Michele Chapin has
been a working California artist for the past 30+ years. She
studied drawing, printmaking, jewelry design, bronze, clay
and metal sculpting, art history and psychology at the University
of California, Santa Cruz. A founding member of the Santa
Cruz Art Center, she apprenticed there with several artists.
Later moving to San Francisco, she worked as a professional
clothing designer for several years.
In 1987, Ms. Chapin relocated to Ventura's Art City and began
a stone carving apprenticeship with sculptors Paul Lindhard
and Joanne Duby. She also collaborated with muralist and painter
Mary Beth Hanrahan, as an Artist In The Classroom, creating
numerous local projects supported by public and private fellowship
Ms. Chapin quarries and collects many of the rare and unique
rocks used in her work from Southern California's deserts.
Her sculptures are inspired largely by the human figure. She
creates stone sculptures for both interiors and exteriors
as well as large functional pieces incorporating unusual tones,
exotic colors and natural textures. Her sculpture "Desert
Flower", is on permanent display at Ventura City Hall.
It was an inaugural purchase of the Ventura Municipal Art
Collection. Ms. Chapin's water sculptures feature free-floating
stone spheres rotating on a film of water. They have been
centerpieces for the Ventura County Symphony Orchestra's annual
Design House. She executed and installed a monumental granite
sphere fountain commissioned by US Sales Corporation in Moorpark.
She received a "Best of Show" award at Art In The
Park during the 1997 Ojai Music Festival. Her Fountain Sculptures
have twice been selected as "People's Choice" winners
at the Golden State Sculpture Competition and "Best of
Show" in the 1994, 1995 and 1998 Ventura County Fairs.
Ms. Chapin was named as a rising star by the Ventura County
Reporter newspaper in their "Who to Watch in 2001"
issue. During that year she exhibited a series of black and
white sculptures funded by an Artist's Fellowship Grant from
the city of Ventura. She has also received two 2002 Artist's
Fellowship Grants. Currently she is completing a 6,000 lb.
marble sculpture commissioned by Communications and Power
Engineering in Camarillo, California.
At present, Ms. Chapin works as a stone sculptor on public
and private commissions at Stoneworks Studion in Ventura,
California where she is also a vocal arts activist. She teaches
stone sculpture classes in her studio to Youth At Risk and
private clients. Her studio, garden, and gallery are regularly
featured by the City of Ventura Office of Cultural Affairs
as a "Best Bet" during city sponsored Artwalks,
and she conducts several yearly guided tours and lectures.
During studio tours, gallery openings, and Artwalks she features
up to 40 artists, poets, and musicians of all ages in her
studio and garden. Thousands of children and adults visit
the studio yearly, providing the public and working artists
opportunity to interact.