Justin T. Worrell (b. 1978) spent his childhood in Lacey, WA graduating from Timberline High School in 1997. After graduating from St. Martin’s University, he began his career working in government relations as an aide to a Washington State Senator. In early 2005, he joined the office of a U.S. Congressman and moved to the nation’s capital where he has lived ever since working in a government relations role in both the public and private sectors.
Justin’s interest in art began early in his life. He fondly recalls sitting beside his grandmother in her home studio asking questions and observing the craft first hand. Largely painting as a hobby, and when time would allow, Justin began more formal training as an oil painter around 2014. At this time, he began studying at the Art League in Alexandria, VA with local artists under the tutelage of Mike Francis. Given his great zeal for American Tonalism, Justin quickly found inspiration from Dennis Sheehan and has attended workshops and study sessions with the Tonalist Master in his studio in Manchester, NH.
Justin was drawn to American Tonalism for two primary reasons: first, as David A. Cleveland states in his book, ‘A History of American Tonalism: Crucible of American Modernism’, is Tonalism’s noble attempt to “elucidate an underlying spiritual presence” while still maintaining reverence for the concrete and visible. How do we, as Americans, bridge the great divide between the temporal and the eternal? This is, indeed, a very unique and very American artform. Tonalism was at its height during a time in American history that presents many parallel challenges that Justin observed during his time working in Washington, DC. Second, Tonalism is American. It’s ours, and represents singular American ideals, paradoxes, and can be a conduit for compromise between the seemingly incongruent issues facing American society today.
Aside from art, Justin deeply enjoys Seattle Seahawk football, anything having to do with French history and culture, and has a fine collection of American comic books. He currently resides in Springfield, VA with his wife Janessa, their two children Arden and Turner, dog Pinot, and cat Sadie.