Chris (Christina) Willey has an MFA in Illustration from Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY, and a BFA in Drawing/Painting from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE.
Before becoming a full-time painter she was a professor of art at the University of Central Missouri, Warrensburg, Missouri, for 22 years, and a full-time illustrator, painter and graphic designer for 13 years.
Chris has had numerous solo shows and conducted workshops in United States, France, and the Netherlands. Most recently, she taught a pastel workshop in France.
She has acquired signature status in the MidAmerica Pastel Society and the International Society of Acrylic Painters. Her work has been juried into 8 international exhibitions, 28 national exhibitions, and 36 regional exhibitions. She has been in 16 invitational shows and 13 solo shows. She is the recipient of over 24 awards, including Best of Show and Gold. She won awards from the Kansas City Art Directors Club (3 Merit and 1 Bronze Award), Communication Arts Illustration Annual 1987 (Merit Award), and the Society of Illustrators of Los Angeles (5 Merit Awards). Her art is held in a number of private and corporate collections in the U.S., Netherlands, and France.
Willey is an artist who paints from life. Her work always begins with direct observation, but the endpoint is about making a beautiful painting. She tries to distill the essence of what attracted her to the subject into her paintings, while allowing the paint, the design, and surface to have their own voice.