Cantaloupe with Ink

Cantaloupe with Ink

Virginia Carstarphen

Virginia Carstarphen is a visual artist and small business owner in Chicago, Illinois.  She received a BFA, summa cum laude, from Georgia State University in 1992 and continued her art studies in the masters program at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago,1995 -1997.  Over the years, Virginia has shown work at Callanwolde Fine Arts Center in Atlanta, Georgia, the Detroit Artist Market in Detroit, Michigan, and more recently at KB Studio in Chicago, Illinois. In 2018 she was invited to become a member of ARC Gallery, 1463 W. Chicago.

Artist Statement

While in college I discovered the writings of American geographer John Wright who coined the term “geopiety:” geo from the Greek for earth and piety from the Latin pietas meaning sense of duty of filial love. This word so perfectly expresses my love and sense of devotion to the places that have filled my life. The landscapes of Georgia, New England, Florida, and the Midwest; the waters of the Great Lakes, Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea, and the Gulf of Mexico all figure prominently in my work.

 Although my work edges mostly on abstraction, I have always thought of myself as a landscape painter.  Artists like Helen Frankenthaler, Anselm Keifer, and Cy Twombly inspire me greatly. Through line, color, material and gesture I attempt to honor the landscapes that I am deeply attached to. These landscape explorations are filtered through both experience and memory. Imagination plays an important role as well.

At time these abstracted landscapes can be internal mappings of the human body on a cellular level – a way of finding myself in the world.  Other times they verge on more macrocosmic abstractions – a landscape as big as a galaxy.  Often they navigate the space between. It is within that space that I find balance between destruction and renewal, entanglement and order. 

Recent Exhibitions

“Entanglements” Work by Virginia Carstarphen and Sue Teller, KB Studio, Chicago IL , May 11 - June 3

“Women Strong” 45th anniversary group show at ARC Gallery, Chicago IL, September 12-29, 2018


Lake View east Chamber of Commerce Member Spotlight, September 26, 2018