Wednesday, December 18, 2019

New work and recent press

Great interview with Michael Arthur on, December 8, 2019, about how to have a career as an artist featuring myself and Andy Moerlein plus the origin story of The Myth Makers, “The Trajectory Of Artists’ Careers, And What You Can Learn From Them

Cindy F. Glanzrock, CEO of Glanzrock Curatorial Serviceslaunched a new initiative celebrating women artists, supporters of the arts, and women in design and real estate development. I was very honored to have  a Seat at the Table at the first event on November 19, 2019 along with Vinnie Bagwell – artist/sculptor who just received the Central Park commission for her work “Victory Beyond Sims” Alison Chernick – A documentarian who just premiered “Jackson Pollock: Blue Poles” at the International Hampton Film Festival,  Liza Donnelly – Cartoonist/illustrator, Author of “Funny Ladies” Gisue Hariri – Accomplished American architect and designer, described as one of the most, progressive and out of the box firms, and Rita Kalimian – Owner /developer of buildings including the first building that was committed to launching the Chelsea Arts District “529 ARTS” at 529 West 20th St.

Great conversation with Jennifer Oladipo and Kate Fleming, for The Chord on October 24, 2019, "Artist makes art. Context makes meaning."

Remembering Marilyn Yalom, author of The Birth of the Chess Queen and inspiration for The Match of the Matriarchs.

New website for Donna

New work @ Clark Gallery in Lincoln, Mass:


New works in bronze: L to R: Walking Rhino, Pregnant Kangaroo, Elephant Princess and Elephant Nun


New work in Alabaster: Cardinal Mother

Recent commission:
Steve, the South African Penguin

New work in Fiberglass: Mini Seagull Cinderella

Studio shot from Open Studios:


New website for the Myth Makers:

Recent Harvard Forest Seminar:
Working at the Intersection of Art and Science

Finalist presentation for A New View of Camden:
A Bloomberg Philanthropies public art project in Camden, New Jersey.

Seeking Higher Ground moved to the Art Complex Museum:

Wishing everyone a peaceful holiday season.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Open House And Visiting Scholar News

Join us on Saturday & Sunday September 28th & 29th from 12p-5p for a private Open Studio/ Open House event @ 123 Summer St in Maynard. 

I have re-installed Match of the Matriarchs and recent work from Zodiac at home and in the studio, I have new works in bronze and fiberglass (Mini Seagull Cinderella in progress) while the monumental Tiger Mothers and the original Seagull Cinderella get some touch ups. Andy Moerlein has lots of work inside and out including recent sculptures and prints from his Scholar's Rock series and new birds on branches (ceramic and wood assemblages). Make a day of it in Maynard- stop by Artspace Maynard's Open Studios to see over 80 artists at work and stay for dinner at one of the many amazing restaurants in town.

Visiting Scholar Appointment at the Brandeis University Women's Studies Research Center

I am pleased to announce that on September 1st I began my appointment as a Visiting Scholar at The Brandeis University Women’s Studies Research Center. My research project will investigate the mythic and very real women who were portrayed in Ancient Greek and Roman Art and consider modern and contemporary Amazons in pop culture, such as Wonder Woman.

I was turned onto the idea of the Amazons after reading Madeleine Miller's two novels about Greek Mythology: "Song of Achilles" and "Circe." My preliminary research led me to the MFA and the Metropolitan Museum in NYC collections both of whom have fantastic examples of the legendary warrior women on pottery, gold rings, crystal beads and more. Two of my primary sources are "Amazons: Lives and Legends of Warrior Women Across the Ancient World" by Adrienne Mayor and "Postcolonial Amazons: Female Masculinity and Courage in Ancient Greek and Sanskrit Literature" by Walter Duvall Penrose Jr. This has led to a fruitful correspondence and lively discussion with these two renowned scholars.

I saw the movie "Wonder Woman" when it came out in theaters but only recently discovered "Professor Marston and the Wonder Women." I am currently devouring Jill Lepore's book " The Secret History of Wonder Woman." Note, the Addison Gallery of American Art has an upcoming show on the subject of Wonder Woman and Superman in pop culture: "Men of Steel, Women of Wonder" that is not to be missed, October 5, 2019 - January 5, 2020.

Update: Hand/Eye Magazine covered this story on May 22, 2019, "Match of the Matriarchs: A Maternal Chess Set." Jennifer Oldapio interviewed Kate Fleming and me for The Chord and posted the conversation  on October 24, 2019, Artist makes art. Context makes meaning.

Sunday, July 21, 2019

A Creative Conversation

Georgia Blue Gallery

July 21, 2:00 pm

A Reception, A Reading,
A Conversation on Creative Practice
Donna Dodson
Andy Moerlein
Nancy Lord photo by Irene Owsley
Perry Eaton
Mara Kimmel
We all agree that more conversations need to take place. Join us for this stimulating conversation on the Creative Process with these artists.

