Stephen Hankin Biography


            I was born in Pittsburgh in 1945 and I have lived in this city for all but ten years of my life.

I enjoy the familiarity of the place, the diversity of its character and the varied terrain and climate.

I especially love being close to our extended family. My wife and I both love to travel but we love coming back to our hometown.

            I graduated from CMU with a BFA in painting in 1967, moved to Brooklyn NY and earned my MFA from Pratt Institute. I then taught for two years at the Bronx Community College. I

moved back to Pittsburgh after hitch-hiking around the country and lived here for several years

teaching, painting and exhibiting with the Associated Artist and Pittsburgh Plan for Art. In 1979 I

moved to Wisconson to teach at UW-Steven’s Point where I became an Associate Professor and

earned the schools Excellence In Teaching award (of which I am very proud). In 1985 I married

Dr. Janice Kelly and moved back to Pittsburgh. Since then I have taught for two years full time at

Carnegie-Mellon University and for almost eighteen years part-time at the University of

Pittsburgh. I have had twenty one-person exhibitions, been in numerous group and juried

exhibits and my work is in public and private collections all over the country. In 1996 I bought

and renovated an old one-story building at 408 Lloyd St. in Point Breeze and opened the ‘Atelier,’

a combination studio/gallery where I regularly exhibit and sell my paintings.


                                                               Artist Statement


  I’m a realist painter. I find inspiration in many subjects. Figure, portrait, landscape,

still life and genre are all interesting to me. Once I identify my motif I employ careful

observation and  paintings skills to develop an image that has a strong and believable

resemblance to my subject. Hopefully, I will be able to reconstruct the relationships of

color, tone,form and space to create a vivd image that is engaging. I find this process

totally absorbing and satisfying. I work primarily from life but occasionally use

photographic references. When I am finished with a painting I instinctively begin

searching for my next subject because I know that I’m happiest and least out of sorts

when I am engaged with my work.


  My work is my passion. Painting is about visual intimacy. It is tasting the world with

my eyes. It is studying, exploring, analyzing, and experiencing nature; connecting my

eyes, my intellect and my emotions. Realist painting, for me, is the process of immersion that

involves contemplation, exhilaration, frustration, deliberation and spontaneity. It is a

dynamic interaction: inventive, no formulas, pushing the limits of my skill and creativity

in a tenacious quest for illusive truth. It is about discovery. It is about connecting to

life.