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Art & Life with Pam Douglas

Today we’d like to introduce you to Pam Douglas.

Pam, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
I grew up in New York City, a child riding the damp subway and trudging to school through the freezing slush without a winter coat. When the other children lined up with money to buy lunch, I hid on the floor of the bathroom with my strawberry yogurt and wrote poems to avoid thinking about the hot soup out there. My best days were sneaking under the subway turnstile to spend hours staring at the paintings in the Museum of Modern Art that was always clean and dry, where I could find packages of ketchup in their café.

I am still that child. When I see desperate families in the news these days my response is personal.

Owning art supplies would have been unthinkable for me as a child, but I earned a full scholarship to college where I soon moved into the art studio. “Artists don’t make a living” I was warned so I’d better get a “real job.” Well, I was always a writer too and made my way to Los Angeles where everything would be possible. A 20-year career writing television drama and teaching it as a professor at the USC School of Cinematic Arts followed. Through it all I never stopped painting, and I never stopped being the child aware that my talents were all I could rely on.

Can you give our readers some background on your art?
After decades of 2-d painting, my work came off the wall this year in a visceral response to current political forces.

Now IDOL is a force of nature that holds out her oversized hands. BIONIC ANGEL — part nature and part metal – shows a winged woman echoing a crucifixions pose. PILGRIMMAGE commemorates the Women’s Marches with bronzed shoes on rugged bark.

In previous work, IN A DARK TIME THE MIND BEGINS TO SEE is a scream of women on layers of transparent plexiglass. THE PULSE OF OUR TIME and LETTING GO follow EKG rhythms, as our hearts clench.

Other work – MESSAGE FROM THE DEEP and WHICH FUTURE DO YOU SEE comment on environmental assault.

Each series risks an experimental approach. I explore both the substrate: rice paper, silk, canvas, wood, plastics, mirrors — and the tools: inks, stains, paint, charcoal, wire, string, machine parts. From abstract to figurative, and from painting to assemblage and sculpture, the works question what is real while commenting on our current time.

Do you think conditions are generally improving for artists? What more can cities and communities do to improve conditions for artists?
Children wrenched from their mother’s arms compelled me to my newest work STAY WITH ME. I tried to express optimism in this series, but the horror at the border hurts too much. I didn’t want to illustrate issues or use my art as one more in a chorus of complaint. So most of this series reaches beyond this moment. But we are in a startling time. We’ve heard the cries of imprisoned children, and these works express a profound urge to avow our power and a refusal to be repressed.

What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
I talk about the deeper meanings of my work in my blog. Please visit: http://pamdouglasart.com/art-in-progress/

I’m excited about my upcoming solo show “Artifacts of Grace” at TAG Gallery, 5458 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles 90036.

The show runs Aug. 28 through Sept. 22
Opening Reception: Sat., Sept. 1 from 6 to 9 PM
Artists Panel: Sat., Sept. 15 at 3 PM
String Quartet with Raya Yarbrough: Friday, Sept. 21 at 7 PM

Contact Info:

  • Address: 3153 Purdue Ave, Los Angeles CA 90066
  • Website: PamDouglasArt.com
  • Phone: 3103919010
  • Email: pamdouglaswords@aol.com
  • Instagram: pamdouglasart
  • Facebook: Pam Douglas Art

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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