Audrey Ushenko – Figurative & Realist Artist in Chicago

Each painting tells a story. As a figurative and realist Chicago artist, I strive to tell the true, human experience and to connect with my audiences with each brushstroke that I make. I do not lock myself away in a solitary room, but instead paint out in the open, surrounded by crowds, in order to capture their energy and realism into my work.

My Background

My education started not in contemporary or narrative painting, but instead in English literature. My studies of English literature at Indiana University has greatly influenced my work as a painter, providing me with inspiration on how best to depict the stories and lives of my subjects. After my time at Indiana University, I went on to receive a Master’s in painting and a Doctorate in art history from Northwestern University. I now have the joy of teaching my own students of art and art history at Indiana University, as well as having my art featured at the Denise Bibro Fine Art Gallery.

Artistic Mediums

While I have studied various artistic mediums ranging from abstract expressionism to realism, I currently specialize in contemporary paintings. These include the following:

  • Figurative painting
  • Realist painting
  • Narrative painting
  • Oil painting

Honors and Awards

  • 2005 The Samuel F.B. Morse Medal and Prize for Painting, 180th Academy Exhibition
  • National Academy of Design, New York, NY
  • 2005 Inglis Griswold Nelson Prize for Painting (Portraiture). 180th Academy
  • Exhibition, National Academy of Design
  • 2004 The Thomas B. Clark Prize, National Academy of Design
  • 2004 The Institute of Museum and Library Services Grant
  • 1997 The Isidor Medal and Prize for Figure Painting, National Academy of Design
  • 1995 Merit Award. 170th Academy Exhibition, National Academy of Design
  • 1990 Painting Prize, Indiana Arts Competition 1990, Indianapolis, IN


2019 Cognition and Temporality in which prominent philosopher Mark E.  Blum selects me as a contemporary painter exemplifying a certain mode of contemporary thinking through visual imaging.


To learn more about me and my work, feel free to contact me today!