Christopher Volpe is an artist, writer, and teacher working in oil paint, tar, and gold leaf striving to reflect meaningfully on the human condition. His work is held in the permanent collections of Smith College and the (James MacNeil) Whistler House Museum. He has won grants and awards from the Saint Botolph Club Foundation, MassMoCA/Assets for Artists and the NH State Council on the Arts. Raised in Oyster Bay, Long Island, he and his family reside in rural New Hampshire.
Volpe holds a master’s degree in American poetry and has taught art and literature at the North Country Studio Workshops, Montserrat College of Art, Concord Art, Castle Hill Center for the Arts, the New Hampshire Institute of Art, Chester College of New England, Franklin Pierce University and the University of New Hampshire.
“Christopher Volpe’s paintings are stark conduits of the inherent oppositions between human beings and the natural world.” –Art New England
I try to make paintings that are aware of our moment, that ca n open a space for reflection on our troubled relationship to our own history and to the natural world. The paintings that I love and aspire to create turn the pain and confusion of being human into a kind of beauty doesn’t deny the darkness or sugarcoat reality, yet insists on a lyrical engagement, not just with the world around us, but with the deeper mysteries of the human heart.
“Art does not render the visible, but makes visible.” – Albert Pinkham Ryder
“Even sight heightened to become all-seeing
will do you no good without a sense of taking part.” – from Conversation with a Stone, WisŁawa Szymborska
“Facts become art through love.” – Kenneth Clark.
Teaching paining to others, outdoors and in the studio, helps me to process and integrate and articulate these ideas and practices. I teach studio and plein-air workshops and classes from my studio in Lowell, Mass (Western Avenue Studios, #521) and write for several arts and humanities blogs and magazines including Art New England and American Art Revew.
Access a selection of my scholarly essays, poetry, art writing, and exhibition reviews here.
Read a feature on my work in artscope magazine.