Justin Gibbens first began moving pencil on paper nearly 40 years ago rendering the boyhood standards: dinosaurs, creepy crawlers and other freakish fauna. Not much has changed in four decades. Admittedly, he has a keen and unhealthy interest in all things that scamper and poke about in the undergrowth, slither in the thickets, soar through the ether and swim in the abyss of our planet's aqueous environments. It is these inhabitants that serve as his primary source of inspiration, be it literal, symbolic, psychological or otherwise. For Gibbens, the natural world is filled with mystery, fascination and intrigue, and the relationship humans have with it is often layered, complex and ambiguous. It is through his work that he celebrates this.
Justin Gibbens received his BA in painting from Central Washington University in 1998 and a Scientific Illustration Certificate from University of Washington in 2003. He is a founding member of PUNCH Projects, a central Washington-based artist collective. Gibbens was the recipient of a 2006 Pollock-Krasner Foundation Award, a 2008 Artist Trust Fellowship Award and most recently, a McMillen Foundation MAC Fellowship in 2019. His work has been collected by Grinnell College, Microsoft, 4Culture/King County, the City of Seattle, the City of Kent, the City of Shoreline, the Washington State Arts Consortium and the Washington State Arts Commission. In addition to his studio practice, Gibbens has begun adapting his images for larger-scale public mural projects. Gibbens lives in rural Thorp, Washington with his dangerously talented wife Renee Adams.