Recent News

Recent News

Artist Presentation
“Expression in Painting Watercolors”

Thursday February 7, 2013
Woodridge Public Library

I shared my process of creating art. I discussed materials, inspiration, execution of artwork, and evolution of individual style. Thanks to all that came to my presentation, Expressions in Color, despite a crazy night of winter weather advisories. It was a whirl wind night and we hope you enjoyed the talk.


Illinois Watercolor Society -  Members Show 2012
Award of Excellence

Group Exhibition  - November 2012

My painting ”Past Reflection” won the “Award of Excellence” at this years Illinois Watercolor Society's Members Show at the Mayslake Peabody Estate.


Elmhurst Artist Guild - Fall Members Show 2012
2nd Place Winner

Group Exhibition

My painting “Neighborhood Diner” won the “2nd Place Award” at the
Elmhurst Artist Guild's Fall Members Show 2012


Elmhurst Artist Guild - Summer Members Show 2012
Honorable Mention Winner
Group Exhibition

My painting “Going Places - 47th and 7th Ave” won “Honorable Mention” at the Elmhurst Artist Guild's Summer Members Show 2012

Going Places-1

Downers Grove Public Library
Solo Exhibition

The Downers Grove Library has a wonderful gallery, I had 22 paintings on exhibit for the month of July 2012.

 View show details

Cadillac-Dream1 library art show 008

May, 2012

2012 Best of the Best - Alliance of Fine Arts
Honorable Mention Winner

Group Show April 17 - May 24, 2012 

My watercolor entry “Summer in the City” won Honorable Mention at the prestigious 2012 “Best-of-the-Best” Alliance of Fine Art Show at the Mayslake Peabody Estate, it was one of eight paintings selected out of 61 outstanding works of art.


IWS 28th National Competition

May 5 - June 1, 2012

My watercolor “Times Square Lives” made it into the 28th National Exhibition 2012 of the
Illinois Watercolor Society.

 View show details


Robert Morris Gallery - Springfield
Around Each Corner - Expression in Color II

Solo Exhibition

April 3 - May 25, 2012

This was my opening at the Robert Morris Gallery in Springfield. We had a great turnout and a wonderful evening. Springfield has a vibrant art community and made the event very special.

 View show details

rmu_spring Ahead-of-Schedule1


Marriott Mural Commission - Naperville

This is one of seven paintings installed at the new Marriott hotel in Naperville, IL. The paintings were enlarged as murals and are up to eight feet tall or wide and are installed in the main lobby and resturant. One of the criteria for this hotel project was that local artists be used.  Three of the murals were chosen from existing paintings of mine, and then the client commissioned me for four additional paintings to be painted in my style based around travel themes. After submitting the final four paintings the response from the client was “LOVE. Please let the artist know that we are extremely happy with the commissioned work and thank you for all your help.” This is my first permanent major installation.

View installation details



Watercolor Demonstration for the
Illinois Watercolor Society Meeting

March 3, 2012

My demo for the Illinois Watercolor Society meeting went great. The 2 hours went by much to fast, a wonderful group of artist and a fun venue inside the DickBlick store in Wheaton


Elmhurst Artist Guild
Winter Members Show

A juried exhibition of new works by members of the Elmhurst Artist Guild. Entries were judged by Tristan J.M. Hummel, program manager/curator for the Chicago Loop Alliance.



Illinois Institute of Art Show

Illinois Institute of Art - Schaumburg
Solo Exhibition

October 15 - December 9, 2011

I had a solo exhibition at The Illinois Institute of Art in Schaumburg. I was invited to show after the Gallery Committee Chairman saw my show at the Woodridge Public Library. I have 14 of my urban cityscapes and figure works on display.

View show details

Illinois Institute of Art Show

Last Picture Show Judging

September 2011

The Next Picture Show Gallery

Solo Exhibition and Judging

Dixon, IL

September 14 - October 23, 2011

View Photo Gallery

I was invited to judge the art show “Farms and Barns 7” at The Next Picture Show Gallery in Dixon, IL this last Friday. In addition to judging the art show, I was invited to hang a solo exhibition in their lower gallery. It was quite the challenge to pick only six winners out of the 94 wonderful entries. I spent the entire afternoon selecting the winners and writing up my critiques. The evening was attended by over 200 guests and I enjoyed talking to as many artists and guests as possible.It was a very special evening and I want to especially thank Bonnie Kime, executive director of the gallery, and my wife Mary Ann, whose help made everything go flawless. Thanks to my sister and brother-in-law, Joan & Steve, for introducing us to the gallery.

Downers Grove Demo

September 2011

Downer Grove Artist Guild Demo

I was invited to do a watercolor demonstration and art talk with the Downers Grove Artist Guild on Monday evening. I brought along nine completed paintings and explained my different approaches and techniques with watercolors. I had two paintings in process and demonstrated two different watercolor techniques that I employ in my works. We had great interaction and lots of questions from the group. I look forward to working with the guild in the future. They were a great group!


Atop the Ruby Red Stairs

September 2011

ArtPrize 2011 Participant

This was my first time experiencing ArtPrize as a participating artist. ArtPrize is the most incredible format, immersing artist and the public in what can only be describe as a festival of the arts. Spent a weekend exploring all the different venues and did not come close to seeing all the art. My thanks to all the people at The City Gallery, it was a great venue. I was amongst some great art and artist. I got to meet and share with artist from around the world. .

