Cindy Stokes grew up in a Midwest household that loved music and books and valued education highly.  Despite being an avid clarinetist, she turned to science and engineering in college.  She became acutely attuned to the visual during graduate school while spending many hours viewing intricate details of tissues and cells through the microscope.  Soon she began to see, and photograph, similar forms in her everyday, macroscopic world.  

Cindy's photography focuses primarily on found objects and spaces, with a strong leaning towards abstraction as a metaphor for the uncertainty in life.  Her work has been exhibited in numerous venues throughout the US in solo and group exhibitions.  She produced a book of abstractions and still-lifes celebrating dynamic form in nature entitled "Dynamic Form" in 2008, and has been a featured speaker at Leonardo events and Shooting the West, an annual national photography conference. Working for many years in black-and-white analog media (i.e., film and silver gelatin), recently she's incorporated color and digital acquisition and printing. She has resided in the San Francisco Bay Area for twenty years.   

Solo Exhibits

2017      New Work, KW San Carlos, CA

2016      Curious Details, Redux, San Mateo County Law Library, Redwood City, CA

2009     Curious Details, PARC (Palo Alto Research Center, Inc.), Palo Alto, CA

2008     Dynamic Form, KALEID Gallery, San Jose, CA

               Before, Center for Performing Arts, April-June, Mountain View, CA

               New Work, Stanford Law School Irving Gallery, Stanford, CA

               Before, Silicon Valley Community Foundation, Mountain View, CA

2006     Dynamic Form, Avalon Art and Yoga Center, Palo Alto, CA

2005     Recent Works, Entelos Inc., Foster City, CA

2001     Natural Forces, Entelos Inc., Menlo Park, CA


Selected Group Exhibits

2017     Public Alchemy II, Cubberly Art Center, Palo Alto CA

2016     FourSquared, Arc Gallery, San Francisco CA

              Nothing is Here, Dada is its Name, Branner-Spangenberg Gallery, Redwood City CA

              Public Alchemy, Cubberly Art Center, Palo Alto CA

2013     Timeless: The White Mountains (juried), PHOTO Gallery, Oakland CA

2010     PHOTO Gallery, Oakland CA

2008     18@modern (juried), Modernbook Gallery, Palo Alto CA

               Fort Point Views, Silicon Valley Community Foundation, Mountain View CA

2007     Captured Light (juried), Pacific Art league, Palo Alto CA

               Silicon Valley Open Studios invitational exhibit, Main Street Café and Books, Los Altos CA

2006     Institute of Contemporary Art Fall Exhibit (juried), San Jose CA

               SoLA Show 2006, Art21 Gallery (juried), Palo Alto CA

               Large Works exhibit (juried), Pacific Art League, Palo Alto CA

2005     Institute of Contemporary Art Fall Exhibit (juried), San Jose CA

               California Modern Gallery/MesArt exhibit (juried),  San Francisco CA

               Photo San Francisco, with Pacific Art League exhibit, San Francisco CA

               SoLA STARS 2005 exhibit (juried), Main Street Café and Books, April 2005, Los Altos CA

2004     Point of View and Co. Art Gallery, Alexandria MN

               Los Gatos Art Association Members Juried Show, Art Museum of Los Gatos, Los Gatos CA

               Santa Cruz Art League Statewide Exhibit (juried), Santa Cruz CA

2003     Sara Thomas Collection Art Gallery, Minneapolis MN

2002     Personal Viewpoints exhibit, Photographic Center Northwest (juried), Seattle WA

2001     Yosemite Renaissance XVII (juried), Yosemite Museum Gallery, Yosemite CA



Richter Gallery of Photography, Nashville, TN (2008-2014)

Sara Thomas Collection Art Gallery, Minneapolis, MN (2003)


Awards and Recognition

Winning photograph, Global Physics Photo Walk 2015, SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, Palo Alto CA

Pacific Art League, Places Near and Far  exhibit, 2007, Honorable Mention

Pacific Art League, Large Works exhibit, 2006, Second Place

Collection 2005 and SoLA STARS 2005 awards from Silicon Valley Visual Arts

Los Gatos Art Association Annual Members Juried Exhibit, 2004, First Place and Honorable Mention

Yosemite Renaissance XVII exhibit, 2001, Yosemite Museum Gallery, Honorable Mention



1996-present   Photography courses and field workshops from California College of the Arts, San Francisco Photo Center, UC-Santa Cruz Extension, Stanford University and others.  Influential instructors include Todd Hido, Mark Citret, Stuart Scofield, Brigitte Carnochan, Rod Dresser and John Sexton.

1989    Ph.D., Chemical and Biochemical Engineering, University of Pennsylvania

1984    B.S., Chemical Engineering, Michigan State University



2016  Silicon Valley Artists: Tech workers embrace aesthetics for a whole-brain life, Climate magazine, May issue

2006A closer look: Engineer-photographer zeroes in on the patterns and designs in nature, Palo Alto Weekly, Dec. 8


Other Activities

The Art Center-Redwood City San Carlos art curator, 2015

Co-curator, Timeless: The White Mountains exhibit, PHOTO Gallery, Oakland CA 2013

Invited speaker, Shooting the West Photography Symposium, Winnemucca NV 2009

Member of Steering Committee, Silicon Valley Open Studios, 2005-2006

Donations to fundraising art auctions (numerous)