Nancy Lord will do a short reading of her writings related to birds, a frequent theme in all three of the artists' work. Donna Dodson and Andy Moerlein will present new sculptures. Perry Eaton will be in the gallery as a guest artist, talking about his work and career. Mara Kimmel, Anchorage Museum Deputy Director will moderate.

Creative Process. How does a writer begin with the blank page? How do the artists address a block of wood? What is the process that drives each of these internationally known creators to success in their respective careers? What are the commonalities within each of their inspired paths?

This is a short talk intended for a broad public with an enthusiasm for creative activity, regardless of medium or professional ambition. The artists are each inspired speakers and exceptional practitioners of their craft. After the short reading and informal conversation there will be a reception and the opportunity to speak with each of the artists and the moderator.

Saturday, January 19, 2019


FULLER CRAFT MUSEUM PRESENTS Donna Dodson: Zodiac February 2 – May 19, 2019
Opening Reception: Sunday, February 3, 2:00 – 5:00 pm


Donna Dodson: Zodiac Zodiac presents acclaimed woodworker Donna Dodson’s two sculptural series referencing all 24 animal characters associated with the Lunar or Chinese calendar and the Sun signs of Western astrology. With such charming creatures as a lion, a bull, a ram, a penguin, a beaver, and a falcon, Dodson’s carved wood menagerie is sure to delight and inspire audiences of all ages.


Donna Dodson has been carving images out of wood for nearly 20 years. Her sculptures explore feminine beauty and evoke humor and playfulness but also grace, power, and emotional strength. Her unique vision responds to the relation of animals to the human spirit that have existed since ancient times. Her figures are almost always female and range in size from intimate to larger than life. She has been honored with solo shows nationwide for her artwork. In addition, her monumental works have been exhibited internationally in sculpture parks and art museums.


In 2011, Dodson participated in the Verbier 3D Foundation’s Artist Residency and Sculpture Park in the Swiss Alps. In 2015, Donna participated in a residency in Cusco Peru at the Escuela de Bellas Artes that culminated in an exhibition at Museo Convento de Santo Domingo Qorikancha with the Boston Sculptors Gallery. In 2016, she had her first solo museum show of “mermaids” in 2016 at the New Bedford Art Museum. In 2017, Dodson's solo show Zodiac began a national tour.


 The following exhibitions are also opening at Fuller Craft Museum on Feb 3rd from 2p-5p:
Felt: Fiber Transformed
Elizabeth Potenza: “Look up,” she said, “there is more color than you ever imagined”
Mano-Made: New Expression in Craft by Latino Artists
Tom Kiefer: El SueƱo Americano – The American Dream

I will be speaking about my work in the Tarlow gallery from 3p-3:30p.

Update: Robert Whitcomb covered this story for New England Diary on Jan 7, 2019, Sculptural signs of the zodiacSampan covered this story on Jan 14, 2019, Donna Dodson presents Zodiac at Fuller Craft Museum, Feb. 2 to May 19. Holly Camero covered this story for the Beacon Villager on Jan 23, 2019, Zodiac, by Maynard sculptor, opens Feb. 2. Scott Reedy covered this story on Jan 30, 2019 for the Metrowest Daily News, WINTER ARTS PREVIEW: Here’s the cure for cabin fever. John Carroll covered this story for Campaign Outsider on Feb 11, 2019, Dead Blogging ‘Donna Dodson: Zodiac’ at Fuller Craft. On March 13th, The Patriot Ledger covered this story, "At the Fuller, ‘Zodiac’ celebrates women through wooden sculptures."

Friday, September 21, 2018

Match of the Matriarchs

The Cephalopods

Match of the Matriarchs: Donna Dodson
October 3 - November 4, 2018 at the Boston Sculptors Gallery

Featuring guest artists Daniel Meirom, Jennifer Shahade & Kledia Spiro

First Friday Reception: October 5, 5-8pm
7pm "Battle of the Beasts" performance by Jennifer Shahade & Kledia Spiro

Second Sunday Concert: October 14, 4-6pm featuring Mazumal Duo

Reception and Artist Talks: Saturday, October 20, 3-5pm with Eric Sealine

First Friday Closing Reception: November 2, 5-8pm
7pm "Battle of the Beasts, Revisited" performance by Kledia Spiro

Boston Sculptors Gallery presents Match of the Matriarchs, Donna Dodson’s latest series of mysterious animal-human hybrid wood sculptures, on display October 3 through November 4, 2018. Featuring a sculpture group configured as a chess set, Dodson’s increasingly well-known female forms are carved with humor, sensitivity, and attention to the interplay of woodgrain and color.

