biography and statement of contemporary abstract and portrait painter and ceramic artist Steve Schafer of Durham,
North Carolina, biography,artist,painter,Durham,Durham-painter,Durham-artist,North-Carolina-painter,abstract-painter,
    I want to contribute to the vitality of the art community, especially locally.  It is my intention for my work to have an impact on the lives of people of different backgrounds and points of view.  I believe that art is basic.  People everywhere have always created art and responded to it.  I want my work to contribute to and shape this dialogue that connects people.  My images reflect personal experiences that reach out across age, gender, class, and ethnicity to address themes of joy, grief, fear, love-- all of the things that make us human.  In a world where we are taught to identify with our differences, it is critical for us to recognize the universal human spirit we all share.  I want to give that spirit a voice.
    I work mostly between geometric and organic modes of painting.  Sometimes there is a blending of the two.  The paintings evolve through a process of emphasis and de-emphasis of lines and planes to create a dynamism that interacts with the viewer.  Many of the forms imbedded in my work suggest images of the natural environment of the local region.  I am deeply moved by the beauty of the landscape in which I have lived.  Conversely, a counter-theme of sadness and digust at its disappearance often surfaces in my work.
    My historic influences include Picasso and others in the sphere of the Cubist influence, such as Braque, Gris, and Leger.  There is also Cezanne, Miro, and Klee.  But even more important for me was my brief and sometimes strained relationship with the late Paul Nabatoff of Durham.  He was a friend and Mentor.
I encourage the exploration of form and meaning in my paintings.  The titles that I give the abstract paintings are a reflection of my reactions to them.  Sometimes, I have more to add with the titles and write these thoughts down.    Although my experiences are recorded in the images, it is your own that you should seek  in them.
I was born in Burbank, California in 1970.  I have lived in Charlotte, Wilmington, and Greensboro (all in North Carolina) before settling in Durham, NC with my wife and our two children.  I earned my BA degree at UNC-Greensboro where I studied art, philosophy, and psychology.  I also attended the art program at NCCU in Durham where I discovered my love for ceramics.  I have exhibited work in galleries in Durham, Raleigh, and Greensboro, as well as having solo shows at North Carolina Central University, at the Durham Arts Council, and at Cafe Helios in Raleigh.  I work  from my home studio.
studio exterior and kiln
Steve Schafer


Solo shows

ELEMENTS   2007 
Helios Coffee in Raleigh, NC

Through Space Over Time   2006 
Helios Coffee in Raleigh, NC

The In Between Space   2001
Durham Arts Council in Durham, NC

Accidents Will Happen   1999
NCCU Student Art Gallery in Durham, NC

Group shows
New Horizons   1999
NCCU Art Museum in Durham, NC

Hang Up and Put Down   1998
Green Hill Center in Greensboro, NC

New Horizons   1998
NCCU Art Museum in Durham, NC


Best in Show
   New Horizons 1998
juried by Dr. Richard Powell

Merit Awards (2)    New Horizons 1998
juried by Dr. Richard Powell


Durham Craft Market
since 2009
email Steve Schafer