Monday, June 16, 2014

Summer News

Lift off of the Great Blue Heron, 50'w x 20'h x 20'd
by the Myth Makers Donna Dodson and Andy Moerlein
took place on Saturday June 14th, 2014 at 9pm- see our photos below...


Asian Elephant, 32" tall, wood, paint 2007
Photo credit: Clements Howcroft

June 20, 2014 to August 14, 2014

Opening Reception: 
Friday, June 20, 2014 - 5:00pm to 7:00pm
Essex Art Center, 56 Island Street, Lawrence, MA 01840


Tuesday, June 24 at 12:00 pm
Krasl Art Center, 2nd Floor Library

Artists Donna Dodson and Andy Moerlein are the Myth Makers. The two share a mutual love of the wild that has led them to work collaboratively and creatively with natural, site-specific materials to create monumental forms. Their collaborative sculptures are stunning to behold, but only temporarily in existence.  Learn more about their collaborative work in this unique noontime lecture with the artists.

Both artists are featured in the KAC’s 2014 Biennial Sculpture Invitational. Donna Dodson’sCinderella Seagull is on view at the Margaret B. Upton Arboretum and Andy Moerlein’s Impossible is located on the KAC’s grounds.

Pillars of the Community, a solo exhibition featuring Donna Dodson's wood sculptures
'Dodson is a sculptor of idols, woman-beasts who blend regal formality with wildness. '
-Cate McQuaid, Boston Globe
Diva, 12" tall, mulberry wood 2013

July 11-August 24, 2014
Opening reception July 11th 5p-7p
636 Marble St. West Rutland Vermont

Artist Talk and Reception with Andy Moerlein and Donna Dodson

Different Perspectives
2013 wood, ceramic 
by Andy Moerlein

We face the same world from such very different points of view.
Red Wing Black Bird, 40" tall, wood, paint 
Wednesday July 23rd 4p-7p
3555 Arctic Blvd
Anchorage Alaska

Brown Pelican, 34" tall, wood, pigment, paint
Donna Dodson, Sean Thomas and Patrick Webb

August 14th - August 27th, 2014

Rice Polak Gallery
FRIDAY AUGUST 15, 7:00pm
30 Commercial St., Provincetown, MA 02657

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Silent Scream: Personality Type and Body Language

May 21-June 22, 2014

Boston Sculptors Gallery
486 Harrison Ave Boston MA 02118

Opening Reception: Sat May 31st, 2p-5p
First Friday Reception: June 6th, 5p-8p

Gallery Hours: Wed-Sun 12p-6p

Those who see any difference between soul and body have neither –Oscar Wilde

Boston, Mass. In the history of the world, up to the present time, the animal community has known only two types of hippopotamus, the common hippo and the pygmy hippo. In May 2014, a new species of hippo will appear in the city at the Boston Sculptors Gallery.  The Mighty Hippo stands at nearly the same height as the common hippo, but her five foot frame is vertical, not horizontal. The significance of her stance has yet to be determined by science.

In Donna Dodson’s third solo show at the Boston Sculptors Gallery, she brings together her signature vocabulary of animal headed goddess figures with her favorite material- wood. Dodson has created a new series called Silent Scream. This body of work references the Egyptian Goddess Tauret: a hippo/lion/crocodile composite figure.  Tauret earned her reputation as an apotropaic deity from people noticing how fiercely protective hippos are of their young.  

Prominent artists, such as Stephan Balkenhol and Walton Ford, who use animal headed imagery, eventually shed the animal, and continue on to make a commentary about the human figure in their work. In that case, the animal image was a mask. In Dodson’s work, she sees the animal head as a representation of an abstract idea, for example what is it like be powerful (like an elephant) or free (like a bird) or fierce (like a tiger). The fact that these abstract ideas are married to a human body, reveals Dodson’s vision of how it looks to feel beautiful, and wild, or free.

Donna Dodson’s animal headed goddess figures expand the visual language and narrative scope of traditional mythological depictions of deities, meditating on the intersection of personality type and body language that define the human/animal world.  Although human faces rarely appear in her sculptures, their presence is always implied in her human/animal figures.

The Mighty Hippo, 50" tall, wood & paint, 2014 by Donna Dodson

Update: Cate McQuaid reviewed my show 'Silent Scream' in the Boston Globe, on June 10, 2014.

