The latest edition of Big Island Chronicle is circulating now. The featured artist this month is Ethel Mann. Following is her artist statement:
“As a painter, discoveries during the creative process are paramount. I allow each image its own voice.
A work may be in progress for many months, or may announce its arrival very immediately.
My studio on Enoka Place, in Papaikou, Hawai’i, overlooks a lush botanical rainforest, which also descends steeply, trailing immediately to river swimming and rushing waterfalls. The natural environment of the Big Island of Hawai’i has provided daily inspiration since our arrival here in July of 2009. Since then I have developed an avid interest in photography, and have entered photographs, as well as paintings, regularly, at local juried competitions.
I have always enjoyed the creative process in all the areas of my world, from raising a family, to directing an art center for adults with disabilities; from devoting 19 years to primary elementary education, to standing in my studio with a painting speaking its own language to me.
I was born in Buffalo, New York, in 1950, and headed west, with my family, to San Jose, California at the age of 12. Immediately after high school, I married Raymond Todd, my sweet husband of 46 years. After raising our two sons to puberty, I returned to the University of California, in Berkeley. There I studied for dual bachelor’s degrees in Practice of Art, and Psychology (awarded1986) I graduated with Honors and was granted a California State Fellowship in the Arts, in order to pay my tuition to graduate school, in Painting. My MFA Exhibition was a lively event held at the Berkeley Museum of Art, in 1989. During my graduate years I was awarded the Eisner Prize, the university’s highest award in the arts, given once a year. I received the Eisner Prize in both of my graduate years, 1987 and 1988.
I have always maintained an exciting and active studio, despite the fact that I have worked full time as a credentialed elementary teacher since 1994. I have now retired, but still maintain a very active teaching career, as a substitute classroom teacher, at Kea’au, Elementary School.
My dear friend, artist Karen Mortensen, and I, have mounted two very significant two-woman shows, at the Hawai’i Museum of Contemporary Art, ‘KINDRED SPIRITS’ 2012, and ‘KINDRED SPIRITS 11’ 2014. I so enjoy our inspiring Hawaiian lifestyle, and the energetic, welcoming art community here in which I am blessed to participate.”