Born in West Newbury, Massachusetts and raised in rural Hunterdon County, New Jersey, Cynthia K. Staples was educated at Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, New York. She later relocated to Chicago and attended the Art Institute of Chicago. At that time, she also studied sculpture and woodworking as an apprentice with noted sculptor Julian Harr.

Her background includes graphic design and television illustration. She was employed for some years at WMAQ, the Chicago affiliate of NBC-TV, where she provided various illustrations for medical specials, history programs and children's shows.

Staples' work has been shown in numerous venues and is in many private collections.

These paintings are detailed, yet simple, compositional studies. Medium scale canvases depict larger-than-life views of fruits and vegetables. Unlike traditional still life, background and foreground are treated as simple spaces, without the formal effects of structural perspective or devices such as drapery. Cast shadows are usually the only element other than the objects themselves. The paintings are executed in the traditional oil technique of underpainting and glazing.


  • Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, NY: BFA
  • SAIC, Chicago, IL


  • Robin McCown Mumford Fine Arts Collection, Chicago, IL
  • Woman Made Gallery, Chicago, IL
  • Chicago Artists Coalition

Studio visits may be scheduled with the artist.