My artwork celebrates the relationship between human beings and the animal kingdom.
Donna Dodson at Blogspot
Zodiac by Donna Dodson
Boston Sculptors Gallery
September 7- October 9, 2016
Gallery Hours: Wed. – Sun. 12 – 6pm
First Friday Receptions: Sept. 9 & Oct. 7, 5-8pm Featuring a world premiere of experimental electronic music by Blue Sky Catastrophe at each reception.
The Art of Collecting: A Forum & Luncheon: Sept.10, 12-2pm
Panelists include: Arlette Kayafas, Director of Gallery Kayafas, Toni Gaspard, Art Collector, Leah Triplett Harrington, Editor of Big, Red & Shiny and Kalimah Muhammad, Member of Boston Sculptors Gallery. Sponsored by Boston Art Dealers Association & Hosted by Boston Sculptors Gallery
United South End Artists Open Studios:
Sept. 24 & 25, 12-6pm
Global Mashup: A Roundtable Conversation About Aesthetics: Oct. 2, 2-4pm
Panelists include Kemin Hu, Collector and Expert on Chinese Scholar's Rocks, James Kodera, Professor of Religion at Wellesley College and Al Miner, Assistant Curator of Contemporary Art at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. Sponsored by Artscope Magazine
Pisces(Clownfish) wood, paint 2016
“The signs of the zodiac are karmic patterns; the planets are the loom, the will is the weaver.”
- Edgar Cayce
Zodiac, Donna Dodson’s fourth solo exhibition at the Boston Sculptors Gallery, will be on view September 7 to October 9, 2016. In her newest body of sculptural work, Dodson has created two parallel series, referencing both the animal characters associated with the Chinese, or Eastern zodiac, as well as the sun signs of the Western zodiac. Dodson’s exhibition offers us a menagerie of compelling creatures carved in wood.
Based on birth years from the beginning of time to the present day, the Chinese zodiac assigns an animal to each year in a repeating twelve-year cycle. Each of the twelve animal characters is believed to possess distinct attributes. With roots in ancient Egypt and Greece, the Western zodiac is based on astrological constellations corresponding to the sun’s position at birth. Over time, each of these constellations has assumed their own unique mythological identity. Curiously, the zodiac has only rarely been the subject of contemporary art.
Carving has taken a new direction in Dodson’s work, and technical surprises and breakthroughs abound. Due to a windfall of wood, she has been able to experiment, creating sculpture in woods such as mulberry, apple, spalted maple, and cherry. The anthropomorphic deities in Dodson’s signature work have morphed into allegories, icons and symbols in which realism and representation play a greater role.
While some interpretations of the Western zodiac characters seem obvious, like Leo the Lion, Taurus the Bull, and Aries the Ram, others resist obvious characterizations. Would anyone associate Aquarius with a Beaver? Or Libra with a Falcon? Virgo with a Penguin? In Zodiac, Dodson takes on these peculiar associations and promises to engage the imagination of the casual viewer as well as that of the art connoisseur.
Zodiac will be shown concurrently with Geology by Andy Moerlein.
As many of you may have heard, Jessica Bregoli selected my sculpture, Seagull Cinderella, for the Seaport Art Walk in New Bedford this summer. I installed the sculpture on a highly visible site pre-selected by the Seaport Art Walk Committee at thebeginning of June. After being on view for about a month or so, a petition was filed by a local resident to "Remove the Seagull Statue in Downtown New Bedford." Therein started the Seagull Cinderella Controversy. (Click on the link for the story)
Coming up in October...
Seagull Cinderella Returns to Maynard
October 15, 2016, 3-6 pm
Parade, Art Show and Reception
Seagull Cinderella returns home to Maynard on October 15. Welcome her back from her triumphant tour of New Bedford with a parade in downtown Maynard and art show at 6 Bridges Gallery, 77 Main Street, Maynard.
Many of you remember Seagull Cinderella standing tall in her front yard on Summer Street in Maynard. She spent a few weeks in New Bedford, MA this summer where our intrepid gull found herself embroiled in a bit of an uproar. They were talking about her far and wide. But Seagull Cinderella stood fast. Her supporters rallied around and created art in her honor.
On October 15 Seagull Cinderella returns to Maynard and will be feted with a parade in downtown Maynard starting at 3:00 pm. Follow her from the Maynard library to 6 Bridges gallery at 77 Main Street where she will disembark from her carriage and stand proudly outside 6 Bridges Gallery. A pop-up art show inspired by our courageous gull awaits her fans and supporters inside.
Open Call to Artists to submit creations of all mediums in homage to this glorious sculpture by Donna Dodson of Maynard.
Drop off work on Friday, October 14, 4-6 pm or Saturday, October 15, 10-11 am. Please bring work ready to display on pedestals and tables. Wall space is not available.
Work for this event will be for sale with a portion of the proceeds going to help women with breast cancer at the Virginia Thurston Healing Garden
6 Bridges Gallery was established in 2014 by a group of artists to create a retail and display gallery in the heart of Maynard, Massachusetts. The ever-changing work in our gallery includes a diverse range of media and artistic styles. All of our artisans are local; many—including our founding members—are residents of the ArtSpace Maynard studios.
