Bill Mapes was born in Philadelphia and spent most of his growing years along the sandy beaches of the Cape May, South Jersey area. He graduated from the Philadelphia College of Art (now the College of the Arts) in 1971 with a BFA in Illustration. Bill studied under Ben Eisenstat, Sidney Goodman, Edna Andrade, Jane Piper, Al Gold, Isa Barnett, and Steve Tarantel. He won national recognition in an annual Print Magazine cover design competition.
Bill spent 35 years in the commercial art field in the Washington, DC region, 30 of those years as a freelance illustrator/designer. During that period, he taught a University of Maryland University College Adult Education course in Graphic Fundamentals for several years.
Bill has returned to his love of oil painting and fine art. Having a deep passion for history, particularly the mid-1860’s Civil War era, provides him with a unique perspective on historical painting and portraiture. Being an avid outdoorsman, Bill continues to paint the landscapes of Maryland throughout the year. Working in graphite mediums, particularly charcoal and pencil, he specializes in figurative drawing and composition.
Bill is a certified member of the Maryland Society of Portrait Painters, Gaithersburg Fine Art Association, past two-term President of the Art League of Germantown and currently an instructor of oil painting for the Rossmorr Art Guild.
Bill has exhibited at VisArts of Rockville, Glenview Mansion Gallery, the Carroll County Arts Council, the Art League of Germantown and Gaithersburg Fine Artist Association’s Annual Juried Art Exhibitions at the Kentlands Mansion in Gaithersburg and the Maryland Society of Portrait Painters juried exhibits at various state venues including the Washington County Art Museum.
Bill’s portrait of “Clara Barton” is part of the permanent collection at the Clara Barton Historical Site, Glen Echo, Maryland.
Bill has completed many private commissioned works, including a portrait commission of City Councilman Julius J. Persensky for the City of Gaithersburg.