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Geri Donovan

Artist’s Statement

I use a cutting torch to render a detailed image from steel or copper.  I essentially draw with fire.  I create trees because of the richness of meaning.  They symbolize shelter, endurance and resurrection.  They form a bridge between the earth and sky.  I am captivated by the shadows they cast and the sounds they make in the wind.  When I render a tree, I honor the ancestors and the earth.  They lend form to the perpetually evolving song in my heart.

I have been an artist all of fifty-six years and my reasons for making art seem as complex and mysterious to me now, as they did in my youth.

As an undergraduate, I discovered an affinity for the social sciences, especially philosophy and religion.  While my intellectual preferences have influenced my artistic journey, poetry has proven to be the most profound influence.  I see art as a resonance, a new way to tell an old story.   I believe that how we see determines what we see.  Art is a means to reflect on the process of seeing and making sense of the world.  That reflection is integral to my functioning as a human being within this world. 

My art is extremely subjective and personal.  In this society and at this time, that could be considered an iconoclasm.  I am not revealing some universal truth known only to the intellectual and social elite. I am neither smug enough, nor self-righteous enough to believe that it is my job to render a social or personal critique.  I do my best to tell my truth.  If it strikes a chord, that is grace.

Geri McNeal Donovan                                                                                                                                                  3-31-2011


Geri Donovan graduated from John F Kennedy University with a degree in Arts and Consciousness. She has been socially active bringing the arts into community life since 1992 when she created an art making and exhibitions program for mental health consumers in Yolo County.  

While in graduate school she was a curatorial consultant for the City of Davis gallery at the Davis City Hall.  As a curator she designed exhibitions around such topics as; the common ground between art and science, “In the marketplace” women’s textile work from around the world, “Friends”, exhibiting interweaving connections between groups of friends in the Davis community and “Voices of Silence,” highlighting art from groups of people self identified as culturally marginalized. 

She wrote grants to create a gallery/exhibition space in the Davis Community Clinic as a way to make art accessible to low income people and to create a series of postcards from paintings by clients of mental health services as a fund raiser for a continuing arts program. 

         She now teaches art history at Cosumnes River College, part of the Los Rios Community College District in Sacramento.

As a visual artist she has been included in the permanent collections of William and Dorothy Curry, Mission Hills Kansas,  the Kansas City, Kansas Public Library, Johnson County Community College, Johnson County Kansas and Mountain Valley Center for the Arts in Lyons Colorado.

         She was included in the “What is Art For” exhibition in the Oakland Museum of California and the KVIE Arts Auction in Sacramento.  She has exhibited in many venues in Sacramento and throughout Northern California.

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