Ana MacArthur is an artist who has explored over 3 decades of cross-pollination between her deep investigation of light with environmental concerns, scientific knowledge, and the possibility to educate towards transformation. Many of her projects have evolved from unique collaborations with scientists, deep research, and are manifest in trans-disciplinary methods and outcomes including installations, drawings, holograms, and works sited in non-traditional, non-gallery settings. Starting in 1983 she became one of the few early pioneers in dichromate holography with which she manifested many individual works and components for her installations, including exploration of other light based technology.
MacArthur has exhibited internationally and throughout the USA, including exhibitions in New York City, Austria, England, Scotland, and the United Arab Emirates. Her installations and works have been exhibited in numerous exhibitions, including Exit Art, New York City, PooL Art Fair, and Site Santa Fe, The Santa Fe Art Institute, The Museum of Fine Arts, The Center for Contemporary Arts, and Gerald Peters Gallery in Santa Fe, New Mexico, among others. Her artworks and archival documentation of her installations are in many private and public collections such as the MIT Museum, the Museum of Holography, New York City, The Museum of Fine Arts, Santa Fe, NM, University of Nottingham, England, The Intercommunications Center, Tokyo, Japan, and The Sharjah Arts Museum, United Arab Emirates.
She has given numerous lectures on her projects including Arts Catalyst, London, England, involving a panel of artists working with climate change, and ISEA 2012: Machine Wilderness, involving a proposed outdoor site project that would address ‘some form’ of alternatively generated energy. Numerous grants and awards have supported her work with several from the Shearwater Foundation as well as a Pilchuck Glass School Artist in Residence (PAiR), with which a hidden committee nominates one.
Art and Research Interests
Since 2000, her work has been more active in investigations in outdoor sites and diverse bioregions preoccupied by our looming environmental predicaments, concern for species loss, and its interdependence with climate change and ecosystem degradation. Her project in 2007 with the giant water lily in the Amazon Rainforest was a turning point in desire to communicate artistically with a broader participatory practice via exploring methodologies and ‘appropriate technologies’ that could environmentally expand the ‘educational’ possibilities to relevantly contribute to positive change. With a deeper investigation into the world of photobiology, there is a mutual search for a positive meme for participatory engagement in completion of the work. Her current research continues with many of these considerations in tow.