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Archive for December, 2015


mj davison: color and light at midlife

MJ Davison Art Hall Jan-Feb 2016

The Art Hall is pleased to announce the opening reception for our next exhibit by international artist and Portland Waldorf School parent, MJ Davison, titled Color and Light at Midlife, on Wednesday, January 13, 2015, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m., with an artist talk at 6:00.

MJ is a lifelong artist who has recently devoted her career to understanding color and light through veil painting. As a child, she asked “where am I?” and interpreted the world through drawing, painting, and collage. As a teen asking “who am I?” she painted and made found fabrics into wearable art and home fashions.

Her BFA from Kent State University in Kent, Ohio, encompassed crafts, fashion, and French. While here, she asked “who and what inspires me?” Professors Marlene Mancini-Frost, textiles, and Daniel Rohn, color theory, were most inspiring. The beauty and harmony of ancient Greece led MJ to form life-size figures in ceremony, made of printed and painted fabric, for her graduate thesis.

Narrative and 3-D collage work continued at the University of the Arts, Philadelphia, where MJ earned her MFA in Book Arts/Printmaking. There, Bobbie Lippman, papermaker, Hedy Kyle, bookmaker, Sarah Van Keuren, photographer, and Frank Galuszka, painter, were all instrumental in her artistic development. In Philadelphia, MJ asked herself two questions: “who are we in relationship?” and “what is beyond us?”

Here her work started to explore the family system and the spiritual self beyond the physical. These two questions would be answered through mixed media books and prints over the next two decades in two different cities, yielding many works collected nationally and internationally. One example is her book, Evidence of Attendants, produced through a residency at Women’s Studio Workshop. Another is her non-silver photography, for which MJ received a grant from the Mid-Atlantic Arts Council.

MJ developed a fondness for teaching papermaking and bookmaking to all ages while living in Philadelphia and then in New York City, where she continued to exhibit in group art shows, locally and nationally. Commercially, MJ developed lines of hand-painted wallcoverings for design showrooms in New York, Chicago, and San Francisco.

Marrying and moving to San Francisco, MJ kept answering the question “what is beyond us?” through larger-scale acrylic paintings. The themes expanded into astronomy, astrology and eastern wisdom. The benefits of Anthroposophy came into MJ’s family life through Karen Rivers, teacher, and the Marin Waldorf School community. It was there she began to unlearn what she thought she knew of painting in order to begin to ask “what is this beyond that which is?”

Settling the family in Portland, MJ has grown through therapeutic painting with Robin Lieberman, along with workshops given locally by Robin, Laura Summers, Marie-Laure Valandro, Sandra Burch, and Cheri Munske, and in Crestone, Colorado, with Jennifer Thomson. Her personal study in conjunction with these teachers comes from readings on color and light by Rudolf Steiner, Goethe, Liane Collot d’Herbois, and Laura Summers.

Please join us on Wednesday, January 13, for the opening at 5:30 p.m. and for MJ’s talk at 6:00! The exhibit will remain open to the public by appointment through Thursday, February 11. As usual, you may contact Robin with any questions.