Stephen Tanis is a painter and Professor Emeritus at the University of Delaware where he taught both painting and drawing. He received a BFA from the University of Cincinnati and an MFA in painting from the Cranbrook Academy of Art. Tanis has been the recipient of three individual artist fellowships from the Delaware State Arts Council: the first for painting, the second for works-on-paper, and the third, a Masters fellowship for painting. In 2002, he received a Delaware Governor’s Award in the Arts. He has also received individual fellowships from the Hereward Lester Cooke Foundation and the John F. and Anna Lee Stacey Foundation. Tanis has had over twenty five solo exhibitions of his work in galleries and museums including eight shows at the Sherry French Gallery in New York City and six shows at the Jane Haslem Gallery in Washington, DC. His work is included in numerous public and private collections throughout the United States, the UK, and Europe.
My work lately seems to have developed a wide arc. Still-life and the human figure have always been a satisfying way for me to explore a very controlled world of my own aesthetic design and invention. Alongside that, however, I am increasingly compelled to make paintings that observe the conflict and discord that is happening in our time. Struggles in politics, world affairs, racial and ethnic enmity all seem to be at a heightened state. It’s important for me to make paintings that, somehow, if only as a witness, address some of these issues.