Josh Connell is a self-taught artist, focusing primarily on drawing human beings with photographic precision using charcoal and graphite. He has been creating these pieces for the past 10 years, slowly sharpening his skills. He is just now at a point where he is happy to begin entering the art world and exhibiting his work. For 20 years he has worked with exceptional children in group homes and in schools which he feels has afforded him a unique perspective on the human condition. Children have been his greatest life teachers and, in his art, he is attempting to convey the honesty found in children’s humanity.
His work has been shown at Art in the County where his piece Hope won a 2021 Jurors’ Choice Award. He also earned a Peoples Choice Award at the Faces and Places juried exhibition at the Parrott Gallery in 2020.
With my work I am attempting to examine what it is to be human and to explore elements that I believe pull me out of alignment with what it is that I am. If a piece is successful, then hopefully it uncovers a little bit of truth that can help guide me back towards my center; if I am brave enough to see it. My goal is never to re-create a photograph but rather to use the approximate one hundred hours I am in contact with the work to infuse it with life. It becomes an experience for me that can then be translated to the viewer. When the right viewer finds the right piece, there is connection. And perhaps connection is art in its purest form.