The Search for Oneness: 50 Years of Spiritual Art


The Search for Oneness: Fifty Years of Spiritually Based Art by Jamie Downs
Artists and Makers 2, 12276 Wilkins Avenue Rockville, MD 20852
Office – 240-437-9573 Mobile – 240-481-5034
10AM – 4PM Tuesday-Friday Saturday 10AM – 4PM Sunday/Monday by Chance or Appointment

These paintings represent quite a bit of my history. Let me present them chronologically:
The earliest paintings in the retrospective, “The Search for Oneness: 50 Years of Spiritually Based Art” are from around 1969-1972. I was 19 to 22 years old, finishing art school and very intrigued by Abstract Expressionism and the Jungian Collective Unconscious. I made a commitment to this search and have continued it since. These are oil on canvas and 34 x 34.
Next is a large work from the same point in time, acrylic on canvas. This is one of three large paintings remaining from the early 1970’s. I only have room for one in this show. One that is missing here caused me to be banned, along with one other artist, by the presiding judge from the Monroe County, PA. Courthouse Gallery. The judge felt that this painting (which can be seen by appointment) was phallic. This was the beginning of his attack on the arts which ended with another artist and an ACLU court case which made the newspapers as far away as California and The Howard Stern Show in New York City. The gallery was closed.
In the 1980’s Liquitex started making iridescent acrylic paint. Helen Frankenthaller had a show at, I think, the Whitney Museum which featured these and was a big influence. I had a three person show with Susan Bradford and Nancy Hebard at Nancy Hebard’s Barking Dog Galleryand some of the iridescent paintings shown here were featured in this show. The two paintings in copper frames and the large painting on wood panel in the back of the gallery were from this same time but not in that particular show.
Also, at this time, I produced this installation. It started when a friend gave me a wooden framework for a crafts show exhibit. This served as the basis for the installation along with the found objects used for the floor piece. They were found on a friend’s property and may have come from a music camp on the adjacent property. First this work was shown at Shawnee Inn in Shawnee, Pennsylvania at an Arts Council and Crafts Guild juried show and fine art exhibit. After that it became an environment for a Marilyn Cooper, Tai Chi master’s meditations. Next it was the back drop for the stage at a teen night club in A Family of Artists Art Center where it oversaw hardcore, punk, ska, krishna rock …. concerts and finally a wedding. Now it has been reproduced here and next fall may be in the Wheaton Arts Parade.
The 1990’s were a particularly difficult time with the illness and death of both my parents at a fairly young age. At this time, I was a member of Art Space Galleryin Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania.One of my shows there was a two-person show with Sculptor and Musician, Maxwell Kofi Donkor, a friend and co-worker from Ghana. Maxwell and I called the show Ancestors and River Rocks, paying tribute to Ghanaian ancestor traditions and to my ancestors and their roots in Sullivan and Columbia Counties of Pennsylvania. The largest painting, approximately 8×10, on the long wall of the gallery, is one of the main works I had in that particular show and the one to its right is also from that series.
In the mid-1990’s the Art Center I had been directing for 10 years was defunded when the governor defunded Medicaid which was paying for 60 children, sent by psychiatrists, to attend our summer camps and after school programs. Separately funded was an arts alternative school for 8 children from three area school districts and general art center programs for the public. The Medicaid funding made it possible to keep the 10,000 square foot facility running so A Family of Artistswas forced to close. Distress over this situation and the fate of the children separated me for a time from the spiritual place from which the inspiration for my paintings came. In the early 2000’s after moving to DC, I turned to the writings of the 14thcentury mystic Meister Eckhart, translated by Matthew Fox, to try to find a path again. As a result, I did a Meister Eckhart Series, four of which are shown here.
Also, in the first decade of the 2000’s, I was teaching continuing education. The students in Clinton, MD wanted me to teach collage based, non-objective art techniques. That lead me to produce the two paintings to the left of the large Ancestor work.
In 2007 I was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer and had approximately a year and a half of chemo and clinical tests. At each treatment I did a healing painting. The painting on the back, right wall is based on one of these studies.
Newer work has been produced in this, my favorite, series of work in recent days. Most of these are smaller paintings and a few can be seen on the second floor of Artists and Makers 2in Gallery 209.
My studio is open by appointment. I hope you enjoy the exhibit.
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January 6, 2019 at 6:49 pm 1 comment

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November 1, 2018 at 1:01 pm Leave a comment

November Show at Gallery 209

This work will be in the November show at Gallery 209, Wilkins Ave., Rockville, in Artists and Makers 2, second floor. This month the open studios holiday open house means the festivities start as usual on first Friday but continue through Saturday and Sunday with A Holiday Show in the adjoining room yo the gallery. there will be lots of gift items. I’m getting mine ready:

I’ll have cards, pillows, coaster tiles and lots and lots of affordable limited edition prints.

Please come on any day you choose- or all of them. I’ll be there.

October 26, 2018 at 8:37 pm Leave a comment

This October at Gallery 209

Fall theme this month at Gallery 209 for me. Opening is First Friday, 6 to 9. Gallery 209 is at Artists and Makers 2 on Wilkins Ave. In Rockville, Maryland. Come to both. Artists and Makers 1 is a short distance away on Parklawn.

September 30, 2018 at 4:00 pm Leave a comment

36 Paintings at SVI Gallery

37 mixed media works will be on view at SVI’s gallery in Rockville for the next few months. The work represents four different series: Meister Eckhart, Floral Archetypes, Birds and Animals. The Opening will be announced. SVI is open by appointment at 1500 East Jefferson Street. Call 301-275-8681 to arrange a visit.

 

July 6, 2018 at 3:57 am Leave a comment

Annmarie Sculpture Garden through August

 

These two paintings will be at Annmarie Sculpture Garden in Southern Maryland until August 25. They are a part of the national juried show, “Birds of a Feather.” The show is exciting and I highly recommend it. The outdoor sculpture garden is quite amazing as well. Check it out.

July 6, 2018 at 3:40 am Leave a comment

In Gallery 209 for July

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Since July is when the local park, Kenilworth Garden, is glorious with Lotus and Lilies everywhere, I decided to put all waterlilies in Gallery 209 this month. The three paintings are 24 x 24, mm/canvas and the fourth is a digital painting. If you are in the DC area check out Kenilworth Gardens and check out Gallery 209 at Artists and Makers 2 on Wilkins Ave in Rockville.

July 5, 2018 at 7:58 pm Leave a comment

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