Virtual Exhibitions - 2020

Michael Dixon

The More Things Change, the More They Stay the Same

July 17 - October 30, 2020

Michael Dixon is an artist working primarily with oil paint and was born in San Diego, California. He received his MFA from the University of Colorado at Boulder in painting, and a BFA from Arizona State University in painting and drawing. Dixon is currently a Full Professor of Art at Albion College.

Artist Statement

As a bi-racial American, I have often felt out of place, excluded, and alone in majority white spaces. In black spaces, I have also felt different. What I have experienced is that I do not neatly fit into white culture or black culture but rather rest in the middle. I have conceptualized this unique “in between” space based upon my experiences and the conversations I have had with other bi-racial people over the years. Exploring this “in between” space has been the major focus of my creative work. My newest body of work is titled, "The More Things Change the More They Stay the Same."

These paintings are my response toward the brutal police killings of unarmed black men, women, and children across America. There has been national media coverage from Trayvon Martin (2012) and Eric Garner (2014) to Tamir Rice (2014) and Michael Brown (2014). The deceased victim’s range in age from twelve to fifty years old. The killings have continued. I am interested in the value of black bodies in contemporary America, which has a long history of violence against its black population through slavery, Jim Crow, and mass incarceration. My aim is to locate myself in this discussion as a bi-racial black man who has been both the victim of racism and “passed” for white because of my light skin.

I use self-portraiture and props to insert myself into a narrative structure. The white towel, the flag, the masks, the black dolls are fluid metaphors in this story. The towel could be the dominance of the white majority but also turns into a head coving in the painting Raghead and could reference Islamophobia in the current political climate. An additional American racial and cultural intolerance. These dual meanings allow for multiple interpretations. One of the black dolls used is a Sambo type doll that was made for white children to play with decades ago. It is smiling, happy, and broken. This antique continues to serve as a reminder for me of the work we have to do in this country (and beyond) to demand social justice, equal rights, and protection under the law.

Many of the titles for the paintings are snippets from famous speeches in the past and current books on black political life. The speeches are from people like Frederick Douglass, W.E.B. DuBois, MLK, and Malcolm X. While reading these speeches it became shockingly clear to me that many of the injustices that are faced today in black and brown spaces were challenges that past communities of color also faced. The speeches are as relevant today as they were fifty or one-hundred years ago when they were given. It is my belief that the more things change the more they stay the same.

Meet the Artist: Michael Dixon

FRIDAY, AUGUST 28, 2020 AT 6 PM – 7:45 PM
Online Event:

Step into Naropa's Virtual Gallery to view "The More Things Change, the More They Stay the Same" and listen to the artist discuss his experiences that have created this incredible body of work. 

Michael Dixon has been the recipient of numerous awards and grants including a Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant, Joan Mitchell Foundation Emergency Grant, Puffin Foundation Grant, Blanchard Fellowship, and Phi Beta Kappa Scholar of the Year Award. Dixon has received numerous artist residencies including the Sharpe-Walentas Studio Program, Yaddo, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and the Joan Mitchell Center.

His work has been shown both nationally and internationally at museums, universities, art centers, alternative spaces, and galleries. Dixon explores the personal, societal, and aesthetic struggles of belonging to both "white" and "black" racial and cultural identities, yet simultaneously belonging fully to neither. The works of artists such as Robert Colescott, Beverly McIver, Michael Ray Charles, Glenn Ligon, and Kerry James Marshall have informed his work. 


VIRTUAL Visual Art Graduate Exhibition:


Opening - Live on Zoom
May 8, 2020  from 5:00-7:00 PM Mountain Time
(US and Canada)

Welcome to the 2020 Graduating Seniors’ Exhibition at Naropa University!  We are delighted that you are here for the Naropa's first virtual exhibit. The artists Remi Crist; Elian Israely; Serra Kizar and Swechhya Rajbhandari have met the challenge of sharing their art on-line. This virtual exhibit titled, PREVAIL, shows their extraordinary talent and creativity, in a time of extreme adaptation. Congratulations Graduates!
Please navigate through the space here as though you are walking through the gallery and you are invited leave comments. Thank you for visiting!
Sue Hammond West, MFA
Professor, Visual Arts

Elian Israeli is a print designer from Tel Aviv, currently based in Colorado, USA. Elian believes in the power of textiles and in their ability to tell a story. Elian creates contemporary prints by using biomorphic shapes, joyful colors and movement. Elian also puts an emphasis the importance of sustainability in her prints and uses digital printing as her technique. All of her prints are made in the USA.”

