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 Virgil C. Stephens  (1952 - )

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Lived/Active: New Mexico/Arizona      Known for: western, wildlife, Americana

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Virgil C Stephens
An example of work by Virgil C. Stephens
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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
The following is from the artist:

Artist Name: Virgil C Stephens
Birth Date: September 30, 1952
Primary Residence of Studio: Nogal, NM
Subject Matter: western, wildlife, Americana
Style of work: Realist
Method: Pencil drawings, Pastels, & Bronze Sculptures

Artist Biography:

Virgil C. Stephens was born in Globe, Arizona. Having no formal training in art, he has been drawing (doodlin') since he first picked up a pencil, as a wet-behind the ears kid. As time went on, he got more and more serious about "this thing called art," and was able to make it his full-time profession in 1982. "My work reflects the life-style my family and I live. The people in my drawings are cowboy buddies, neighbors, and relatives. Having four kids, I'm never at a loss for ideas or subjects in the drawings depicting children."

In 1992, he started sculpting in clay, and now has added a line of limited- edition bronze sculptures, ranging in concept from ultra-realism to stylize.

Born in and around Globe, Arizona, and raised in the cowboy tradition, he has led the country life, which tends to breed strong morals and a firm foundation in ethics. As my wife, Emily, and I wanted the same for our children, we searched for a place that would afford them the same ideals that we had. A small community of ranching, rodeo, farming, hunting and fishing, 4-H and FFA programs all backed by a "Godly influence". (Basically, we were looking for paradise.) We found it all atop a mountain in south central New Mexico-- Lincoln County, to be exact-- home of Billy the Kid, Smokey Bear, and the world's richest quarter horse race.

Even though Stephens has done oils and pastels, his strength is with the pencil. "No other medium captures that ultra fine detail that I enjoy producing. (Somewhere along the way I paid attention to details!) I strive to tell a story with my artwork, right down to the titles. It has to, or I will be bored, and if its boring to me to produce, it will be boring to the viewer.

My desire has been to take pencil all the way to an art form. I dont sketch. I take everything I have learned from oil painters and apply it to each and every pencil drawing."

Artist Statement:
"Drawings have historically always taken a back seat to paintings. Id like to think that I have taken pencil drawings to the level of oils, and I would like to see the public realize the same. There doesnt seem to be very many "good" pencil artists out there, and I feel my work would be recognized as one of the best. When this happens, it would be obvious that my work is a result of blessings bestowed upon me by the Lord. You might say that my artwork is my ministry to the world. Matthew 5:14-16"

Most of my artwork is produced from scenes either in New Mexico Arizona, or Michigan. Most of my cowboy buddies and my children cant wait to be the subject of my "next drawing".

1st in drawing, "Old Town Tempe Fest. Of the Arts" Fall of 1990, 91, 92, 95, 96 and spring of 92, 99.
1st in drawing "Festival in the Pines" 1991,92, and 95.
2nd in drawing "George Phippen Western Art Show" in 1987, and 93.
3rd in drawing "George Phippen Western Art Show" in 1989
Family Phippen Award "George Phippen Western Art Show" in 1991
1st in drawing "George Phippen Western Art Show" in 1994
Two-time Cover artist for the Phoenix Jaycees Rodeo of Rodeos 1984 and 1987
Featured artist and top seller at the Ben Johnson Pro/Celebrity Rodeo 1990
Best of Show at the "Festival of the West" Scottsdale, AZ. 1992
Gold Medal in bronze sculpture "Rock Springs Western Art show" 1995,96,97,& 99
1st in Pastel "Rock Springs Western Art show" 1995, 97,98
1st in drawing "Rock Springs Western Art Show" 1997, & 99
1st in Mix Media "Rock Springs Western Art show" 1996, 97, & 99
1st in drawing "Ruidoso Art Festival" 1994,98, 2000
1st in Drawing "Rough Rider International Art show" 1999
1st in Drawing "Mayfair" in Cloudcroft NM 1999
1st in Drawing "Octoberfest" in Cloudcroft 2000

National Fine-Art Show (invitational only)

"The Classic" The Finest is Western Art. Albuquerque, NM
"Classic-American Western Art Show", Beverly Hills, CA.
"Mountain Oyster Club Art Show" Tucson, AZ
"Rock Springs Western Art Show" Gallup, NM
"The Nita Stewart Haley Library Art Show" Midland, TX
"All American Horse Show and Sale" Ruidoso, NM

Arts and Crafts Shows

Cloudcroft Mayfair/Octoberfest, NM
Fountain Hills Festival, AZ
Ruidoso Arts Festival, NM
Old Town Tempe Festival of the Arts, AZ
Northern New Mexico Arts and Crafts Festival, NM
Ludington Arts & Crafts Festival, Ludington, MI
Krazl Art Festival, Saint Joseph, MI
Southwest Arts Festival, Indio CA
Carefree Wine & Art Festival- Carefree AZ
Cave Creek Festival, Cave Creek, AZ
Painted Desert Scottsdale show, AZ

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