John Oehm – a native Nebraskan moved to Wichita in 1977, after completing his undergraduate degree in painting from the University of Nebraska at Kearney. Oehm earned his MFA in painting from Wichita State University in 1981.
For the next 11 years, Oehm taught at WSU, the Wichita Center for the Arts, and in his private studio in downtown Wichita. He joined the art faculty of Butler Community College in 1992.
Since retiring from Butler CC in 2017, Oehm has worked full-time as a portrait painter. His portrait work can be found in collections throughout the Midwest and Southwest United States. In 2021 Oehm and Valerie Haring were married. They currently live in Bel Aire, Kansas.
“My work reflects a lifelong interest in a tradition of figure and portrait painting that includes the likes of Rembrandt, Titian, Alberto Giacometti, Lucian Freud, and Jenny Saville. Each of these painters demonstrates a fascination with the illusion of forms in light and space. If it were possible, I would only paint from life.” – Oehm