My first validation for making art was when I was 3 years old. I loved watching Romper Room with the hostess Miss Lois. At the end of the show she always looked through her “magic mirror” at her viewers and asked them to send in drawings of specific things. I loved doing this! My older sisters would help me mail the drawings and Miss Lois would send me postcards of her on the set of Romper Room. I still have these images today. This experience got me making making art and I never stopped. As an undergraduate at the University of Illinois, I studied Art History – then I took a painting class. The result was a double major and subsequent graduate work at Bowling Green State University in Ohio. I’ve been a professional artist for over 30 years and still find new things to learn. I live and work in Kalamazoo, MI with my husband, son, our border collie Lucky, and our cat JoJo.
My work uses patterns to vividly represent human emotions and experience, and to convey not just beauty but tension. As the world has changed these last few months, the patterns of my life have changed (anthropologist Jane Guyer has dubbed it an “enforced present”). I’m not alone in this. My daily dog-walks have become a pattern for survival, and I’ve come to see that my neighbors — walking their dogs, jogging, biking — have their own survival patterns. With this, my work is changing. Old patterns are being destroyed, and new patterns are beginning to emerge. I'm working on a new body of work that is about our shared moment in American history, our creative resilience, and transformative struggles.
My creative research combines Indonesian textile patterns, processes and tools used in batik painting (an Eastern painting process using a hot wax resist and pigment dyes on textiles) with Western encaustic painting techniques (a painting process invented by the Greeks using hot beeswax and pigment fused with a heat source). The patterns, processes and materials I use, challenge me to respond in the moment. I establish rules at each stage of the painting that I have to work within. Every decision I make abdicates some element of control of the work. This parallels the way we move through life as human beings, making the work a manifestation of the existential. With that said, I also just love to paint – each painting is a learning experience – fresh and new. I still believe that art can change the way we move through and see the world.
My work can be see in person at Addington Gallery in Chicago, Illinois.
"Together," Encaustic on panel, 24" x 24", 2019
"Trinity – Variations;" Pigmented beeswax and mixed media; 8 – 11 3/4" x 11 3/4" panels; 2011
THE GARDEN Exhibition, Mattatuck Museum in Waterbury, CT May 22 - August 28, 2022 - This is a traveling group exhibition that includes my work and the work of Jorge Benitez Ruth Bolduan, Sally Bowring, Reni Gower, Chris Gregson, Melissa Potter, and
THE ELUSIVE LINE presentation at the 15th International Encaustic Conference, Provincetown MA, June 3, 2022
EXPLORATORY RESIDENCY at the Golden Foundation. for the Arts; April 24 - May 21, 2022 in New Berlin NY. Here's a video about the residency with the other fellows during my stay: Louise Mandumbwa and Mark Joshua Epstein. https://www.goldenfoundation.org/residency/current-residents/
COLORFUL LANGUAGE group exhibition at Addington Gallery Featuring work by Joanne Mattera, Cat Crotchett, Kathleen Waterloo, Alicia LaChance, Joan Holleb, Julia Katz, Michael Hoffman, David Versluis, Rebecca Crowell, Allison B. Cooke, Lisa Pressman, January 7 - February 25, 2022. 704 N. Wells, Chicago IL.
Distinguished Faculty Scholar Award: https://wmich.edu/news/2021/10/66058?utm_medium=Email&utm_source=ExactTarget&utm_campaign=
Group exhibition, "Sweet Sixteen," at the Kalamazoo Book Arts Center; Park Trades Center; 326 W. Kalamazoo Ave., Kalamazoo MI. November 5, 2021 - January 14, 2022.
Solo exhibition "Tethered" at Addington Gallery; Chicago, May - July 3, 2021 at 704 N. Wells St., Chicago IL. http://danaddington.com/addingtongallery/upcoming2.html
February 20, 2021 - April 20, 2021
"One in a Year", juried by Kathy Cantwell and Shazzi Thomas. The Painting Center, NYC. https://www.artsy.net/show/the-painting-center-one-in-a-year?sort=partner_show_position
Addington Gallery; 704 N. Wells St.; Chicago Illinois 60654; 312.664.3406; Open 11 - 6 Tuesday through Saturday, and by appointment. If you're in Chicago, stop in and see my latest work!
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