About Christopher Pagent

DSCF1201Christopher Anthony Pagent, Jr. was born in Manhattan, NY in 1969. An only child, he was raised Greek Orthodox. His mother, born in Istanbul, Turkey, is half Russian, half Greek. His father, a recording engineer from Ottawa, Canada was the son of ballet dancer and actress Betty Low. When Christopher was four, his parents relocated from New York city to the suburbs of Washington, DC, in order to escape the hectic city life. As a young man, he attended St. Stephen’s high school in Alexandria,Virginia, and then matriculated to Virginia Tech where his intention was to study biology. However, during his junior year, his great passion for art and the creative process lead him to switch his emphasis to design and studio art. There he studied sculpture under Dean Carter and Steve Bickley and painting with Ray Kass.

It was during this period that Chris, working closely with Ray Kass, was able to work as an assistant on several large art projects at Virginia Tech. These included working with John Cage at his Mountain Lake workshops in 1988 (New River Watercolors) and 1990 (New River Rocks and Smoke), as well as helping Japanese sculptor Jiro Okura with his piece Mountain Lake Screen Tachi.

Chris (second from left) presenting the painting ShInto Ceremonial Rock, for Jiro Okura to Jiro Okura at the 1990 Mountain Lake Workshop.

Chris (second from left) presenting the painting ShInto Ceremonial Rock, for Jiro Okura to Jiro Okura at the 1990 Mountain Lake Workshop.

On fired/smoked paper, Cage painted around the very same rock used as an altar for Okura’s Shinto ceremony in early January. SHINTO CEREMONIAL ROCK, FOR JIRO OKURA is an extraordinarily haunting and poetic painting containing, in its lower half, a broadly painted “outline” of the altar rock floating within a smokey field. This painting, with its “after image” of the altar, represents a tangible connection between the aesthetic and philosophical beliefs of Cage and Okura and was officially presented to Okura at the completion of the “moveable wall.”


After graduating in 1992 with a BA in graphic design and a BFA in studio art, he moved to North Carolina to work at Carolina Bronze, a casting foundry. There he learned the ins and outs of bronze casting, including molding, pouring, and finish work. He remained there for about a year before before returning to the DC area to be close to his family and establish his own studio. Then in 1993, to help pay for his new studio space, he landed a job in the production department of USA Today, where he worked in several positions beginning with compositor(paste up), then camera operator, and four color stripper. Eventually promoted to the editorial side of USAT in 2001, he spent ten years as a page designer, designing pages for primarily the News and Life (entertainment) departments. In 2002, he married and has since had two beautiful sons. After a 17+ year career at USA Today, he decided to resign in October of 2010 and focus primarily on sculpting and painting. He relocated to Annapolis, MD, where he now works from his home studio sculpting, painting and working as a freelance designer.

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