WMU News

Paintings by alumna Mary McDonnell exhibited

March 3, 2003

KALAMAZOO -- The Department of Art at Western Michigan University is featuring an exhibition of paintings by alumna Mary McDonnell in Gallery II Sangren Hall weekdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. March 10-27. The exhibition is free and open to the public.

A resident of Brooklyn, N.Y., McDonnell gained critical recognition for her paintings this past year through a review in the April 2002 issue of The New Yorker of her solo show at The Viewing Room in New York City. Since then, she has exhibited in additional solo shows at the Miller Block Gallery in Boston and at the Barbara Davis Gallery in Houston.

McDonnell received a B.F.A. in art from WMU in 1981 and an M.F.A. degree from Syracuse University in 1984. She has received several awards and fellowships including artist-in-residencies at the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore in Empire, Mich., and at the Virginia Center for Creative Arts in Sweet Briar, Va. She has earned fellowships from MacDowell Colony in New Hampshire and the Millay Colony in Austerlitz, N.Y.

McDonnell paints on wood panels that lie on the floor. Her style is considered abstract minimalism. Paint is applied in layers using flat edge tools, such as squeegees and ice scrapers.

"The tools' natural and progressive wear leaves uneven pits and gullies in the medium as they weave the sheets of color across the surfaces," McDonnell says. "The painting surfaces are highly worked in order to suffuse them with light and color, [which is] created by the modulated application of 50 to 100 layers, or veils, of pigment."

For additional information, contact the Department of Art Exhibitions Office at 269 387-2455.

Media contact: Jackie Ruttinger, 269 387-2455, jacquelyn.ruttinger@wmich.edu

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