Donna M. Meeks

Department Chair & Professor
Painting & Drawing
Office: Art 104A
Phone: (409) 880-8141
Email: Donna.Meeks@lamar.edu

Website: www.donnammeeks.com

Originally from Louisville, Kentucky, Donna M. Meeks is currently professor and chair of the Department of Art. Meeks is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee with a Master of Fine Arts in painting and sculpture, and of the University of Louisville where she earned a Master of Arts in teaching and a Bachelor of Arts in painting and drawing. She teaches courses in painting, drawing, and art theory.

Since 1981, Meeks’ work has been exhibited extensively from coast to coast in diverse exhibition venues including, but not limited to, the Orange County Center for Contemporary Art (Santa Ana, Calif.), the Alternative Museum (Soho, N.Y.), The Montgomery Armory Art Center (West Palm Beach, Fla.), the Butler Institute of American Art (Youngstown, Ohio), the Dallas Visual Art Center (Texas), the New Jersey Center for the Visual Arts (Summitt, N.J.), the Rockville Arts Place (Md.) and the South Bend Regional Museum of Art (Ind.). Meeks has works included in the permanent collections of the Fundación Torre Pujales (Corme, La Coruña, Galicia, Spain); Art Museum of Southeast Texas (Beaumont); Brandywine Workshop (Philadelphia); Fine Arts Center, Wabash College, Crawfordsville, Ind.; the Hoyt Institute of Fine Arts in New Castle, Pa.; and the Kirkland Fine Arts Center, Millikin University in Decatur, Ill.; among others.

Meeks is also active as a guest lecturer, exhibition juror, and visiting artist. Most recently, she served as a visiting artist in the Art Department, Northwestern Louisiana University during March 2008 in conjunction with a one person exhibition. During June 2005, she was awarded an Artist-in-Residence at the Fundacion Torres Pujales in Corme, Galicia, Spain. In 2001, Meeks was a recipient of a Knight Foundation Fellowship to serve as a Visiting Artist at Brandywine Workshop in Philadelphia, Pa. She is listed in Who’s Who in American Art.

Artist’s Statement

Skin can and does serve as a site of personal, cultural and social complexity. It is in fact a barrier demarcating the internal and external world while simultaneously chronicling the phenomenology of that separation. Bruises or wounds provide evidence of the abject human condition. Self-imposed marks record the subject's intervention into the human condition on at least its surface, the skin. Whether a result of injury, disease, or augmentation, each mark once made is subject to change through natural processes such as healing, aging or death that alter the original quality of the mark over time. These qualities are readily equated to the mark making process of the painter.

Begun in 2006, the Human Condition series references medical and scientific illustration along with skin disease through depictions of the phenomenology of human skin including aging, injury, and healing. Works in this series involve painted hydrocal castings mounted on stainless steel supports. The resulting object oscillates uncomfortably between reality and illusion engaging notions of the "abject" and the "medical."

Begun in 2008, the GSW series is inspired by the popular fascination with criminal forensics in the media while echoing nineteenth century poetic notions found in Baudelaire's Fleur du Mal. Painted in an expressive style with both palette knife and brush, these artworks depict gun shot wounds as today's "flowers of evil" in order to reveal a difficult beauty.

In both series, each work becomes a site for the intersection of multiple processes and phenomena reflecting the complexity of human experience, itself, while asking the viewer to engage in some "viewing forensics."

Artwork

Human Condition III (side detail)

Meeks' art 1

Human Condition III (another side detail)

Meeks' art 2

GSW 11

Meeks' art 3

GSW 17

Meeks' art 4