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Local artist wins regional and national awards for portraits

Salisbury artist Mark Stephenson is the recipient of three recent awards for his paintings. Stephenson’s studio is currently located at the Railwalk Studios and Gallery on Lee Street. The artist specializes in commissioned portraits.

Most recently, Stephenson’s portrait sketch of his son, James (24×20 inches, oil on linen), was selected as a finalist in the Portrait Society of America’s 2020 Members Only Competition in the non-commissioned portrait category. Open to artists worldwide, the painting was selected from among 1,342 entries.

His painting, “Traveler’s Tales” received the first place award at the Yadkin Arts Council Juried Exhibition this past July. Located at the Yadkin Cultural Arts Center, the competition received 165 entries, and the winners received a cash award. “Traveler’s Tales” is 30×24 inches, oil on linen. This exhibit marks the third nationally juried show in which “Traveler’s Tales” has been exhibited.

Stephenson’s painting, “James” also received the second place award at Mooresville Art’s 38th Annual Artoberfest Judged Show & Competition. It was selected from among more than 100 entries.

Show juror Cassandra Richardson commented, “…Stunning portrait which captures such a wide-open expression of innocence and curiosity. I particularly enjoy how the artist built up the composition, leaving evidence of his vigorous brushstrokes and negative space.”

Stephenson’s work may be seen in private homes across the country. Locally, his portraits may be seen at Hood Theological Seminary and Pfeiffer University. You will often catch his most recent commission at Fine Frame Gallery, downtown Salisbury. More information on the artist may be found at his website, www.markstephensonfineart.com , or on his Facebook page.

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