MSAC Individual Artist Award (IAA)Prior to 2012
Artist StatementI’m driven to make sense of the vagaries and challenges of being a human being. Using humor and metaphor, I visually describe large ideas that resonate for me on a personal level. My most recent solo exhibition, “Mad As Hell”, was an installation at Stevenson University, here in Baltimore. Inspired by the METOO movement and current energy around women’s rights, I looked at the period of time between the Hill/Thomas and Ford/Kavanaugh hearings. What, if anything, has changed since then? More women are speaking up. Is it making a difference? Where is our power and how can we use it to influence? In my next body of work I’ll be asking why we’re so mad. In particular I’ll identify and investigate ways in which every day encounters shape who we become. There’s a constant throb of subliminal messages directed at girls and women. Song lyrics, visual images, and what we’re told on a daily basis, to name just a few. As a member of the METOO movement I identify with my “Silenced Women”, muted by a thick coating of glaze, and with the kinds of encounters I’ve visualized in “Architectural Details”. When I created the princess and the wolf I was inspired by a quote from Simone de Beauvoir’s “The Second Sex”; “She sees her life too often as a silly fairy tale”. I’ve started creating a book. Like the installations, I see it as another format in which a large concept can be examined by looking at its parts. For now, the title is: “(For) Girls Becoming Women; everyday encounters and their implications”. I’m envisioning a compendium of image and text. I’ll consider anecdotes from my reading: individuals’ stories, historical information, and fiction. Materials and techniques will vary accordingly.
Halton grew up in a family of artists, including her maternal grandparents and mother. She remembers her early art-making as both a refuge and a way to make sense of the emotional vagaries of family life. During Halton’s years as an undergraduate she encountered the work of Jean Dubuffet. He was a seminal discovery for her, for his ability not only to access the dark side of inner life but also show us the humor in it.
From the beginning the role of figures was central, ranging from cartoon-‐like, graphic images to more gestural forms. It is the pictorial space between the figures and forms that has continually evolved in Halton’s prints, drawings, and paintings.
Her recent body of work displays a growing vocabulary of mark-‐making, a refinement of technique and a deepening psychological engagement. In 2013 a family tragedy precipitated her beginning to use clay. The physicality of the material allowed Halton to explore her emotions while also opening up to new ways of looking at the larger social issues brought up by the tragic event.
She has shown extensively throughout the U.S. Venues include the Orange County Museum of Art, Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore Clayworks, OK Harris in New York, Gallery K in Washington D.C., Malton Gallery in Cleveland, and the Creative Alliance in Baltimore, and the McLean Project for the Arts in Virginia. Her work has been included in numerous private and public collections.
She was recently awarded the A.I.R. Vallauris in France, and a solo exhibition at Stevenson University.