Born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, Mary Jane Volkmann studied art education at university before traveling in 1974 to southern Africa where she remained to live and work for 28 years. Her artistic career has included commissions as varied as art workshops, portraits of an African king, coin designs, seven issues of postage stamps (three of which have won world awards), book illustrations, greeting card designs, murals and paintings for private collectors. A commissioned book, “Glimpses of Namibian Life: A Moment in Time” consisting of 30 of her paintings depicting life in Namibia among the native peoples of the country and authored by her was published in 1997. Active in the community, Mary Jane co-founded an educational and charitable trust in northern Namibia with a regional center for the development and marketing of Namibian arts. She has continued painting and teaching art workshops after relocating with her family to Gainesville, Florida, in 2002. A signature member of Plein Air Florida, she takes part in selected plein air events, and in 2006 was selected as Artist in Residence, Sapelo Island, for the Georgia State Parks. Mary Jane’s paintings have been on display at museums and private galleries overseas and in the USA and can be found in private and corporate collections.
Plein air painting connects me directly with the world around me, affording me the opportunity to directly contemplate my chosen subject and imagine its story. Immersed in the playfully changing light, observing magical colors and rhythmic designs while listening to the voices of nature, it challenges me to translate a bit of the experience onto the canvas in front of me. As an artist and as a person I am captivated by the diverse sea of faces and lifestyles in our human family and I am humbled by the exquisite beauty of the natural world which supports us and is entrusted to our care. My paintings are my explorations, my questions, my meditations and my contemplations.
Exhibits: "From Africa to Alachua", Landscapes Art Studio, High Springs FL / "Paynes Prairie & Orange Lake", Landscapes Art Studio, High Springs FL / "Treasures" Landscapes Art Studio, High Springs FL / "Florida on My Mind", SunTrust Bank, Gainesville FL / "From There to Here", Oak Hall School Gallery, Gainesville FL / "Artists in the Garden", EPCOT Center, Lake Buena Vista FL / "Natural Curiosity", Florida Museum of Natural History, Gainesville FL / "Into the Blue", Paddiwhack Gallery, Gainesville FL / "Revealing the Land" Invitational, Octagon Arts Ctr, Clearwater FL / "A Painted History of Alachua County", Matheson Museum, Gainesville FL / "Evinston to Cross Creek" Invitational, Thomas Center, Gainesville FL / "Artists in the Garden", EPCOT, Lake Buena Vista FL / "The Forgotten Coast" Paintout, Port Saint Joe, FL / "The Nature of Art in High Springs" Invitational Paintout & Exhibit, High Springs Gallery, High Springs FL / "Big Paint-Big Wood", Ice House Gallery, McIntosh FL / "Evinston Reunion Invitational" Paintout, Evinston FL / "Spring in the Garden", Kanapaha Botanical Gardens, Gainesville FL / "Artists in the Garden", EPCOT, Lake Buena Vista FL / "Art 4 the Senses", Altrusa House, Gainesville FL / "Transformation & Collaboration", Melrose Bay Gallery, Melrose FL / "Namibia-The Smile of Africa", Florida Museum of Natural History, Gainesville FL / "Re-Presenting Reality", Cofrin Gallery, Gainesville FL / Crescent Beach Paintout, Crescent Beach FL / Wekiva Paintout, Apopka FL / EPCOT Paintout, Lake Buena Vista FL / Mar 17-Jun 26 "Creations of Tide & Time-The Barrier Islands", Florida Museum of Natural History, Gainesville FL / Apr 7-9 "A Brush with Nature" Paintout, Jacksonville FL / Apr 11-16 "Winter Pakr Invitational" Paintout, Winter Park FL
Residency: Nov '06 & Apr '07, Georgia Artist in Residence, Sapelo Islands GA
Workshops: "Acrylic Painting" demo & workshop, Ocala FL / "Plein Air" demo, Harn Museum of Art, Gainesville FL / "The Big Three: Color, Composition, Value", Micanopy FL / "Acrylic Painting en Plein Air", John C Campbell Folk School, Brasstown NC / "Plein Air Painting", Silver Springs State Park, Ocala FL /
"5 Ways to Approach Painting", McIntosh FL/ "Painting the World Around Us", John C Campbell Folk School, Brasstown NC / "Painting Celtic Symbols", John C Campbell Folk School, Brasstown NC / "Fall Plein Air Painting", McIntosh FL / "Launcing a Landscape", Orange Lake FL / "Plein Air Painting in Fall", John C Campbell Folk School, Brasstown NC / "Painting the World Around Us", John C Campbell Folk School, Brasstown NC / Apr 23-30 "You Always Wanted to Paint" Workshop, John C Campbell Folk School, Brasstown NC / Oct 16-22 "Acrylic Painting in Plein Air", John C Campbell Folk School, Brasstown NC
Associations: Plein Air Florida / Hogtown Plein Air Painters / International Society of Acrylic Painters / Landscape Artists International
Contact: Mary Jane Volkmann