77 Main Street
Maynard, MA 01754
Coming up in July, my solo show in New Bedford...
Donna Dodson: Avian Heroines
Reception Saturday July 16, 2016 5p-8p
Image: Culture Vulture I, 38" tall, wood, paint by Donna Dodson
Also in New Bedford: Public Art
On view June-October 2016
Seagull Cinderella by Donna Dodson, styrofoam, cement, acrylic, 8ftx4ftx4ft
Back by popular demand in Boston:
On view June 2016-May 2017
Madam President: A Monument to the First Female President of the USA and to the Dream that Every Girl Can Become The President of the USA by Donna Dodson, 13 ft tall, poplar wood, paint
Courtesy of GTI Properties, Mario Nicosia, V. Lessard & Sons and The Boston Sculptors Gallery.
Ooievaars in de Kunst ( Storks in Art)
Group Show - Curated by Piet de Bakker
Donna Dodson & Andy Moerlein: New work
Reception: Sunday July 24th, 2016, 1p-3p
Mama Duck, 18" tall, mulberry wood & paint
Fade so Fast by Andy Moerlein, ceramic, wood, paint
In May we moved The Avian Avatars from Muskegon Michigan to Louisiana to join Sculpture for New Orleans:
In June, we built The Dance of the Sandhill Crane at the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum in Wisconsin:
September 7th-October 9th 2016
The Myth Makers will be Artists in Residence at the Academy Art Museum
in Easton Maryland!
“The Chinese Zodiac Series” by Donna Dodson
Curated by Cathryn Griffith, The St. Botolph Club
199 Commonwealth Ave, Boston: 617-536-7570
Exhibition Dates: February 24th-March 25th 2016
Opening Reception: Wednesday, February 24th 5:30p-7p
Zodiac by Donna Dodson
"The signs of the Zodiac are Karmic Patterns; the Planets are the Looms; the Will is the Weaver."
In Donna Dodson’s premiere show at The St. Botolph’s Club, she brings together her signature vocabulary of animal headed mythological figures with her favorite material- wood. Dodson has created a new body of work called The Chinese Zodiac for this exhibition. This references the twelve animals that are associated with the ancient system of belief in China. Unlike the Western zodiac, where each sign is associated with the month a person was born, the Eastern zodiac is based on birth years from the beginning of time to the present day. A different animal is associated with each year and its attributes characterize that year. The order of the animals is fixed and repeats every 12 years. With the exception of Ai Wei Wei’s “Circle of Animals: Zodiac Heads,” a large scale bronze public art installation that toured the world, the Chinese zodiac has not been revisited by contemporary artists.
Historically artists such as Audubon, Bernini and Hokusai have brought realistic images of animals to life with stylizations that resist anthropomorphism. But in Dodson’s work, she sees the animal head and body language of her figures as representations of certain personality types that evoke larger than life characters. The animal symbols in the zodiac seek to explain personal fortune and global events based on animal characteristics and their larger conceptual influences on human nature. There are twelve animals in the Chinese Zodiac: rat, ox, tiger, rabbit/hare, dragon, snake, horse, goat/sheep, monkey, rooster, dog, and pig/boar. The fact that Dodson’s animal heads are attached to human bodies, reveals her vision of inner resonance and outer force of will that the Chinese Zodiac implies.
Update: Holly Camero featured Andy Moerlein and I on Wicked local. We are the talk of the town. Denishe also featured us on her blog, The Maynard Grapevine. Art New England interviewed Andy Moerlein and I about our recent trip to China on behalf of the Boston Sculptors Gallery (see below).
Boston Sculptors Gallery starts the New Year with a visit to China
Boston Sculptors Gallery members Donna Dodson and Andy Moerlein along with Carole Feuerman of the Carole A. Feuerman Sculpture Foundation and Michael Manjarris representing Sculpture for New Orleans, were invited by Gertrud Aeschlimann of Art-st-Urban to attend the Changchun World Sculpture Park Conference held in Changchun China from January 10th to January 12th 2016 and to participate in the first preliminary meeting of the International Sculpture Park Union. All three organizations became members of the Union.
During the conference, representatives of the new member organizations visited the Changchun World Sculpture Park – the largest sculpture park in the world with a work of art from every country. Dodson and Moerlein gave a presentation on the Boston Sculptors Gallery’s recent public art projects: highlighting the unique ways this cooperative gallery has initiated major public art projects in both public, urban and private historic settings. Likewise, Carole Feuerman presented information about the International Sculpture Center and the Carole Feuerman Foundation highlighting the latter's recent international group exhibition "Mixing Medias." Michael Manjarris discussed the objectives and outcomes of his large scale public art project, "Sculpture for New Orleans." Gary Garrido Schneider from Grounds for Sculpture highlighted the recent initiatives they are undertaking to address cultural tourism, and Charles Haude from the J Seward Johnson Foundation featured images of their recent monumental installations. Each new member organization presented the challenges they are facing and proposed new solutions that can be realized by working together in the ISPU.