Monday, April 14, 2014

April/May News

I am very pleased to announce that I will be participating in the 2014 Biennial Sculpture Invitational at the Krasl Art Center in St. Joseph Michigan this year. My piece, the Seagull Cinderella will be on view from June 25, 2014- September 2015. If you're in the area, please join us for the opening reception on Friday April 25th, from 6p-10p.

Seagull Cinderella, 2012-2013, styrofoam, cement, acrylic, 8ftx4ftx4ft by Donna Dodson

Seagull Cinderella is as common as the birds we see at the beach. Yet she is uncommon, like Marilla in Anne of Green Gables, corseted and bound by the sweet virtues of her character. Her full length gown is alive with neon daisies and flower power! This piece is Celebrating a Common sea bird as the American mythic princess, Cinderella.

Also, on view at the Krasl Art Center, in the Galleries from April 25, 2014- June 22, 2014, is a show of Biennial maquettes, models and drawings. I will be exhibiting a wood sculpture and two small colored pencil drawings of the Seagull Cinderella.

Seagull Cinderella, 15" tall, wood paint by Donna Dodson Photo Credit: Cliff Pfeiffer
Save the Date for ArtWeek Boston: April 25-May 4, 2014 and these two upcoming events: Inside the Studio with the Boston Sculptors Gallery. During ArtWeek Boston, Boston Sculptors Gallery will present two pecha kucha style events that will offer rapid fire presentations rich with images and stories to illustrate how each sculptor develops ideas, responds to site and community, and engages audiences. The artists take you behind the scenes for a sneak peak into the how and why of their studio practice. 

Tuesday April 29th, 6p-8p
Discussion topic- The Great Outdoors

Speaker Lineup: Caroline Bagenal, Rosalyn Driscoll, Mags Harries, Andy Moerlein, Nancy Selvage, Nora Valdez, Hannah Verlin

Saturday May 3rd 3p-5p 
Discussion topic- Indoor Sites

Speaker Lineup: Liz Alexander, Donna Dodson, Susan Lyman, Eric Sealine, Liz Shepherd, Julia Shepley, Jessica Straus

The Boston Sculptors Gallery members offer the audience an unusual experience you can't get in commercial art gallery and museum shows. Moderated by Ron Mallis, of BostonAPP/Lab, each event includes a lively Q&A. Free and open to the public of all ages, light refreshments included. The events will take place at the Boston Society of Architects, 290 Congress St, Suite 200, Boston. To RSVP for either one or both of these events, please send an email to and specify the date(s) of the event(s) you wish to attend.

Flock Together, installation, 2012 at the Boston Sculptors Gallery

Also in April, The International Sculpture Center will honor Judy Pfaff and Ursula Von Rydingsvard with Lifetime Achievement awards at a Gala event on April 30th at the Metropolitan Pavilion in New York City. I will be participating in the International Sculpture Center's Art Benefit Sale, at the 2014 Lifetime Award Gala. The sale will Include works for sale by world-renowned artists, emerging artists, and past and current ISC Lifetime Achievement Award winners. A special online preview will commence on April 16th through April 30th where patrons can be the first to browse through newly donated artworks. For more information and to buy tickets, visit the ISC website. Here's a sneak peek of my piece:

Pregnant Kangaroo, 6" bronze on limestone base. Limited edition, 2/10

Coming up in May... Silent Scream: Personality Type and  Body Language, my third solo show at the  Boston Sculptors Gallery.  It will open May 21st and be on view through June 22nd. I will be exhibiting concurrently with Kim Bernard.

The Mighty Hippo, detail, 50" tall, walnut 2014

On May 3rd, Rice Polak Gallery opens for the season with a group show of the artists they represent. I am proud to announce that I will be showing with this esteemed gallery in Provincetown for the first time this summer. Stay tuned for more details on my upcoming feature show that opens August 15th with Sean Thomas and Patrick Webb. Here's a teaser...

Ms. Pea Hen, 2012, 29" tall, birch wood & paint
Drole and yet a nobody. An undistinguished madam trapped inside a very distinguished body. Singularly peculiar. Regal, rampant and rebellious, like the statue of Liberty's sister. Someone who we know is someone but we've never heard of her.

Update: Nancy Egol Nikkal, posted a great review of our booth at the Fountain Art Fair, on her blog, The Art of Collage, and she included a lengthy spotlight on my work, in her piece "About Donna Dodson."

