Dawn M. Ellis

Multidisciplinary artist

On Creation

Dawn's work spans genres and disciplines.  Current visual work manipulates various materials, including clay, paper, paint, photographic images, and natural and found materials. She works with these divergent materials in a variety of ways, ranging from traditional handbuilding techniques to the more contemporary dry transfer monoprinting process called Strappo

Dawn experiments with improvisation and creative response across visual and performance genres.  Nature, biology, and their interrelated symmetries inspire her.  At times, they illuminate light and dark aspects of humanity and society. Pieces celebrate texture, form, and color, exploring tone.

On the page, stage, in communities and in nature, Dawn uses word, text, sound, song, and movement to generate poetic moments that distill essence from the human experience.  Whether capturing an unseen grace, seeing nature through new eyes, mixing hope and fear, or finding clarity in complex issues, her pieces evoke personal and more universal journeys.

Photo: "Once Umbilical", Raku clay work by Dawn M. Ellis.

Crossing Divides

Crossing divides, the multiplicity of Dawn's background leads her to juxtapose varying influences.   Dark and light. Classical and current.  Human-made and natural.  She brings a frank, fresh voice to hidden, absent, and challenging topics.   With one foot in rural and another in urban America,  Dawn intently observes people, nature, and life across the U.S.. Her art gives dignity to the worlds we share and our places of respite.

As an artist-researcher, Dawn infuses creativity into analysis, education, and systemic thinking to help communities across the country improve their capacity to help people.

Photo: "Breathe", mixed media piece by Dawn M. Ellis.


Frog Hollow Awards Dawn Ellis Grant

Spring 2018, the board of directors of Frog Hollow, the U.S.'s first craft center, awarded Dawn Ellis an Equipment Grant that will help her develop new creative works in clay.  With this support, Dawn will enhance her Life Vessels series with pieces integrating both handbuilding and wheel throwing. 
Photo: Dawn Ellis and Frog Hollow Executive Director Rob Hunter pictured, as Dawn visits the downtown Burlington Frog Hollow gallery to accept the grant and thank the organization.

Work Underway

Visual Poetry Book of Resilience

Dawn Ellis and visual artist Gordon Sasaki began collaborating on a visual book of poems.  This book weaves together the story of a girl of color and a dandelion, as they emerge as radiant assets in spite of societal disregard.  Themes of sustainability and social justice intertwine.

 The work includes poetry and drawings by Dawn, illustrations by Gordon.  To support this independent artistic work through donations, distribution, resources, or hosting author talks or interactive workshops, donate at our Go Fund Me site <here> or contact Dawn by e-mail <here>.

Photo: "Dandelion Brick", photograph by Dawn M. Ellis.

With this upcoming book, we offer a positive beacon for individuals to ponder and families can read together.  It's a time when resilience of both people and planet is desperately needed.

~ Dawn Ellis
I am delighted we could do this!
~ Carol MacDonald, Vermont Printmaker
Board President, Frog Hollow on recent grant to Dawn Ellis