Etienne Chavannes was born July 15, 1939 in Cap Haitien. A student at L'Ecole Oswald Durand, his father was a merchant. his mother a seamstress. After completing a job distributing anti-malaria medication throughout rural areas in Haiti, he was drawn to the idea of painting. Philome Obin is credited with first instructing Chavannes in 1967. Later, he approached Nehemy Jean who supervised his continuing development as an artist. In 1971 he joined the Centre d'Art, where he renains active today as one of the Centre's featured painters. Chavannes is married and the father of six children. His work is included in thepermanent collection of the Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford, Connecticut, the Waterloo Museum of Art in Iowa, and the New Orleans Museum of Art. Biographical information from Island on Fire: Passionate Visions of Haiti from the Collection of Jonathan Demme, Kaliko Press, 1997.