Dawn M Ward
Laughing Dragonfly Studio
I have always collected things. Little objects, found along the way, sometimes broken or just curious; I have them scattered on windowsills, desktops and saved in boxes and bins. These objects have always been inspiring in one way or another and it is from those that my love for working in mixed media arose.
My current work combines the traditional fiber arts with contemporary concepts using repurposed fabrics, materials , found objects, along with handmade elements has presented an exciting new direction for my work.
I am sourcing 90% of my materials from thrift stores, yard sales and resale shops - a small way to reuse materials and keep textiles out of the landfills. Some recycled fabrics (notably the recycled sari silks are sourced from India) purchased online. Vintage jewelry, small objects, wire frames and other elements are also used in some of the works as forms for design and hanging. Handmade elements such as felted objects and dyed fabrics are also incorporated in some works.
Ward began her art career as a graphic designer and her first jobs were in advertising. She was an Art Director for an in-house agency in New York and began taking art classes at night at the School of Visual Arts on 23rd St. Those classes were the impetus to changing her career as she fell in love with fine art practices. Through a graduate assistantship at New York University, she went on to get her MA in Studio Art with a concentration in printmaking and a Ph.D. in Arts Education.
As part of that assistantship, she began her teaching career in the public urban high schools of Brooklyn. She has been teaching and practicing art for the past 26 years at university and colleges around the country including Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, Louisiana, and for the past 12 years in Arkansas. She was one of 20 scholars selected for a Research Seminar Award – Living with Art in Renaissance and Baroque Europe, at the High Museum in Atlanta, Georgia in 2011. Her work has been shown nationally in galleries most recently in exhibitions at the Fiber Arts Alliance in Atlanta, Georgia and in the Eureka Springs Historical Museum in Eureka Springs, AR. Her artwork was published in the Cave Region Review, Literary Magazine in 2018 and she has been writing about art and culture for many years on a variety of subjects including the Beat Poets, Abstract Expressionists, the Art of Healing and was the editor of a large collection of early manuscripts and letters by Jack Kerouac, The Sea is My Brother. She is a practicing artist and currently works at the Eureka Springs School of the Arts. She continues to teach workshops in art and art history.