Charles Leslie Gilchrist was born in Wichita Kansas on June 17, 1940 at 12:04 PM. He showed marked artistic talents at a very early age, drawing and painting constantly. His artistic career really began at the age of four, as he was already convinced of his life's path.
His formal art education began at the age of 11 (1951). He was the youngest student ever taken by Genevieve Ingram Frickle, a well known portrait and landscape painter living, working and teaching in Wichita. She developed his natural drawing talent and taught him to see as an artist.
In 1954, the family moved to the Chicago area (Park Forest, Illinois) and Charles graduated from Rich Township High School in 1958.
He attended Beloit College (Beloit, Wisconsin) for two years as a Fine Arts major.
He returned to Chicago where, for the next two years, Charles supported himself as a Truck Mechanic. His serious pursuit became the building and driving of race cars; Drag Racing Cars, Go Karts and Sprint Cars. He was instantly successfully, competitive on a national basis, and was being courted to turn professional with an offer of a hot Sprint Car ride (USAC Midget). But the deeper dream of making art returned.
Charles and Trophies (1961)
In 1961, Charles then left his success as a driver/engine builder and relocated to Cleveland, Ohio where he enrolled at the Cleveland Institute Of Art. He studied there for two years.
Charles and Mary Margaret Morris (a Chicago girl) were married in 1962. His first job as a professional artist (1963) involved the silk screen business where he began by hand cutting photo stencils. The photographic aspects of the silk screen business fascinated Charles and after a few years of study he changed his profession to photography. Now with two children (Shawn and Lisa) he spent the rest of the 60's perfecting various levels of Portrait Photography.
Self portrait with guitar, 1966.
In 1970 Charles switched to Commercial Photography, taking a severe pay cut to work in the dark room of a well known commercial catalog house. His talent showed and quickly began to shoot professional images, both on location and in the studio. He also began drawing and painting again. Mary and Charles' second son Charles Patrick, was born in 1971.
During the late 60's mid 70's, Charles worked on the side as a professional racing photographer and made thousands of fantastic racing images. He is still involved with racing and sports photography.
In 1972, Charles reentered the Cleveland Institute Of Art and, while working full time as a commercial photographer by day, graduated from the night school program (1977) majoring in Intaglio print making. Through his studies, Charles discovered the classical concepts of open-eyed meditation and began to create Mandalas as a path to self discovery.
In 1978, Charles formed his own commercial photography business (Gilchrist Photography) located in an old warehouse building.
In 1980, Charles closed this studio and dissolved "Gilchrist Photography" in order to take a senior executive position with the May Company. He was in charge of the in-house photography studio which produced hundreds of fashion and hard line catalogs, and thousands of newspaper ads).
While working for the May Company, Charles was developing his own personal studio, a loft located on the top floor of the Bradley Building (Cleveland Warehouse District). In 1982, Charles ended this position with the May Company in order to form a new business (G Plus Studios). Charles designed G Plus Studios to support a more serious pursuit of his personal creative work which he had been avidly pursuing from the beginning. During the 80's, he worked in numerous media including Photography, Graphic Design, Print Making. Drawing, Mixed Media and Painting.
Self portrait, 1989.
In 1989, Gilchrist dissolved "G Plus Studios," and relocated to Santa Fe, New Mexico, pursuing a full time "Fine Arts" career in the South West. While working and living there, several local galleries combined to sell about 3 dozen Gilchrist acrylic paintings but family problems forced changes.
In 1991, Charles briefly relocated to the gulf coast of Florida and then moved back to Cleveland, Ohio.
In the mid 90's, Charles and his third wife Pamela, relocated to an old farm in Medina, Ohio (their hermitage). In the late 90's, Pam contracted breast cancer and passed away April 7th, 2000. This was a tragic loss for us all. Pamela Gilchrist was a gifted and well known professional Astrologer with over 1000 clients nation wide.
Charles And Pamela
Pamela And Charles
Charles (now back in Cleveland) continues to produce volumes of work in mutable media including photography. He is collected by numerous patrons. One of his most extraordinary commissions was for a group of 48 paintings (Mandalas based on sacred geometric icons) which are hung in the new headquarters building of the company "Corporate Express," located in Broomfield, Colorado.
Self Portrait, 2004
Leslie Page, Associate