Film industry visual master TyRuben Ellingson brings personal works to St. Cloud’s Atwood Gallery

TyRuben Ellingson and Stephen Plantenberg in the Quarry Bridge art show

TyRuben Ellingson has crafted stunning visuals for decades working alongside visionary filmmakers such as James Cameron, Steven Spielberg, George Lucas and Guillermo del Toro. Beginning March 31st, the Arizona-based Ellingson will offer a rare look at his more personal work in a joint art show with ceramic artist Stephen Plantenberg at the Atwood Gallery in St. Cloud, Minnesota.

The special effects and visual imaging boom of the last two decades saw TyRuben Ellingson become one of the most sought-after technical artists in the film industry, and the legacy of his experience shines in his personal work. Using the refined draftsmanship that has made him so indispensable as a concept artist, designer and effects art director, Ellingson holds a powerful microscope up to the evolution of artistic perception as he has witnessed it throughout his career, and introduces us to intricately mechanized creatures whose humanity is as unexpected as it is beautiful. A dazzling selection of high-fidelity, hand-treated prints explore the ebb and flow of technology’s place in the arts and the deeper relationship between human introspection and technological advance.

In contrast, Stephen Plantenberg’s earthy and visceral ceramics reveal a pull toward tradition and an environmentally sensitive bond to the community in which he lives. With rich, mineral-inspired colors and textures, these harmonious vessels in classical-yet-modern shapes are created completely from locally-sourced clay. Both Ellingson and Plantenberg share with the viewer an artistic realization that is strengthened by connectivity to the passage of time. Picking up on themes that surfaced when they hung their first show together in 1981, the Minnesota-born duo transcend their own history by interpreting the cyclical nature of rediscovering and re-abandoning ideas of individual identity and meaning in the art continuum and the universe.

From his work with Lucasfilm’s Industrial Light and Magic as Effects Art Director of Jurassic Park and Star Wars: Special Edition, to his role as lead vehicle designer on James Cameron’s Avatar, to his work on the upcoming 2013 films Pacific Rim by Guillermo del Toro and Elysium by Neill Blomkamp, TyRuben Ellingson has contributed his trademark talents to over a dozen major motion pictures. Ellingson received his Master of Arts degree from St. Cloud State University, and is son of the late artist, print-maker and St. Cloud State University professor, William Ellingson.

Stephen Plantenberg holds a Master of Arts degree from St. Cloud State University and participates regularly with the firing the largest wood-fired kiln in North America. The Johanna Kiln is featured in the documentary Clay, Wood, Fire, Spirit: The Pottery of Richard Bresnahan and is located on the campus of St. Johns University Collegeville, Minnesota.

The Atwood Gallery, known as the "Jewel of Atwood", is located in The Atwood Memorial Center on the St. Cloud State University campus in St. Cloud, Minnesota. Interstate 94 connects Minneapolis to St. Cloud in just over an hour. The street location of The Atwood Memorial Center Gallery is 651 1st Ave. South and 6th Street. The St. Cloud State University Program Board Visual Arts Committee is hosting the exhibit from March 31 through April 26, 2012. For more information: 320/308-2205 or visit

Press release written by Rosemary Van Deuren