Sunday, February 23, 2014

March News

Save the Date for Armory Week in New York City: March 7th-9th. I will be exhibiting my work for the third year in a row at the Fountain Art Fair in the 69th Regiment Armory (Lexington Avenue & 26th Street). Our booth is called 'The Artist Collective,' and it features the fabulous artwork of Stephan Fowlkes along with mine. Organizers Kelsey Marie and Elizabeth Tully recently profiled my work on their blog, Selavy Says...

Bantam, 46" tall, wood, paint by Donna Dodson

Dodson’s art celebrates the relationship between humans and the animal kingdom.  Replete with mythological imagery and age-old iconography, her sculptures evoke a mystical reverence for feminine strength and beauty.  Her inspirations include ancient Egyptian art, traditional African sculptures and Native American totems (among others, of course… pre-med studies, and she often uses logs of osage orange wood from her grandfather’s farm in Illinois).  We enjoy that there is something “goddess” about her pieces that strikes a cord in the gut.  We also love how she works with her materials, whether it requires letting knots in wood emerge as eyes or delightful nipples, or shaping styrofoam and cement into buxom seagull cinderella, or exposing the serene solidity of stone in oracle elephants.  Just saying, we like.

Madam Elephant, 38" tall, wood, paint 2005 by Donna Dodson Photo Credit: Bruno Giust

Friday, March 7

12 – 7pm: VIP/Press Preview (Open to the public)
7pm – Midnight: Opening Night Reception

Saturday, March 8

12 – 7pm: Open to the public
7pm – Midnight: Saturday Night Event
Music Lineup : THE DEEP!

Sunday, March 9

12 – 5pm : Open to the Public
Also happening in March: 'Sculptures in Wood: students of Joseph Wheelwright,' at the Northeast ARC, at 22 Foster St. in Peabody MA (the old post office building). The show dates are March 14th-April 19th with a gala opening on Friday March 14th, from 6:30p-8:30p. This group show will feature art work from many of the sculptors who studied with Joseph Wheelwright in the years from 1980-2014, myself included.
Ebony Rabbit, 28" tall, wood, 2003 by Donna Dodson Photo Credit: Cliff Pfeiffer
I recently launched two catalogs of my work, Elephant Tribe and Flock Together. Both booklets are 24 page, full color, and each one measures 6"x9". If you did not get one in the mail, and would like me to send you one, please be in touch ASAP while supplies last.

Save the Date: My third solo show at the  Boston Sculptors Gallery is fast approaching. It will open May 21st and be on view through June 22nd. I will be exhibiting concurrently with Kim Bernard. More details soon... Hyperallerigic's Philip Hartigan, recently profiled my studio, in his column, A View from the Easel.

Monday, January 20, 2014

January News

I recently completed an international residency in Cusco Peru at the Escuela Superior Autónoma de Bellas Artes. Living and working in another country was a challenge on many levels. Dealing with a language barrier, different electrical circuits for my power tools, foreign types of wood, and different chemicals and chemistry for products I rely on to finish my work was not easy. But it forced me to try new materials and techniques, and it pushed my work in a different direction, which in the end is what residencies are all about.

Puma Senorita, 36" tall, loro wood and ink, 2014 by Donna Dodson 

Nora Valdez is an internationally exhibited artist. She has organized many sculpture symposia. When we said we wanted to go and work in Peru to make new work with the other artists in the show, she had the idea to secure the ateliers at the art school in Cusco for our use, since the students would be on vacation while we were there. In Cusco, we had the honor of meeting the Director, Professor Carlos Larrea Garcia, who welcomed us into residence at his school. We had many adventures together getting wood and tools to use.

Puma Senorita, detail 

Side by side with artists from the Boston Sculptors Gallery and artists from Peru, I made new work in preparation for our upcoming group show at the MUSEO Convento de Santo Domingo QORIKANCHA in February 2014 called Visions/Visiones that will be curated by Nora Valdez. In addition to the new work I made in residence, I brought recent work with me to exhibit, Condorita, that I showed in the Nesto Gallery at Milton Academy this fall, for our preview exhibition, Connections/ Conexiónes.

Condorita, 23" tall, walnut 2013 by Donna Dodson 

While in Cusco, we were fortunate to meet Mabel Allain, the new curator at the Qorikancha Museum. She has ambitious plans for the permanent collection and exhibition schedule and will bring new energy to the upcoming program of artists they are exhibiting in 2014. We also met the former curator of the Qorikancha Museum, Vera Tyuneleva, who recently completed her PhD in history at the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú. She is currently a docent and professor at the University San Ignacio de Loyola- Cusco Extension. In addition, we were pleased to meet Manolo Chavez, one of the best professional photographers in Cusco who will be helping us with the images for the forthcoming catalog for Visions/Visiones.