Part of the conference was the adoption of the International Sculpture Park Union constitution, as well as the elected leadership of the Union. The first Sculpture Park Union president Chinese Wang Mingshan (Changchun World Sculpture Park curator) handed over the union leadership to Gertrud Aeschlimann, representing the Art-St-Urban Sculpture Park in Lucerne, Switzerland, while the Union's Secretary General was elected to the Chinese representative Wang Xuezhan.
The International Sculpture Park Union was founded in 2014, on September 4th in Changchun, China. The founding document was signed by 5 sculpture parks: Changchun WorldSculpture Park (People's Republic), Art-St-Urban (Switzerland), Beddington Art Galleries & Gardens (France), Chianti Sculpture Park (Italy), Pedvāle Open-Air Art Museum (Latvia).
Grounds for Sculpture, represented by Gary Garrido Schenider, Sculpture for New Orleans, represented by Michael Manjarris, The Carole Feuerman Foundation, represented by Carole Feuerman, The J Seward Johnson Atelier, represented by Charles Haude and The Juming Museum in Taiwan, represented by Dr. Shun-Ling Wu, were sworn in as the newest members of the ISPU alongside the Boston Sculptors Gallery represented by Dodson and Moerlein during this ISPU conference.
The International Sculpture Park Union's objectives are to:
* To promote and facilitate cooperation between the private and public organizations which share common objectives with the association so that they can effectively cooperate in the global, national and regional level to discuss common problems and search for solutions;
* To strengthen the friendly cooperation and mobility between sculpture parks around the world to promote their development;
* To promote the exchange of information;
* To encourage and promote the creation of different studies aimed at improving communication and cooperation between sculpture parks.
The main union activities are exhibitions exchange, exchange of information and the association's promotion of seminars and conferences to share experiences sculpture park management and marketing, as well as share practical and theoretical experience with countries wishing to build a sculpture park.
Octopus Maiden/Octopussy, 27" tall, oak 2015
1/20 – 2/5/2016
Reception Snow Date: 1/31/2016, 1 – 3pm
Siren/Orca, 24" tall, maple, 2015
Mermaids are popular mythical creatures of the sea. These deep ocean phantoms have inspired stories and tales from the frightening to the fantastic in many seafaring cultures. Mermaids were often the subject of figureheads, the iconic carvings that adorned the prows of whaling ships and ocean vessels. This new body of work by Donna Dodson takes a contemporary look at thefabled sea princesses in the traditional medium of wood carving.
Naiad/Narwhal, 38" tall, mulberry 2015
The Octopus, Orca and Narwhal provoke our imagination and make us wonder what divides the world we know from the deep mysteries of the sea. Dodson uses these iconic ocean creatures as the genesis of her whimsical human-animal female figures. She researches sea life and imagines how to anthropomorphize many different types of species in her new mermaid series. Each sculpture comes to life with a unique personality and body type.
Squid Girl, 32" tall, cherry, 2015
Stories of mermaids are often about two worlds colliding. Sailors are drowned and rescued by mermaids but have to sacrifice their life on land and vice versa. Dodson’s figures evoke contemporary dialogues rather than classical ones. Octopussy is the hypersexualized name of a veiled woman in a burqa. Naiad the Narwhal is a sea creature wearing scuba gear for splashing around in a swimming pool and looking awkward in her prepubescent skin. Siren is a warrior at heart, and wears a royal samurai robe, suitable only to an orca. She possesses a sinister mind, deep intelligence and top predator arrogance.
Madame Elephant Seal, 34" tall, maple 2016
Click here for the facebook event page. Update: Don Wilkinson posted a fabulous review of my first solo show, for South Coast Today. Brian Goslow, Managing editor of Artscope Magazine published an in depth interview with me about my work for this show and my recent trip to China.
Save the Date: The Chinese Zodiac Series by Donna Dodson will be on view at the St. Botolph Club in Boston from February 24th-March 25th.Showing concurrently with the paintings of Raphael Jaimes-Branger. These two solo exhibitions are curated by Cathryn Griffith and Michael Allen.
Opening reception Wed Feb 24th 5:30p-7p
bronze on limestone base
1 of 10
Cast by New England Sculpture Service
The Breakneck Road at Hulls Cove has been a summer rendezvous for Native Americans as long as memory exists. On this very spot, Samuel D. Champlain landed in 1604- the first of a tsunami of European visitors to this fragile ecosystem. Owl has seen the world change and has a message for humankind. Step into the sacred space and listen. If you open your heart, Owl has advice to share.
bronze on limestone base
bronze on limestone base
bronze on limestone base
bronze on limestone base
Little Red Riding Hood
Little Red Riding Hood is anything but little. Her big feet threaten to stomp on any wolves, or predators that would dare to cross her path. Her big shoulders allude to her inner strength.
Red Tail Hawk
wood, pigment, enamel
Red Tail Hawk is common presence in our midst. Like a Haida sculpture, or a totem of a school marm, the steely gaze of her watchful eyes mind her charges with protection and good care.