The Columns

Stephen Brooks '84 Debuts Painting Show in N.C.

— by on August 10th, 2012

Stephen Brooks, of the Class of 1984, transformed his initial interest in biology at Washington and Lee into art degrees and careers as a furniture designer and a painter. He’ll be displaying the fruit of the latter talent in an exhibition, “Light in the Forest,” opening today (Friday, Aug. 10), at Art and Artifacts in Blowing Rock, N.C.

As this nice profile in the Boone Mountain Times describes Stephen’s creations, “Whether it be strolling through the woods, painting fantastic images of trees, or creating wooden frames for his paintings, wood is a recurring theme in his life and work.”

In the newspaper story, Stephen speaks warmly of I-Hsiung Ju, the beloved former professor of art and artist-in-residence at W&L, who passed away on March 17. “In addition to teaching me incredible things about art, he taught me about philosophy, Confucianism and cooking,” said Stephen, who lived on Ju’s Art Farm during his undergrad years. “He was simply mind-blowing.”

Stephen, who lives in Hickory, N.C., with his family, holds an M.F.A. in painting from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and a degree in furniture design from Kendall College. He’s taught art, worked in museums and designed furniture for Henredon; he now creates furniture for Zagaroli & Co.