Stephen Von Mason was born in South Bend, Indiana in 1954. He grew up in a working class family where his father was a postal worker and mother a domestic.
In 1972, after High School, Mason moved to Indianapolis, Indiana
to attend the John Herron School of Art –at Indiana University,
where he studied Fine Art and received a Bachelors of Fine Arts
degree in printmaking. Because he liked to draw, printmaking was
his favored art form. In his senior year, however, he began using
oil paint because of the high density and luminosity the colors
provided. This was the beginning of his career in painting, in
addition to printmaking.
In 1977 Mason moved to San Francisco, California to do his post graduate work at the San Francisco Art Institute, where in 1979 he received a Masters of Fine Arts degree in printmaking and a minor in painting.
Mason is best known for his large figurative paintings with expressive
dreamlike environments depicting humans, animals and ancestral
spirits, and showing a love for art history that speaks of the
predicaments of the human experience such as joy, loss, love,
spirituality and hope, contributing to his exploration of Art,
Life and his search for Truth. Mason's work has appeared on the
cover of a national magazine titled American Visions, out of Washington
D. C. and has been written up and reproduced in magazines such
as Art Now, International Gallery Guide, Art News, The Word and
I, Art in America and Frisko Magazine.
He has illustrated children’s books such as “Brother Anansi and the Cattle Ranch”, which was also produced into a children’s animation show titled, Afrika Wunderkind T. V. in the Netherlands and has collaborated with thirteen artists on titles including, “Just Like Me” and “Honoring our Ancestors”.
His paintings and drawings have been exhibited nationally and internationally, including the Palace of the Legion of Honor in San Francisco, Christies Auction House in New York, the Stedelijk Museum of Art in Amsterdam, the Rotterdam Art Center in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, the Cartwright Hall in Bradford, West Yorkshire, England, the Crocker Museum of Art in Sacramento, the Triton Museum of Art in Santa Clara, both in California, the (actor Danny Glover’s) Bomani Gallery and the Stephen Wirtz Gallery, both in San Francisco and a number of other galleries across the United States. Mason’s career has also included museum and gallery preparatory work, conservation framing and painting restoration.
Stephen Von Mason lives in the San Francisco Bay Area, teaching fine art at a college preparatory public charter middle school, while continuing painting and drawing.