A graduate of Barnard College, Columbia University with a B.A. in Anthropology, Kathleen Hurley Liao has absorbed and been inspired by the art of many cultures. Geometric shapes, bright colors, and symbolic references can be found in her art. In both figurative and abstract work, Ms. Liao expresses sensations of consciousness and dream fragments through the universal languages of color and movement. The harmonies, dissonances, and resolutions of music, particularly those found in jazz, influence her work. Guided by an automatism, she has created a repertoire of mixed media pieces in motion.
As an artist, I intuitively record the human emotional fog of today by delving into urgent questions facing us at this moment in history. Physically, my work brings together a variety of materials through investigation and experimentation. A range of media and techniques is conjoined in photographs, paintings, sculptures and installations. Philosophically, I explore the emotional disposition of today’s society. The unsettled fragmentation in contemporary life, the whirl of global communications, the political dynamics and the discrepancies over gender and religion inform my choices of repurposed objects, materials, costumes and props.
The work investigates belief systems embedded with hypocrisy, distortions and misplaced meanings reflected in our current times. Past accepted power stances provoke, challenge and confuse the present, forcing a myriad of searches for harmony and truth.
Diversity in media and materials is integral to Donna Payton’s creative process.
Born in St. Louis, MO, Payton received her MFA from Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles, California in sculpture and painting. Payton creates high relief collages as well as installations combining recycled objects, natural materials and constructed sculptures. She also makes photographs using the human form as a sculptural base for parts of her disassembled sculptural constructs.
Among the awards in her career are a New Jersey Print and Paper Grant from the Brodsky Center at Rutgers University and a collage award from The National Collage Society at the Berman Museum Show celebrating 100 years of collage’s recognition as an art form. She has exhibited in galleries and museums in California, Florida, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Washington, D.C. and New Zealand. Payton’s work is in private and corporate collections, including Southeastern Banks, Citibank of Florida, Cleveland Clinic in Florida, Novo Nordisk, Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, AtlantiCare New Jersey, New Jersey State Museum, Jersey City Museum, Zimmerli Art Museum, New Jersey State Council on the Arts and Hunterdon Museum of Art.
Payton has curated international and local exhibitions. She has taught painting, drawing, 2D and 3D design classes at Brookdale Community College, Ocean County College and high schools in the Midwest. Payton is currently teaching at the Arts Council of Princeton. The artist works in many media approaching art making in a concept-driven manner in her central New Jersey studio.
Visit Donna’s website: www.donnapayton.com