Michael Stearns was born in San Diego, California. His grandfather was his first mentor as a painter. Both of his parents were artists as well as his two brothers. Stearns began his formal training as a painter when he was nine years old and continued his studies in art throughout his education at Cal State Los Angeles.
Between 1964 and 1966, Stearns served in Vietnam and Japan as a photographer while on active duty in the U.S. Navy. Following his time in the service Stearns was a partner in a ceramics studio, Opus ll, where he taught ceramics as well as drawing and painting.
As the Stearns family began to grow he decided to search for work that offered more stability for his needs, but pulled him away from the field of art, but not the dream.
In 2000, Stearns rented a small space to use as an art studio and began to renew his creativity and acknowledge his artistic spirit. In 2004, Stearns opened Gallery 33 in Long Beach and managed the gallery for 4 years, presenting his own works as well as the work of over 50 artists.
His paintings are now included in numerous private collections across the U.S. and in the Long Beach Museum of Art. His current works include paintings, papier mache and mixed media sculptures, reflecting his interest in the southwestern landscape and veteran issues.
“Michael Stearns creates acrylic paintings of great vibrancy. It’s like watching neighborhood wildflowers that you have no idea are about to bloom and then, one fine day, the place runs amuck with color and fragrance and bees. His work is allusive and concrete, reverent like a meadow, a fragrance and a thing, a memory and a snapshot.” – James Scarborough, art critic
“Stearns' exuberant, expressive modern celebrations of vibrant color quickly found an avid following with art lovers. His work continues to sell almost as quickly as he can create it.” – Melissa Balmer, Long Beach Magazine
Bachelor of Fine Art, California State University at Los Angeles
Colorado Lagoon Project, Gallery 33 East, June 2005
Recent Works, Gallery 33 East, November 2006
Transformations, Gallery 33 East, October 2008
Art Auction Xl, Long Beach Museum of Art, May 2005
Art Auction Xll, Long Beach Museum of Art, May 2007
Dia de los Muertos, 2nd City Arts Council, 2009
Long Beach Arts Competition, non-representational abstract
2nd Prize 2006
Long Beach Arts Competition, works on paper
Honorable Mention 2008
Member - Board of Directors
Museum of Latin American Art, 2001 - 2008
Long Beach Arts Council, 2005 - 2008
Long Beach University Art Museum - 2009 - Present
Curator, Art Auction XIII, Long Beach Museum of Art, 2009