2011 Donated Artwork

Painting of the temples and towers of Zion.
"Great White Throne (Towers of the Virgin)," Mary Dondero, Acrylic on Mylar, April 2011

NPS Photo

How can rock, wood, water, vegetation, and all the various substances of the natural world be so carelessly or simply labeled as “landscape”? It seems to me that “landscapes” are human constructs, formed and shaped by shared cultures, lingering myths, memories, and obsessions, all of which we apply meaning to. With all this in mind, my goal was, and still is, to create work that expresses flux, the accumulation, the erosion, and the changes in the environment that bring me to realize moments in time.

I am both moved and affected by the natural environment, by the sights, sounds, and the smells I come across, by the temperature, humidity, and grandeur of geological formations. My physical interaction with and psychological connection to the natural environment is my inspiration. My creative goal is to define both the fleeting emotions and physical sensations that can occur when encountering the ever-changing state of impermanence in which we live.

My artwork is stylistically classified as expressive or non-objective, directly shaping my creative practice and daily activities while working in the Park. I chose morning and afternoons for hiking, exploring and gathering my impressions of the Park’s dramatic and awe-inspiring geological formations.

Especially exciting to me were two distinctive hikes: one being the climb to “Angels Landing” on Easter Sunday and the other was a seven-hour hike just outside the canyon into the “Zion Wilderness” or Painted Desert. During this particular hike I had absolutely no human encounters, I didn’t see or hear others while in the desert. This meditative and isolated experience enabled me to gain focus with single-mindedness, resulting in numerous nights of art making. It was during one of these nights that I painted the Great White Throne. Although the vantage point in the painting is from inside the canyon it was my experience on the outer side that generated the mark making in this image. I was at ease with the environment and somehow had become a conduit between the environment and the artwork. At this point in my residency the artwork commanded its own creation, and this included Great White Throne.

The work of an artist made public can give explanation to our emotions, eventually becoming a way for reaching beyond cultural boundaries and facilitating a collective identity in our shared human experience. Art is a sensuous object, which often gives expression to our interior mindscapes, privately and/or collectively. My hope is that my artwork creates concern for preserving our relationship with the natural realm, as well as helping to develop interest in our environmental and/or cultural history.
Water dripping down colorful rock.
"Painted Rock," Chuck Kimmerle, Photograph, October 2011

NPS Photo

A sculpture on a tabletop resembles the topographic lines of a red mountain.
"Unknown," David Purcell, Sculpture, February 2011

NPS Photo

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Last updated: March 17, 2019

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