Remi Arielle is a watercolor artist who’s current body of work features figurative paintings that combine the concept of memory with visual recollection. Remi uses the transparency of watercolors to layer eyes, noses, lips, and hands to not only echo moments in time, but to resemble the vague conditions in which she remembers them."

Serra Kizar is a ceramic artist creating timeless, yet undeniably present forms. Her work is as earthen as it is elegant, rich in personal and collective history. Kizar's most recent body of work utilizes stoneware clay, fired to mid temperature, in order to create a unique raw, but controlled texture.”

Swechhya Rajbhandari is an artist from Kathmandu, Nepal currently living in the U.S. Her art spans the genres of installation, painting, digital art and sculpture. She is also a student of Psychology and her studies in the field of Somatic and Transpersonal Psychology largely inform and influence her artistic inquiries. Her current work is a collection of paintings that explore the form and formlessness of bodies.”

The Cube

Nalanda Campus // 6287 Arapahoe Ave., Boulder, CO 80302
Hours: M-F: 10:00am - 5:00pm during the fall and spring semesters or call 303-245-4637 for appointment

Marshall Maude

March 6 - April 30, 2020

Marshall Maude is a ceramic artist and Associate Professor of Ceramics at the University of Kansas. He has exhibited his work in solo and group shows nationally and in China, Denmark, Korea, and New Zealand. Marshall has been an artist-in-residence at the Sanbao Ceramic Art Institute in Jingdezhen, China, and at Guldagergaard – International Ceramic Research Center in Denmark. His most recent solo exhibitions include the Leedy-Voulkos Art Center ‘16, NAU Museum of Art ‘17,  Lanning Gallery ’18, and the James May Gallery ’19.

I believe the most fundamental questions, those of origin and finality that humanity asks itself are unanswerable, yet this inquiry is central to every aspect of our lives. It is the quest to answer what remains unanswerable. With every discovery, new questions arise and the mysterious expands.
Clay, which is weathered and decomposed rock, is an amorphous material that invites the exploration of origin and finality. Using this material and traditional ceramic technologies, practices, and objects as constants, I delve into a direct, visceral relationship with firing process, construction, and basic forms such as the slab and the vessel to re-contextualize them.
Some constants in my work are the drive to examine paradox, a passion for the wood-fired surface, a love for the spontaneity of gesture, a subversive humor and the constant forward momentum of striving to push the clay to the edge of impossibility where it may collapse, implode, crumble, or find an inexplicable rest.
Connections to the work of past makers, such as the amphoras of nameless Greek workmen or the tea bowls of Japanese masters, the blue-and-white paintings of Chinese Ming Dynasty decorators or the drawings of the Anasazi potters signify a continuum and an infinite timeline. I contrast ceramic history and processes with new technologies and ideas, not to challenge but to embrace. A reincarnation of concept, image, pattern, and form reinforce my intention to look again, as inquiry without answer.

The Lincoln Gallery

Arapahoe Campus // 2130 Arapahoe Ave., Boulder, CO 80302 
Hours: M-F 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. year-round.


December 6, 2019 - August 9, 2020

My life and artwork revolve around my own personal experience. I am a painter, sculptor, and multimedia artist. I use energy, emotion, and a physicality in creating my artwork. I usually start out with a vague idea about the emotional impact I want the piece to have, but I rarely have any thought out plan of what the finished piece will look like. I let my intuition, body movement, and emotional state guide the piece out of my mind and onto the canvas or drawing surface. I reserve all judgment until the final stages of the piece.

I have a BFA from Texas Tech University, and a Masters Degree from The University of Denver. For the last several years I have focused on what I call conceptual abstraction. It is based on color, action, and some personal and emotional “ideas” There is usually a background and foreground, vibrant and moody colors, and an occasional ghostly image or two. I want people to make up their own minds about exactly what these images are.


