Born in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin in 1951, Kenn Backhaus spent much of his childhood on the family farm near Burnett, Wisconsin. His fondness for nature became the catalyst for his art. Backhaus’s parents encouraged his artistic education and following high school, he attended Layton School of Art in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Upon graduation, he embarked on his professional career in design and illustration receiving many awards at both local and national levels, which included acceptance in the Annual Society of Illustrators Show in New York. Although Backhaus took pride in his commercial successes, his heart always belonged to the fine art of outdoor painting. With developing interest in the historic Plein Air style of painting, he decided in 1984, to devote more time to his passion for painting and the love of the outdoors. He found that capturing true color, value and the mood of a subject was best done on location or through direct observation. His passion for painting has broadened his subject matter to include not only landscape, but also figurative, portrait, still life and wildlife.
CHARLESTON’S 350TH BIRTHDAY COLLECTION
These special paintings were developed in conjunction with a call to our artists to celebrate the beauty and history of Charleston. Kenn Backhaus took the historical approach and this collection is indeed special. The Yemassee Indians were a part of the Muskohegan tribes which included Native Americans as well as African Americans. They were significant in the settling of the area now known as Beaufort, Colleton, Berkley, and Charleston Counties. After the Revolution, many farmers moved to rice from cotton and indigo. This led to a greater need for slaves in the Charleston area and helped to shape the area we know today.
We are pleased to present these paintings depicting a tumultuous history of our area.