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Skip Navigation LinksHome > Artists by last name > Clark, Chris

Chris Clark (1958 - 2011)

Chris Clark was born in Birmingham, Alabama on October 25, 1958. His art takes on many forms including painted hand-sewn quilts, painted chairs and decorative "Spirit Sticks". He often depicts biblical scenes on his quilts such as Noah's Ark, the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus feeding the Multitude, and other scenes from the Bible.

Chris Clark graduated from Ensley High School in 1977 and attended Livingston University for about 3 years. He dropped out of college and joined the Army in 1980. When he was discharged from the service in 1988, he returned home and got a job in a brick factory. Chris lost that job when the plant shut down and several similar jobs under the same circumstances.

In 1990, after his vision started to blur, he discovered that he was diabetic. People would mistakenly assume he was illiterate while he tried to fill out job applications when in fact he was unable to see. His eyesight took some time to improve once he was diagnosed and began treatment for his diabetes. It was during this initial treatment period that he began to paint. He also asked his grandmother to teach him to quilt at this time and his painted quilts were born.

By 1991, his quilts were selling for hundreds of dollars in galleries throughout the south. Chris Clark has become friends with Bernice Sims down in Brewton, AL. One of Chris' quilts hangs in Bernice's Living room. As one of the Souths premier visionary artists, Chris Clark has taken his rightful place beside Mose Tolliver, Jimmie Lee Sudduth and Bernice Sims.

Chris is a deeply spiritual person. He believes that the inspiration for these "Spirit Sticks" came to him in a vision. at a Sunday Worship Service, Chris had a vision of these sticks with buttons and paint and fabric and other assorted items swirling in the air all around them. When the vision ended, the items that were swirling around were all stuck to the sticks.

Chris's twenty year battle with diabetes came to an end in 2011. At 53, he left us too young. We will miss him.

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