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 Christopher M. Still  (1961 - )

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Lived/Active: Florida/Pennsylvania      Known for: landscape, history and still life painting

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Ad Code: 3
AskART Artist
The Passing of One Day, oil on linen, 36" x 90", 1997
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Christopher Still is a Florida artist who paints compositions that contain multiple levels of symbolism and historic references.  He is known for realistic works featuring the history and natural beauty of Florida, captured in landscapes, still lifes and portraits.

Significant professional influences include mentors such as Guggenheim Fellow Louis Sloan of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and fresco painter Benjamin F. Long with whom Still apprenticed in Florence, Italy.  Still's landscapes have been said to be reminiscent of those of the Hudson River School, and his still lifes and portraits remind viewers of the old Dutch Masters.

At the age of seventeen, Still received the National Hallmark prize and the only full scholarship to the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts through the National Scholastic Art Awards.  He supplemented his education at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts with studies in human anatomy at Jefferson Medical School and classical Greek sculpture at the Frudakis Academy of Art.  His primary focus became the study of landscape painting under the direction of Louis Sloan, with whom he painted for the next thirty years.  In 1981 he left the school to pursue an apprenticeship in fresco and oil painting with Benjamin F. Long in Florence, Italy.
After his return to Pennsylvania in 1983 he received the William Emlen Cresson Memorial European Travel Fellowship and returned to Europe.  By the time Still graduated, he had received the Academy's highest awards in composition, zoological drawing, landscape painting, and ultimately, the Pennsylvania Governor's Award for outstanding accomplishment in Fine Art.

He returned to Florida and created a unique process of merging his Florida roots with techniques he had learned abroad.  Still's paintings were filled with citrus, native plants and wildlife, placed in compositions reminiscent of paintings found in Europe's best museums.  The artist began casting light on Florida's natural treasures to overcome preconceived notions of what was suitable fine art subject matter and to elevate the state's appreciation of its rich history and natural beauty.  He regularly involved scientists, historians and environmental specialists to incorporate contemporary elements and concerns in his compositions.

His images of Florida are regularly seen in national art publications, textbooks and novels.  Since 1998, he has been continuously commissioned to work on public art projects including two paintings for the City of St. Petersburg, the official Governor's Portrait of Lawton Chiles, ten paintings featuring Florida's history and natural beauty for the Florida House of Representatives, a painting and sculpture for Tampa International Airport, two paintings commissioned by JMC Communities for the Sandpearl Resort featuring the beauty and history of the Gulf Coast and, as of 2009, a 25th Anniversary Commemorative painting for Ruth Eckerd Hall Center for the Performing Arts.

His paintings can be found in museums and private collections including the Governor's Mansion of Florida, the Museum of Fine Arts and Florida International Museum and the Smithsonian Institution.  Since 1989 he has biannually hosted an independent exhibition of his original work featuring Florida's most sacred people and places. These exhibitions have sold out each year.

Museum works include:

by Christopher M. Still 1991
Oil on linen, 30 x 40 inches
on display at the
Museum of Fine Arts
St. Petersburg, FL 33701

Self-portrait - Morning Light
by Christopher M. Still 1984
Oil on masonite, 36 1/2 x 48 inches
on display at the
Florida International Museum
St. Petersburg Florida 33701

Land of Promise
by Christopher M. Still 1993
Oil on canvas, 60 x 48 inches
on display at the
South Florida Community College
Museum of Florida Art & Culture
Avon Park, FL 33825

On Sacred Ground

by Christopher M. Still 1992
Oil on canvas, 71 x 91 inches
on display at the
South Florida Community College
Museum of Florida Art & Culture
Avon Park, FL 33825

Submitted October 2009 by Kelly Victory Still, wife of the artist


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