Condorita, detail 

The show, Visions/Visiones will open February 1st and remain on view through March 31, 2014. The show will feature artwork by the following artists from the Boston Sculptors Gallery: Caroline Bagenal, Kim Bernard, Murray Dewart, Donna Dodson, Rosalyn Driscoll, Laura Evans, Peter DeCamp Haines, 
Michelle Lougee, Nancy Winship Milliken, Andy Moerlein, Nancy Selvage, Liz Shepherd, Jessica Straus, Nora Valdez, Hannah Verlin and Joseph Wheelwright. These Boston sculptors will show alongside many notable Peruvian artists such as: Ronald Alvan, Pablo Yactayo, Jacob Sulca, Persi Narvaez, Ivan Tovar, Victor Zuniga, Luis Angulo y Gianfranco Yovera, Carlos Bardales and Xavier Cano.

Update: Weekend, picked up the story, 25 sculptors gather convent of Santo Domingo Qorikancha on January 23, 2014. Lima Gris picked up the story, CUSCO: 25 international sculptors IN QORIKANCHA on January 23, 2014. La Primera Peru picked up the story, Sculptors from the United States and Peru share experiences in Cusco on January 25, 2014. Prensarte picked up the story, Peruvian and American sculptors presented at the Convent of Santo Domingo, Koricancha on February 1, 2014.

Pumita, watercolor and pencil on paper, 9"x12" 2014 by Donna Dodson 

In addition to working in wood, and creating new work for Visions/Visiones, I was also busy preparing studies in pencil and watercolor for a show that will run concurrently with our show at Qorikancha. Transcripts/Transcripciones will be curated by Jose Luis Morales Sierra and will feature drawings and works on paper by the following members of the Boston Sculptors Gallery: Caroline Bagenal, Kim Bernard, Murray Dewart, Donna Dodson, Rosalyn Driscoll, Laura Evans, Andy Moerlein, Nancy Selvage, Nora Valdez, Hannah Verlin and Joseph Wheelwright. This show of drawing and visual design will also feature work by the following distinguished Peruvian artists: Jacob Sulca , Ronald Alvan , Ivan Tovar , Luis Angulo, Gianfranco Yovera, Pablo Yactayo, Persi Narvaez, Victor Zuniga, Roger Bellido, Pachacutec Huaman, Marcial Ayala, and Jose Luis Morales. It opens to the public on Jan 31, 2014 at ICPNAC (Instituto Cultural Peruano Norteamericano del Cusco) and runs through Feb 28, 2014. 

Condora, colored pencil on rice paper, 9"x12" 2014 by Donna Dodson  

Closer to home, I am exhibiting some new wood sculptures in the windows at the Boston Sculptors Gallery from January 20th to April 26th 2014. The gallery is located at 486 Harrison Ave, Boston, MA 02118.

Mama Duck, 18" tall, mulberry wood & paint, 2013
Wistful for the carefree life that she used to have but wilfully wrapped up in her children’s lives as much as her husband’s. She is the epitome of motherhood, and yet, she still finds time to look and feel elegant. If she is trapped, it is by her own standards of perfection that she has embraced.

Prodigal Daughter, 2012, 18" tall mulberry wood & paint
An extraordinary woman- ready to take the blame for stepping out of the flock to discover herself first. For that she is rewarded with all of the family blessings by a family who treasures her as a champion that lives among them with such wisdom in her wings.

Diva, 12" tall, mulberry wood 2013 by Donna Dodson 
She can hit the highest notes in her arias and shake the opera house with her mighty voice. She is a Diva in her viking helmet sporting cow horns and two long blond braids, with concentric breast plates of armor.

Save the following dates for my partner Andy Moerlein's upcoming show at the Boston Sculptors Gallery: Demise, Pondering the Unthinkable 
February 5 – March 9, 2014
Opening reception: Friday February 7, 5 – 8 p.m.
Artist Talk: Sunday, February 9, noon.
Tea and Cake performance event: March 1, 3 - 5:30 p.m.
Closing Reception: Friday March 7, 5 – 8 p.m.
Gallery hours: Wednesday - Sunday, 12 – 6 p.m.