Chris Stephens uses vibrant colors to portray the sweeping landscapes of the Shenandoah Valley, achieving an alluring interpretation of the countryside. Stephens holds an MFA from James Madison University, and his work can be found in numerous collections including SAS Institute, American Express, Bell Atlantic, First Union National Bank, Wachovia Bank & Trust, Duke Energy, Lowe’s, and UNC Women’s and Children’s Hospital. Chris now lives in Front Royal, VA. 

"I paint from life. My process is direct and uncluttered. I make individual marks, each based on something seen. I feel my way into the subject, looking for lyrical, organizing structures, discovered anew with each painting, like parallel diagonals or edges of forms intersecting at right angles.  Ideally, my paintings are simple accumulations of marks within a compositional structure. I constrain my work within a particular subject, and apply strong formats to evoke different emotional and visual possibilities. Color and paint have their own magic; I try to harness it. Color conveys my feeling of the experience. Oil paint is uniquely suited to hold the energy of the marks made in response to life; it's an alchemic substance.  My paintings begin with exuberance for light, subject and paint; I try to carry it through the whole process."


Selected Exhibitions

2014 December Holiday Group Show, Haley Fine Art, VA

2014  October New Work, Haley Fine Art, Sperryville, VA 

2011  October Cast Light, Haley Fine Art, Sperryville, VA

2003-2004  May Clouds, Water, And Light, Haley Fine Art, Sperryville, VA

2002  Paintings of the Shenandoah Valley, Center of the Earth, Charlotte, NC

2002 The Way I See It, The Middle Street Gallery, Washington, VA

2001  Earth, Air, Water, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD

2001 By the River, Theatre Art Galleries, High Point, NC

2001 Powers of Three, 3 person collaboration, Windows Gallery, Warrenton, VA

2000  Along the River, The Middle Street Gallery, Washington, VA

1999  Pieces of Light, The Middle Street Gallery, Washington, VA                               

1999 New Dimensions, Art Ventures Gallery, Philadelphia, PA

1983-2003   Winter Show, Green Hill Center for N.C. Art, Greensboro, NC

Honors, Awards, Grants

June 1998     Lewis Foundation Grant
1988-1990     Virginia Commission for the Arts Grant


July/August 1994    "Land of a Different Color", Southern Accents Magazine
February 5, 1988     "Two Artists Experiment with Shape, Color in Paintings, Clay", Laura King, The Journal, Arlington, VA
July 27, 1988      Bringing Up The Next Generation, Donna Funk, The Warren Sentinel, Front Royal, VA
October 17, 1987     "The Visual Launching Pad", Jo Ann Lewis, Washington Post, Washington, DC
January 5, 1985     "Galleries: Works By The Phillips Staff", Jo Ann Lewis, Washington Post, Washington, DC
February 14, 1985     "Stephens Art Has Familiar Appearance", Abe Jones, Greensboro News & Record, Greensboro, NC
August 2, 1984     "Galleries: Galerie Francois", Jo Ann Lewis, Washington Post, Washington, DC 


Mary Washington College, Fredericksburg, VA
SAS Institute, Raleigh, NC
United Technologies, Hartford, CT                                      
Southern Progress, Birmingham, AL
University of Virginia Health Science Center, Charlottesville, VA
Bell Atlantic, Arlington, VA
American Express, Operations Center, Greensboro, NC
Duke Medical Center, Durham, NC
Stouffer Corporation, Winston Plaza Hotel, Winston-Salem, NC                                     
Dillard Paper Company, Greensboro, NC                                      
First Union National Bank, Greensboro, NC
Wachovia Bank & Trust, Winston-Salem, NC                                      
The Weatherspoon Gallery, UNC-Greensboro, NC                                      
North Carolina National Bank, Charlotte, NC                                      
Oliver Carr Corporation, Washington, DC
UNC Womens and Childrens Hospital, Raleigh, NC Northern Virginia 4-H Educational and Conference Center, Front Royal, VA                                  


May, 1997      James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA MFA Painting              May, 1983     University of North Carolina at Greensboro, NC Double Major:  BFA Painting/Print Making;  International Studies