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Art & Life with Jeannie Motherwell

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jeannie Motherwell.

Jeannie, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
I was born and raised in New York City and inherited a love of painting from my father, Robert Motherwell, and stepmother, Helen Frankenthaler, two pillars of mid-century abstraction. I studied painting at Bard College and the Art Students League in New York. Continuing with my art after college, I became active in arts education at the Bruce Museum in Greenwich, CT, until relocating to Cambridge, MA in 1998 where I worked at Boston University for the graduate program in Arts Administration until 2015. I served on the Cambridge Arts Council Pubic Art Commission from 2004 – 2007 and I am currently on the Advisory Board for North Cambridge Arts (NoCa) and Joy Street Artists Open Studios in Somerville, MA. My work has been exhibited in public and private collections throughout the US and abroad.

My studio is in Somerville, MA. I am represented by AMP Gallery in Provincetown, MA, M Fine Arts Galerie in Palm Beach, FL, and Rafius Fane Gallery in Boston, MA.

Can you give our readers some background on your art?
I am amazed by the images and mysteries of the oceans and skies in changing weather, Hubble-type images of the universe, and my own physicality during the painting process. It has inspired my recent body of work for many years. My paintings, which are quite abstract, have an intimacy to the space in them but also an immensity. The process I use and the mere physicality of it help me explore spatial complexities that yield marvelous surprises. These ‘surprises’ often carry me in directions I cannot anticipate. I like to think of my paintings as an ‘event’ or an ‘occurrence’; that is, an action that emerges in the here and now — where the subject matter symbolizes the images and mysteries of creation.

Do you think conditions are generally improving for artists? What more can cities and communities do to improve conditions for artists?
I would like to see more affordable studio space available to artists, and more of them. When I finally found my space at Joy Street in Somerville almost 4 years ago, I was first placed on a waiting list. More and more artists are moving farther out of the city because it is more affordable and the spaces are generally larger. Since I paint large paintings, space is critical for me.

Originally from New York City, I find the arts in the Boston area vibrant and engaging. I am very lucky to be in a building that has more than 65 studios giving me a built-in support network of diverse artists and artisans as well as a community.

What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
Last fall I had a major solo show of 17 large paintings at Rafius Fane Gallery in SoWa Boston. Currently my work is on exhibit at M Fine Arts Galerie in Palm Beach, Florida. In April, the Rochester Museum of Fine Arts in New Hampshire will be exhibiting my paintings April 7 – June 2, with an opening reception April 7. In July I will have a show at AMP Gallery in Provincetown, MA, July 27 – August 8. The opening is July 27 from 6-9pm. Details of these events may be found here:

Contact Info:

  • Website:
  • Phone: 671-216-1525
  • Email:
  • Instagram: jmotherwell
  • Facebook: Jeannie Motherwell Art
  • Twitter: JmothMotherwell

Image Credit:
Jerry Russo

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