Meet the Artist
I believe that the search for beauty is a political act. My work forces people to stop, perhaps step out of conflict and, for a moment, engage in the essential human experience of wonder. It is my hope that people viewing my paintings will take time to slow down, to look more closely, and to find themselves at a place outside the chaos of daily life. These pictures offer spaces that bring light, grace, and mercy to those who choose to gaze deeply into art works.
I have developed a process for making images. This process routinely involves establishing a set of limitations before I begin a body of work. Most of the time, I choose a finite number of works to be completed as a suite of related images. I structure my activity of work so that I can concentrate on material, touch, texture, and surface. In almost all cases, form is a consequence of this activity. Content is discovered while making images under a controlled set of conditions imposed on my activity of work. To this end, form becomes content. However, some projects have subjects such as “Rejection Letters,” “Thank You For Giving Me Knowledge,” and “Rednecks.”
I have mapped a plan of action based on the letters of the alphabet. Each letter represents a body of work. Each work is labeled with a letter and a chronological numeral (A01, A02, A03, A04, etc.). The project is named alpha/beta projects. If I complete one letter of the alphabet each year, I will finish my life/works/projects at the age of 63.
Steven Wise is a painter and a father of five children, with the younger three living at home. He lives in a duplex at the end of a cul-de-sac near soccer fields, bike trails, and a string of chicken processing plants in Rogers, Arkansas. All the while painting and exhibiting work, Steven spends the bulk of his time teaching elementary art in the Rogers Public Schools and teaching drawing and painting at Northwest Arkansas Community College.
Steven Wise’s paintings have been exhibited in solo shows at Simpson College, Henderson State University, Spiva Center for the Arts, Arts Center of the Ozarks, the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, and most recently at the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith. Additionally, his work has been exhibited in the most competitive exhibitions in his home state such as the Annual Delta Exhibition at the Arkansas Arts Center in Little Rock (2020, 2010, 2004, 2003, 2000) and the Arkansas Arts Council’s Annual Small Works on Paper Exhibition (2022, 2018, 2017, 2012, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2004, 1999). Steven Wise has curated two travelling exhibitions of contemporary painting. From 2002-2003, Perfect Fit featured the work of 4 artists that were exhibited at Widener University, the Walton Arts Center, and Simpson College. From 2013-2017, Abstract ARkansas involved 10 abstract artists living in Arkansas who share a commitment to abstraction. Abstract ARkansas travelled to art centers in Little Rock, Tulsa, Springdale, and Batesville. In 2022, Steven Wise was an artist in residence at CACHE Studios in Bentonville, Arkansas.