Alumni portfolios

  • "Paris Studio #1," 2010, oil on panel, 9 x 12 in.
    "Paris Studio #1," 2010, oil on panel, 9 x 12 in.
  • "Paris Studio #3," 2010, oil on panel, 9 x 12 in.
    "Paris Studio #3," 2010, oil on panel, 9 x 12 in.
  • "Paris Studio #4," 2010, oil on panel, 9 x 12 in.
    "Paris Studio #4," 2010, oil on panel, 9 x 12 in.
  • "Paris Studio #6," 2010, oil on panel, 9 x 12 in.
    "Paris Studio #6," 2010, oil on panel, 9 x 12 in.
  • "Paris Studio #9," 2010, oil on panel, 9 x 12 in.
    "Paris Studio #9," 2010, oil on panel, 9 x 12 in.
  • "Paris Studio #10," 2010, oil on panel, 9 x 12 in.
    "Paris Studio #10," 2010, oil on panel, 9 x 12 in.

Mary K. Connelly

Biography 

Mary K. Connelly, painter and Associate Professor of Painting/Drawing at University of Colorado Denver, was recently an artist-in-residence for two-months at the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris, sponsored by Washington University's Sam Fox School. In the "Paris Studio," Connelly continued her series of small-scale oil interiors, an exploration of how our perceptions of "home" and other spaces shape our thoughts, memories, and dreams. Connelly has been featured in fourteen one-person shows over the past twelve years, most notably at the Morris Graves Museum of Art and First Street Gallery in New York. Her paintings have appeared in many prestigious group exhibitions: a two-person show at The Salmagundi Club in New York, a four-person show at the SFMOMA Artists Gallery in San Francisco, and a three-person show at the Fort Collins Museum of Contemporary Art in Colorado. Connelly's work is included in the permanent collections of several universities and was selected for publication twice for New American Paintings: Juried Exhibition in Print (2004 and 2009).

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Statement 

My small-scale paintings, in part inspired by my reading of The Poetics of Space, are a distillation of perception and memory, where color and light convey a world psychologically and spiritually charged. Taking Gaston Bachelard's notion of topophila as a departure point, my work suggests an intimate "love of place," where "home" serves as a portal to metaphors of the imagination. The paintings hint at silent narratives, presenting interior space as a chamber for mediation, evoking memories or daydreams of a beloved solitary place. The empty interior also functions as a metaphor for consciousness—a container for my ruminating, restless mind. Creating a painting for me is an act of awareness—seeing things as they are. It is through the practice of perceptual painting that I am able to still my mind and transcend self through a responsive and empathetic relationship to the visual world. My work is also informed by the contemplative and philosophical literature of Thomas Merton, Paul Tillich, and Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh. The power of illusionist painting is not that it tries to create a "now" reality but that it can mirror consciousness and embody the paradoxical truths of impermanence and The Eternal Now (Tillich).