Just Say It
Dana Ellis was born in 1962 in Encino, southern California. The third of four children, she led a typical suburban middle class childhood bouncing between the not-yet-developed open spaces of Orange County and the nearby beach.
After earning her BFA from the University of California at Davis, she relocated to London, England. Inspired by the Indie music scene, Dana DJed on pirate radio, toured Europe as a band roadie, and sold hand painted clothing in the eclectic Camden Street Market. Never without a sketchbook, Dana honed her artistic eye drawing friends both onstage and off, painting when she had time. When one of her musician friends asked her to illustrate his stories about lying rats, lonely opossums, and a narcissistic snake, Dana fluidly combined animal heads on the human bodies she had been drawing for years. After four years of intense city life Ellis moved back to the States in search of a completely different experience. Eventually she followed a childhood friend high into the Sierra Nevada Mountains and stayed, building a creative life and a family.
Though profoundly inspired by the soul expanding wildness and wilderness around her, Ellis neither paints nor draws landscapes, instead choosing to further explore the animal-human hybrids that surfaced in London. This dialog between humans and nature continues in her recent paintings and drawings as well as in her ceramic sculptures and assembled pieces.
Though a 2015 wildfire destroyed Ellis’s home and art, she and her family re-built thus enabling her to continue a visual dialog with the wild and her relationship to it through art.
Every artist in the Mono Arts Council Gallery + Art Center is invited to show their art because they are either a resident of the Eastern Sierra or have strong ties to the community. We support both emerging and experienced artists in our space and 50% of all proceeds go directly to the artist while the other 50% goes to support arts education right here in Mono County.
11" x 16.5" Original piece, not matted and not framed. Prisma Colors, Gesso, Sharpie + Gel Pen on Recycled Cardboard.
Note from Artist: Community is a reciprocal relationship with whom and where we choose to place our roots. My community, my Tribe, is rooted in the wild.
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