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Tracing the playa floor, Black Rock Desert, Nevada.

Clairissa Stephens work explores a sense of wonder and place in relationship to the landscape. Her practice involves time spent in the wilderness or landscape paired with research of maps, navigation, weather patterns, and horizon lines. She combines these elements in her work to create connections between the macro and micro elements of the natural world. She utilizes a variety of materials to symbolize her conceptual ideas through her paintings, drawings and sculptural installations. Recently her work has revolved around water whether it be precipitation data, reflections in the water, mapping a river, and topographical maps. Water carves lines, creates illusions, and enhances the beauty in the desert landscape.


Stephens holds a BA in Painting and Drawing from Portland State University and a MFA in Interdisciplinary Studio Art from the University of Nevada, Reno. She has attended artist residencies at SÍM, PLAYA and Leland Iron Works. In 2023 she had a solo exhibition, Desert Waterlines, at the Alexander Gallery, OR.  She also was invited and participated in a group Land Art exhibition, Terra Incognita, summer of 2023 in a Portland a suburb. Additionally, her work has been featured in solo and group exhibitions nationally and internationally including: SÍM Gallery (Reykjavík, Iceland), WAIS Divide Research Station (Antartica), Sierra Arts (Reno, NV), Haldan Art Gallery (South Lake Tahoe, CA), Umqua Valley Arts Association (Roseburg, OR), Pacific Northwest College of Art (Portland, OR) and MoNA (LaConner, WA) to name a few. Stephens currently lives and works in Oregon City, OR.

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