View Photo Gallery

Mary Ann & Bret

Under the Tuscan Ball Auction

View Event Photos

April, 2011

Union League Club of Chicago
2011 Annual Ball, Under The Tuscan Sun

Mary Ann and I were invited as guests to the Union League Club of Chicago's black tie event, Under the Tuscan Sun. My original watercolor State and Adams was auctioned at the event and the proceeds went to support the Civic and Arts Foundation. You can see my painting from the event in this Flickr set. A good time was had by all, bow tie and all. A great date night.


Mary Ann & Bret


April, 2011

Elmhurst Artists’ Guild - Spring Art Show
“Best of Show” Winner

Elmhurst Art Museum
150 Cottage Hill, Elmhurst, IL 60126

My watercolor entry of Summer in the City won “Best of Show” at the “Elmhurst Artists’ Guild - Spring Art Show” at the Elmhurst Museum. This was a juried show with over fifty strong entries. The artwork was judged by Nina Weiss, a nationally recognized landscape artist and instructor at the School of the Art Institute, Columbia College and Evanston Art Center. This affirmation helps as I continue to push into new directions with my art. With over ninety in attendance last night the EAG is a wonderfully supportive artist community to belong to.

April 3 – May 13, 2011.

EAG Spring Show

Dzaidzia and Busia

April, 2011

2011 Best of the Best  Alliance of Fine Arts

Mayslake Peabody Estate, 1717 W. 31st Street, Oak Brook, IL

I was invited to enter my watercolor Dzaidzia and Busia at the prestigious 2011 “Best-of-the-Best” Alliance of Fine Art Show at the Mayslake Peabody Estate. The AFA invites the winners from the local art shows to show their award winning pieces at the "Best-of-the-Best.”


Mayslake Peabody Estate


March, 2011

Willowbrook Wildlife Haven 
Night Owl Ball

I donated a Limit Edition Print of Wildflowers that was auctioned to support the Willowbrook Wildlife Haven. The WWH promotes harmonious coexistence between the people and wildlife of DuPage County. Last year, they admitted a record of 8,343 injured, ill and orphaned wildlife animals for treatment and presented hundreds of educational programs. It is wonderful that my artwork can help support our local community.

Willowbrook Wildlife Haven

Atop the Ruby Red Stairs

February, 2011

Woodridge Public Library Gallery
Bret Steinhaus, Watercolors

3 Plaza Drive, Woodridge, IL  60517

During the month of February, the Woodridge Public Library featured my watercolors.

The show included thirty-one of my original watercolors and many limited edition prints.

View the Woodridge Public Library Show
Photo Gallery

Woodridge Pulic Library Show


December, 2011

State Street Gallery RMU
Around Each Corner - Expressions in Color Art Show

The State Street Gallery at Robert Morris University
401 South State Street, Chicago, IL 60605

This was my largest show to date with thirty-six paintings on exhibit. The State Street Gallery is on the corner of State and Van Buren in downtown Chicago.

Opening Reception was:
Thursday, December 9, 2010 5 PM – 8 PM

The exhibit ran through January 27, 2011

State Street Gallery

View the State Street Show Photo Gallery

I had the opportunity to install my exhibition at the State Street Gallery at Robert Morris University (Chicago). Working with the curator and staff was great. They let me be involved in all aspects of installation: laying out the artwork, hanging the pieces, arranging the partitions, and even letting me climb the stepladder to do the lighting. When unpacking the artwork, we had found two paintings with broken glass. Luckily, I had packed two spare frames. It ended up taking seven hours to get everything just right. It was quite a rush to stand outside on downtown State Street in Chicago and see my artwork through the windows!

December, 2010

Elmhurst Artists’ Guild -  Winter Art Show

This was my first showing at the EAG Winter Show, and I brought home a second place winning in the juried show. Amongst fifty-five strong entries, I was pleasantly surprised to place with an older piece. I’m looking forward to exhibiting my newer pieces in the future. My newer works show my personal style developing and are much stronger pieces.

I joined the Elmhurst Artist Guild. The EAG has a world class facility; The Elmhurst Museum, and a great variety of activities each year. My first activity upon joining was participating in their Winter Art Show.  The majority of my paintings were at the State Street Gallery in preparation for my solo show. I borrowed my painting Busia and Dziadzia from my in-laws to display at the Winter Art Show.

Show ran through Janurary 7, 2011



October, 2010

Union League Civic and Arts Foundation
Artists Month Luncheon Attendee

I was honored to be a guest artist attendee at the CAF's seventh annual luncheon in honor of Chicago Artists Month.

Two hundred artists joined together for the luncheon and panel discussion, which was moderated by James Yood. The topic was Art and Money: The Business of Art.The panelists were Russell Bowman, Russell Bowman Art Advisory, former Director of the Milwaukee Art Museum, Monique Meloche, Owner of moniquemeloche Gallery, and Gary Metzner, Sotheby's Fine Art Director for the Midwest.

Hinsdale High School demo

October, 2009

Guest Artist at Hinsdale Central High School
National Arts and Humanities Week

“Art Teachers and Students Celebrate National Arts and Humanities Week. The art department celebrated the importance of the arts in department classes during the week of October 26 - 30th. Events include; Visiting artist sessions with watercolorist, Bret Steinhaus.”

I was the Art Department’s keynote speaker at Hinsdale Central High School. I gave two 2-hour presentations, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. I enjoyed sharing my love of watercolors and being able to encourage young artists. The presentations included watercolor demonstrations.    
 A New Day was the painting I started at the demo.

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