Born in Santa Monica, California, in 1952, Chester Arnold was raised and educated in Germany. The richly dark and mysterious texture of European Art and History provided an indelible frame of reference for all that has followed. He began serious studies in painting and drawing in the Museums of Munich while still in high school, and upon returning to California attended the College of Marin in Kentfield, and the San Francisco Art Institute, from which he received his MFA in 1988.
Since the mid 1980’s Arnold’s work has been exhibited widely and often, in Bay Area and New York galleries and museums on both coasts in both solo and group exhibits. An excellent representation of his mature work may be seen in the permanent collection at the San Jose Museum of Art Arnold’s work reflects a lifelong and profound interest in the natural world as well as the human condition, establishing his identity in an art that does not turn away from troubling environmental and political themes of our time. He shapes narratives that may celebrate the sublime beauty of often ignored subjects like common weeds, while carrying the freight and responsibility of a personal perspective on the world and its conflicted inhabitants.The challenge of making representational paintings on canvas that remain humanly relevant has been the main focus of his life as both artist and as a teacher. Arnold has taught in the Bay Area since 1988, and has been a full-time faculty member of the College of Marin since 2000.