Marisa Boyd

I am a founding member and teaching artist at Open Space Art Gallery and Studios in Ottawa, IL. I have attended residencies including Starry Night Artist Program in New Mexico, Main Street Arts Residency in Upstate New York, and Enos Park Residency in Springfield, IL. I have exhibited at Main Street Arts Gallery in Clifton Springs, New York,  Jan Brandt Gallery and the McLean County Arts Center in Bloomington, IL, in addition to performing at DEMO Project in Springfield, IL. In 2017, Sixty Inches From Center, a non-profit online arts publication, featured a review written by Maggie Kunze, curator at McLean County Arts Center, of my BFA solo exhibition titled A Place That Doesn’t Exist. In 2020, I will have a solo exhibition at the Prairie Arts Center in Princeton, IL and a two person exhibition at Project 1612 in Peoria, IL.


Artist Statement

I am making a place that doesn’t exist. Drawing with my eyes closed leads me into it. Marks behave with immediacy, connecting my body and the surface they trace. I am attracted to particular surfaces for their connection to my skin. I draw lines, trace, cut out, stack, and scrap material. The grooves found in plywood, the soft sensual feeling of velvet, the static vibration of white lined carpeting, and the allure of stone paper.

Repetitive activity quietly exists on the surface of my work. At a distance it may appear merely as a shape, some lines, or a texture. It is not until a viewer engages closer that they sense indications of repetitive behavior of scratchings, spirals, or cut edges. The shapes have a past, generated from a place that doesn’t exist within me to residing in a new place that doesn’t exist within the viewer.

I associate place with the sensation of being inside a cave. From a young age, my family and I would stop to tour caves while on the way to a destination. During each tour, lights would be turned on to view then off to protect the life that thrives in darkness. There is a curiosity of experiencing a place that exists unseen. I compare this to the sensation of drawing with my eyes closed. Both exist as a vast darkness adjusting to see static, shapes, shadows, and shifts of color.

I first saw the Blue as a child woken up in the middle of the night, looking at the doorway. Seeing blue dots turn into a blue figure. Something told me to follow it and I did until the figure disappeared before my eyes. With this in mind, it is not entirely surprising that I had found the Blue once again as an adult. In a field of grass where a building and courtyard once stood, I saw the electric blue pumping out and back in behind my eyelids. I had never seen anything quite like it.

The sensation that I long for was only temporary. The blue indicates a connection to otherworldly experience and a sense of longing. That longing is triggered by the depth of the blue, instills a viewer a desire to search. The inquiry is to decipher what is to be found within the lines and shapes.

The work is something to be read into, contemplated, and felt. Line drawings guide into an unseen landscape. Silence is particularly important for the meditative activity of searching. Material, cut-outs, and their edges can be felt with the eyes. Blue is found in the darkest areas. Similar to a cave that inhabits life existing unseen when lights are turned off.  


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