Past Exhibits

kevin sloan


January 17 - February 28, 2020

Shortly after the devastating fire in the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris, I noticed a recurring theme popping up on social media which posited the plea to “rebuild this Cathedral” with images of the threatened global natural environment exhorting us to also rebuild that Cathedral.  The correlation between the human-made sacred space and a natural one became unavoidably clear.

This work sees Cathedral as a natural sacred space serving a role similar to the built sacred spaces of cultures around the world.  In the regard, Cathedral is a place, a point of view, an aspiration.  It is sacred space, rare and mysterious.  Cathedral is garden, gravesite, birth-site  haven, ritual, purifying fire, holy waters, a theater of the seen and unseen.  It holds the memory of loss and the ceaseless experience of wonder, expansion and redemption.

All the works start with the idea of a dark, mysterious space within which appears a light filled, sometimes luminous subject.  I considered the experience of being in an actual medieval cathedral or in a deep forest where there are spaces of darkness surrounding a special statue, a light filled spot in a meadow which suddenly create a sense of wonder, rarity and awe.  This work aspires to that.

Kevin Sloan is a Denver based painter working primarily with acrylic on canvas and occasionally drawings and paintings on paper and recently, ceramic sculpture. Growing up in Des Moines, Iowa his early interest in art was nurtured by student classes at the Des Moines Art Center and in particular by their Artist in Residence, Frank Limone.  It was clear upon high school graduation he would continue to study art in college.  

He received a BFA in Painting from Tyler School of Art where he studied with Stephen Greene and Stanley Whitney. He continued his formal education at the University of Arizona studying with James G. Davis, where he received an MFA in Painting in 1984. His restlessness and love of travel has led him to live and work in a wide variety of cities across the United States including San Francisco, New York City, New Orleans, Key West, FL and Santa Fe, NM.  All these locales have had a lasting impact on his practice.

His work is ongoing inquiry into whether a painting can hold the qualities of wonder and awe amid the mundane and overlooked. This duality is reflective of our contemporary condition, one marked by dislocation and loss in the midst of the overwhelming and spectacular.

The Nalanda Gallery

Kelly Duffield

January 17 - February 28, 2020

"I first came across Kelly’s work as a recommendation by a friend to visit her website.  Floating children with flower heads, normal environments with couches and lawns that are filled with uncharacteristic objects, and relationships to scale that are unworldly, but somehow fit the scene -- all of this and more engaged my memories of being a child bursting with imagination. 

House, home and family are interpreted as having mysterious powers… yet there is a sublime interaction between the characters that makes everything seem ordinary.  My impression of these environments with children standing on houses and objects flying around their butterfly heads, is that Kelly has created “today’s nuclear family”.  Her whimsical collages push the boundaries of perception of what is considered as a typical household. 

I am so honored that Kelly agreed to exhibit her body of work at Naropa University Art Galleries. Her skill and technique is exquisite as she creates a mosaic of rooms for us to view and step into.  Dream state or reality – that is for us as individuals to decide."

Charmain Schuh, Curator of Naropa University Art Galleries

Kelly Duffield’s paintings contain collage-driven scenes that are often strange, surreal and sufficiently ambiguous to evoke the viewer’s imagined or projected meanings. The imagery emerges from a process of appropriation, contemplation and imagination and is charged with psychological and symbolic import. Allowing found images to influence the narrative brings Duffield’s subconscious thoughts to the work and results in combining imagery in unexpected ways to convey unspoken thoughts and feelings. She often uses animals to represent different aspects of human traits, sensibilities and desires. She also uses white kitchen-string (more typically used for tying up meat before cooking), symbolizing the complexities of womanhood.

Lounge Gallery  

Nalanda Campus // 6287 Arapahoe Ave., Boulder, CO 80302
Hours: M-F: 10:00am - 5:00pm during the fall and spring semesters or call 303-245-4637 for appointment

Natalee Marquez

Your Body Knows the Truth

January 17 - January 31, 2020

I use mixed media to capture how flesh exists beyond the bounds of skin. I depict the hoest confrontation of how truth lives in my body. Gnarled and  visceral.