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Marcia Söderman, MFA

mSolArts - Painting in Oil, Water, and Digital Media

Marcia Soderman, MFA

mSolArts - Painting in Oil, Water and Digital Media and Installation


The branching of trees, synapses firing, the rhythm of water lapping on the shore, the constant beating of the human heart.  It all speaks of life.  Pattern, repetition, and change.  The microscopic and macroscopic echo each other remarkably in movement and form, in the gathering of force and the dissolution of form, and in the replication of these processes over and over again.  The act of drawing, painting--mark-making--is a process imitative of life.


As an artist I am interested in the interiority of sensate experiences, the inner workings of the human mind and perception, not in literal representation.  Living forms are so by virtue of constant movement and change.  None of us experiences the natural world the same way, influenced by our sensory filters.  Having been born, raised on the Atlantic coast, water is a visual metaphor for me for human thought/perception, as well as human interaction with environment, and humanity’s hand in destruction. 

The elements are visual metaphors for states of mind and emotion, vestiges of the natural world. Water Distillations symbolize solace, mediation and healing.  Solar and Fire Distillations stand for inner spirit, passion, anger and determination.

In 2015 I began using digital media based on my paintings, as in the  2016 "Fire Next Time:  Percentages" series, or in installations incorporating my paintings, such as "...dissolve...diffuse...transform...transcend...all and humanity." See the Digital Media Gallery.

These works are deceptive.  Their apparent formal `beauty’ belies their conceptual opposites.  Passages that seem compelling become, upon closer inspection, raw, repellant. The shimmering water of the Gulf Coast only partially covers the crude, muddy scratching beneath the surface of the Deepwater BP oil spill.  The personal anguish of “Les cauchemars” is inexorably linked to the nightmares of war, economic collapse, and environmental destruction, yet is also the "fire-in-the-belly," the will to keep fighting for positive change and refusal to give up hope.  Throughout all this, there is the beauty, the richness, the joy of life to sustain us.  This is what art evokes for me.   January 2018.


Art making, art education, art history, and women in art have been the exclusive focus of my 30-year career.  My training as a visual artist (MFA, 2002) and as an art historian (MA, PhD., 1988, 2000) work synergistically for me, with an inter-disciplinary approach incorporated into my teaching and mentoring. 

A professional painter exhibiting on a regular basis, WARM Mentor since 2007, Women's Caucus for Art member and exhibitor, curator/organizer of seven exhibitions, University of Minnesota and Hamline University adjunct faculty, and former museum educator, I have thirty years of experience as a college instructor of painting and drawing, modern and contemporary art history, and women in art.  I have also served as an artist-in-residence in more than twenty schools in St. Paul, MN.  As a result, I have had the joy of sharing my love of art with all age groups. 

Highlights of my career include work selected for the 2016 WCA/Katherine E. Nash Gallery "Women and Money" Exhibition and Project; selection by famous writer/critic Lucy Lippard, who juried the on-going travel exhibition, Women and Water Rights:  Rivers of Regeneration (2009-2012); work appearing in the juried publications, Studio Visit, 2010, and International Contemporary Artists, 2011; and, by invitation, the cover and featured artist, of Exploring TOSCA, a Twin Cities arts magazine, in the Summer issue 2011, and Winter issue 2014.

View Marcia's full resumé here

All content © Marcia Söderman