Pamela J. Marks
Associate Professor of Art
Joined Connecticut College: 1991
On sabbatical Fall 2014
BFA, Painting and Drawing, University of Illinois, M.F.A., University of Arizona
"Developing a dialogue with the student, the work, and myself is a collaboration of sorts. It fosters a rigorous working atmosphere for creative investigations that has a unique energy. Teaching is not static and is never ever dull. It is always individualized and remains a new and exciting process with each student. Teaching students 'to see,' to think critically and to find their authentic voice is most rewarding," comments Professor Marks on her role as a teacher.
She teaches courses in foundations, color studies, drawing and painting.
Pamela Marks has been a visiting critic at Yale University School of Art and has taught at the Pont-Aven School of Contemporary Art in France. "The opportunities to discuss and exchange ideas with faculty from other institutions has greatly expanded and enriched my approach to teaching. I am more informed as a teacher and, therefore, better prepared to contribute to the arts curriculum at Connecticut College," comments Marks. She is an advocate of cross-disciplinary learning and has participated in the Sherman Fairchild Foundation Grant Program both as a teacher and as a co-director of the program.
Her artworks have been exhibited in France, Scotland, Dominican Republic, the Netherlands, Japan, and Greece. In addition, her work has been exhibited in numerous exhibitions across the United States. Her paintings can be found in a number of collections including The Tucson Museum of Art, IBM, Florence Griswold Museum, Benziger Winery, Pabst Brewing Corporation, and the Sangre de Cristo Art Center. Marks was awarded an honorarium and purchase prize for her multi-paneled artwork, “Healing,” that is on permanent display at the University of Arizona Health Sciences Library in Tucson.
In June 2013 Marks was awarded an Exploratory Residency from the Golden Foundation where she expanded her studio practice while being assisted by paint technicians at the Golden Artist Color Laboratories. She has also received a Visual Artist Fellowship Grant from the Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism in 2008 and a fellowship at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts in 2007. She was a participant in the Visiting Artist and Scholar Program at the American Academy in Rome in 2006 and has also been an artist-in-residence at the MacDowell Colony, Altos de Chavon in the Dominican Republic and in Auvillar, France.
As an artist examining natural form and abstract visual language is a continual pursuit for Marks. The connections traverse geographical boundaries and time. Embracing pattern in the work has evolved from investigating relationships between pattern and abstraction from modernism to current influences of digital technology on abstract painting. The idea that nature is in a constant state of flux and dissolution is central to the work.
Commenting on Marks’ paintings, poet and writer Ravi Shankar states:
"The camouflage on US and British ships, intricate webs of geometric shapes in contrasting colors, was not meant to blend in, but to stand out, confuse rather than conceal. Marks' dazzle paintings appropriate this technique, superimposing the organic abstractions of cellular shapes on a scaffolding of repeating quincunxes, the sacred double cross. The collision of these divergent carriers of meaning, because rendered in watercolor, is not vehement or abrupt, but softened into a mandala of merging geometry. . . Such variegated amoebas, set to a recognizable measure and time signature, offer a subtle commentary on a society which co-opts its military end (combat pants and flak jackets ) as must-have fashion accessories. In Marks' explorations, the flattened gradations of color gesture towards not only the animal prints early camouflage was based on, but also to the roots of Cubism and art nouveau." - Ravi Shankar, The Boston Globe, 2007, The Exhibitionist: Inside. Backstage. Behind the scene