Artist StatementI typically have several bodies of work in progress at the same time. The images I am placing here are from a project based upon responding to details of microscopic imagery from the work of with Johns Hopkins biologist Dr. Jocelyne DiRuggiero. She and her team are deeply involved with studying a place of extreme daily temperature changes in the Atacama Desert, Chile. By studying the biology of rock interiors, the team studies the algae that survives deep within, against all odds. Metaphorical thoughts regarding concealed and revealed macro/micro forms accompany my drawing and painting responses to the teams’ microscopic fragments of the algae and other material that survives, against all odds. Invisible organic matter takes hold and grows if circumstances become right. Like seeds and bulbs in our own environments that reveal their dormant existence when the weather warms and annual rains resume, or internal cellular activity in humans becomes manifest as if by surprise interests me. With each new abstract artwork I create in this series I attempt to reach further from the source material, bringing in more of my own content to meld with that of the scientists.
Janet Maher earned M.F.A. and M.A. degrees from the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, and a B.S. degree in Art Education from Southern Connecticut State College (now University), New Haven. She works in many disciplines and has taught a wide range of courses since 1997 at Loyola University Maryland, Baltimore, where she is a tenured associate professor and directs the Studio Arts program. Her prints, drawings, artist books, collages, assemblages and digital images are in many private and public collections. Her work has been shown in several states through national juried competitions and other opportunities. She is also the author of two scholarly books: From the Old Sod to the Naugatuck Valley (2012, Apprentice House, Baltimore, MD) and Waterbury Irish (2015, History Press).