Chris Curchin

Contact Information


Please contact artist for purchases, commissions, etc.


Archived Work

Artist's Biography

Chris Curchin attended the Philadelphia College of Art, now University of the Arts on a National Scholastics Scholarship, studying film in an experimental film program.He showed regularly at Highwire Gallery co-op in the 1990's and has exhibited work at the Allentown Art Museum, Delaware County Community College, William Way Center among others. A self-taught painter, he currently works at an arts-based preschool in Philadelphia.

Artist's Statement

I work both abstractly and figuratively, primarily in oil on canvas.

My figurative work involves faces and figures decorated with dots of color in motifs of flower, rosette, teardrop, scroll and leaf. For me they express an allusion to mortality, matter and energy fields. I often do graphite and water color studies as preparation for the paintings.

There are dot elements in decorative techniques used around the world in various forms. Mine developed out of restoration work on Moroccan painted furniture, but later evolved in connection with my experiences with meditation and Reiki. I see these painting as largely decorative but also, perhaps, distant estranged cousins of the pointillism of Seurat, the Aboriginal art that evolved in the 1970s, or Roy Lichtenstein's ben-day dots.

My abstract work is an ongoing experiment to explore non-representation. I work with glazes, and heavily scratched surfaces, in a search for non-space/ non-form surfaces that bristle with movement and drama. Less rigorously controlled than my figurative work, the abstracts are more free-form with an element of compulsive mark making, playful and aggressive. I initially began experimenting with abstraction after being enthralled by the Mondrian Exhibition I saw in Washington, DC in 1995.

Selected Exhibitions

Borders Center City, Philadelphia, PA

Portraits, Philadelphia Art Alliance Dining Room, Philadelphia, PA

Two - Person
Solid World and Other Paintings, Highwire Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
With Jeanne Nugent

215/620 Emerging Regional Artists, Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts, Wilmington, DE
Juror: Donald Kuspit

Member Exhibition: InLiquid, PPAC, Second State, at Ice Box Project Space and Grey Area, Crane Arts Building, Philadelphia, PA

2nd Annual Juried Show, William Way, Philadelphia, PA
Juried Exhibition

29th Annual Juried Show, Allentown Art Museum, Allentown, PA
Juried Exhibition

A Sense of Place, Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art, Boulder, CO
Juried Exhibition

Hanzpeak, Reiki School and Clinic, Philadelphia, PA

Annual Exhibition, Cheltenham Center for the Arts, Philadelphia, PA
Juried Exhibition

Borders Center City, Philadelphia, PA

4th Annual Exhibition, William Penn Charter School, Philadelphia, PA
Juried Exhibition
Jurors: Ivy Barsky and John Ollman

Candle Opera: Installation by candle light, Highwire Gallery, Philadelphia, PA

Selective Vision, Highwire Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
Curator: Jeanne Nugent

WaterIslandBridge, Multi-media installation and Outdoor Sculpture, Petty’s Island, Camden, NJ and Highwire Gallery, Philadelphia, PA

1992 - 1995
Highwire Collective Rotating Group Shows, Highwire Gallery, Philadelphia, PA

Cathartic Fixations and Concrete Abstractions: 3 Artists, Highwire Gallery, Philadelphia, PA

Professional Experience

2008 - present
Teacher/Manager, AKWD Preschool, Philadelphia, PA

1999 - 2008
Assistant Teacher, HMS School for Children With Cerebral Palsy

1978 - 1999
Various Restaurants and House Painting


Artists of Northern Liberties 2005 Calendar (January)
Juried publication

Theater Design

Set Design and Construction, "Gothic Tales," Greg Giovanni, Painted Bride Art Center, Philadelphia, PA

Set Design and Construction,"Napoleon Pullapart, Parts 5 & 5 1/2," Big Mess Theater, Painted Bride Art Center, Philadelphia, PA

Set Design, "Lucy: The Opera," Big Mess Theater, Painted Bride, Philadelphia, PA


University of the Arts(formerly Philadelphia College of Art), Philadelphia, PA
BFA, Film/Animation