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ART for the Imagination


Christie Marks

I became serious about art when I moved from Los Angeles to Fresno, California in 1994. My 11 years in Fresno changed my life and my concept of beauty. In Fresno, to many just a dusty central valley town, I found a deep appreciation for what makes the ordinary extraordinary. What I had mentally discarded before took on a renewed importance: the textures of a weathered fence, the colors along an unpaved road, the plight of an old car sinking into the mud, a dilapidated storefront or the movement of crisp sheets on a clothesline. About the same time I began to travel internationally and found myself drawn to the same sense of age, purpose, and cultural story that I was at home. These ideas began to appear in my artwork and I’ve spent my career attempting to visually communicate the underlying rawness, beauty, and sense of mystery that inspires me.

My works are layered, mixed media paintings that combine abstraction and realism. I work in layers with oil and acrylic paint, often incorporating original drawings and collage. This layering is a metaphor for the multifaceted dimensions of time, place, memory and the everyday cultural stories that I’m drawn to. Through utilizing veils of abstraction with realistic subject matter, I seek to evoke a sense of beauty, mystery, and emotional depth.

My subject matter is taken from real or imagined everyday people, places, and things, be it something from my own backyard or from a foreign land such as India, Morocco, or Southeast Asia. My current work is loosely divided into two collections; Signs of Life – Close to Home and Signs of Life – Travelogue. The materials used and the concept of the extraordinary in the ordinary is present in both groups with the Travelogue pieces being inspired by travel.


Solo Shows

  • 2018 Signs of Life: New Works by Christie Marks. Santa Rosa City Hall Council Chambers, Santa Rosa, CA.
  • 2016 Spellbound: Morocco From Photos to Easel. Sebastopol Center for the Arts, Sebastopol, CA.
  • 2015 Torn Asunder. Rosenblum Cellars, Healdsburg, CA.

Group Shows

  • 2020 Darkness and Shadow. O’Hanlon Center for the Arts, Mill Valley, CA. Juror – Shane Izykowski.
  • 2019 11th Annual Bay Area Women Artists. O’Hanlon Center for the Arts, Mill Valley, CA. Jurors – Donna Seager and Suzanne Gray. Seager Gray Gallery, Mill Valley, CA.
  • 2019 Memories. San Francisco Women Artists Gallery, San Francisco, CA. Juror – Dewitt Cheng, Writer, curator, teacher.
  • 2019 Roshambo. Graton Gallery, Graton, CA. Honorable Mention. Juror – Satri Pencak, art historian, curator.
  • 2019 Textures and Patterns. San Francisco Women Artists Gallery, San Francisco, CA. Juror – Deborah Corsini, former curator of the San Jose Museum of Textiles.
  • 2018 Graton Gallery Invitational. Graton Gallery, Graton, CA.
  • 2018 Windows to Other Worlds. Art Center Morro Bay, Morro Bay, CA.
  • 2018 Year of the Dog. Sebastopol Center for the Arts, Sebastopol, CA. Jurors – Amy Owen and Kara Smith, curators, the di Rosa Center for Contemporary Art, Napa. Painting selected for 2018 Artisan Series labels by Mutt Lynch Winery.
  • 2017 International Juried Exhibition of Contemporary Islamic Art, Irving Arts Center, Irving, Texas. Juror – Linda Komaroff, Curator of Islamic Art, Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
  • 2017 Mostly Monochrome, Ice House Gallery, Petaluma, CA.
  • 2017 The Art of Resistance, Backstreet Gallery, Santa Rosa, CA.
  • 2015 The Left Coast, Marin Society of Artists, Ross, CA., 3rd Place Award. Juror – Lauren R. O’Connell, Associate Curator, UC Berkeley Art Museum.
  • 2015 Peoples, Sebastopol Center for the Arts, Sebastopol, CA. Juror – Jenny Lynn Hall, artist and gallery owner.
  • 2014 Play It Again Sam, Sebastopol Center for the Arts, Sebastopol, CA. Juror – Sharon Spain, Curator, Recology, San Francisco, CA.


  • 2020 Chalk Hill Artist Residency, Healdsburg, CA.

Open Studios

  • 2016 – 2020 Art Trails, Juried Open Studios, Sonoma County, CA.


  • Current – Paul Mahder Gallery, Healdsburg, CA.
  • 2017 – 2019 Resident Artist, Healdsburg Center for the Arts, Healdsburg, CA.
  • 2016 – 2017 Exhibiting Artist, Fulton Crossing Gallery, Santa Rosa, CA.

City Committees

  • 2014 – 2018 Appointee, Art in Public Places Committee, City of Santa Rosa, CA.


  • Bachelor of Arts. California State University Fresno.