Dodson cites the genesis of her chess set in her solo show at New Bedford Art Museum in 2016. She explained, “I created five ‘mermaids’ inspired by the history of ship prow carvings. I wanted to do more with the series, so I set myself the challenge of making an entire chess set.” This idea allowed her to build on the concept of sculptures that interact directly with each other, while reflecting on the interactions among species that have nothing to do with us humans.

Dodson delved into natural history books such as Squid Empire: The Rise and Fall of the Cephalopods by Danna Staff, Octopus: A by Sy Montgomery, and Other Minds: The Octopus, the Sea, and the Deep Origins of Consciousness by Peter Godfrey-Smith. “The existence of squid was discovered due to the scars on the sides of whales,” Dodson noted. “This deep sea battle between the squid and the whale led me to create a team of cephalopods—octopus, squid and cuttlefish—battling against the cetaceans—orca, narwhal and elephant seal.”

​To learn about the game of chess, Dodson researched Birth of the Chess Queen: A History by Marilyn Yalom and Chess Bitch: Women in the Ultimate Intellectual Sport by Jennifer Shahade.
“The original chess set was composed of King, Vizier/General, and other male military figures,” Dodson explained. “The queen came onto the board around the same time that many powerful queens reigned in England, Russia and Spain.” Dodson reflected on that change, deciding, “My set is maternal—I am thinking about family matriarchies, the realm of power in women's lives, how women wield power and the bonds between women in families.”

The Cetaceans

Daniel Meirom is an Israeli-American filmmaker, visual artist, and new media producer. His projects include XChess, a web TV show about chess, Misery Loves Comedy, a pilot on stand-up comedians, and Nowhere Else, a TV drama for Israeli TV. His most recent film, Camden/Love/Hate tells the story of Camden, NJ through at risk high school students. He has exhibited in New York City, Saint Louis, and most recently, at the Dali Museum in St. Petersburgh, FL. For his Boston debut, Meirom collaborated with Jennifer Shahade to create new work.

Naked Chess

Jennifer Shahade is a two-time U.S. Women's Chess Champion, poker player, commentator and writer. She wrote Chess Bitch and Play Like a Girl, and co-authored Marcel Duchamp: The Art of Chess and Sinquefield Cup: Celebrating Five Years. Shahade is Senior Editor at, MindSports Ambassador for PokerStars, and a board member of the World Chess Hall of Fame. In Match of the Matriarchs, Shahade will exhibit videos, photographs, and an interactive chessboard developed in collaboration with Daniel Meirom and Donna Dodson. Based on a 16th century misogynist chessboard created by a disgruntled gentleman when the Queen first appeared in the game, the new board uses misogynist language from online chess forums and social media, and invites audience engagement. Shahade will challenge an opponent to a chess match Friday, October 5 in a performance piece with Kledia Spiro

Not Particularly Beautiful

Kledia Spiro creates videos, performances, installations, and paintings. Born in Albania, Kledia was a member of an Olympic weightlifting team. She uses weightlifting as a symbol of survival, empowerment, celebration, and as a vehicle for discussing women’s roles in society, immigration, and times of war.  Spiro has exhibited nationally, most notably at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Queens Museum, NY; SAIC Sullivan Galleries, Chicago; Museum of Art, University of New Hampshire; and the ProArts Gallery in Oakland, CA. Her videos and photographs will be exhibited in Match of the Matriarchs. She will perform with Jennifer Shahade on Friday, October 5 at 7pm in “Battle of the Beasts” and again at the closing reception on Friday, November 2 at 7pm in “Battle of the Beasts, Revisited.”

Battle of the Beasts
Update: ArtYOP! covered this story, "Donna Dodson and the Match of the Matriarchs" on July 28, 2018. Sampan covered this story,"Match of the Matriarchs: Donna Dodson Oct. 3rd to Nov. 4th" on Sept 6, 2018. WBUR- The ARTery featured this story " 8 Feminist Art Shows to Check Out in New England this Fall" on September 28, 2018. US Chess Federation featured this story, "Women in Chess Events and Tournaments" on October 1, 2018. New England Diary covered this story, "Matriarchal is Mass. Gallery" on October 23, 2018. Sampan featured this story "Match of the Matriarchs Exhibition and Performance Nov 2nd" on October 23, 2018. covered this story, "Match of the Matriarchs in Boston through Nov. 4th" on October 25, 2018 and the Denver Chess Club re-posted the article in their Chess news Feed.. Michael Charney captured a live chess game with his amazing photos on dropbox. Read a curatorial statement by me on the Boston Sculptors Gallery blog. Watch a video segment from Chanda Prescod Weinstein on vimeo "Match of the Matriarchs."