Artist Dana Oldfather


Dana Oldfather is a painter who has exhibited nationally in galleries and museums including Library Street Collective, Detroit, Zg Gallery, Chicago, Kathryn Markel Fine Art, New York, and The Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown. She was awarded the William and Dorothy Yeck Award for Young Painters, two Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Awards, as well as residencies at the Vermont Studio Center and Zygote Press. Oldfather was twice featured in the New York Times, and published in the book The Art of Spray by Lori Zimmer of Art Nerd New York. Oldfather’s work was recently exhibited at art fairs in Houston, Miami, Palm Beach, Jersey City and New York, including Art on Paper. Her paintings are internationally collected privately and can be found in many public and corporate collections in the US including the Pizzuti Collection with The Joseph Editions, Eaton Corporation, MGM International, The Cleveland Clinic, and the prestigious Progressive Art Collection.  Dana Oldfather currently works and lives just outside Cleveland, Ohio, with her husband Randall and young son Arlo.


I celebrate paint and life with a focus on femininity and motherhood. In these scenes, fantasy and obligation charge and bind domestic environments giving memories new form. Restless bodies at play entwine and pile up in dreamy, hallucinogenic landscapes. Wet into wet oil marks tie the forms together as the figures’ clumsy, awkward limbs poke out of the pile attempting to assert autonomy. The figures are propped up by each other, but they imprison each other too. Dizzying banality teases out a bit of magic, but reminds us that happiness comes at a price. Airbrushed acrylic objects and symbols add information about mood, add formal noise, and blend space. Paint veils, drips, and splashes add tension and a supernatural aura as the paintings shudder with a pulsing, nervous energy. There is uncertainty in the scene. Objects bleed into and become one another as background objects are brought forward through space and foreground objects are pushed back. I use anxious mark making and warped perspective to mirror a rushing world distorted by apprehension. These paintings underscore the inherent emotional conflict of parenting young children, and the fragility of comfort and happiness in America today.