscape around him. His primary objective remains preservation. 

His works themselves cultivate a strong sense of place through meticulous observation of natural cycles and masterful application of light, color, and composition. With a particular interest in the “transitory qualities of seasonal cycles,” Bauer relies on a close connection to nature to produce expressive, believable landscapes.