Bio + Artist Statement
How to see the world in which we live?
How to say it?
Can art have spiritual and political agency concurrently?
Can it have either, ever, at all?
How do we perceive / what do we perceive /what do we fail to perceive?
How to remain porous in a world obsessed with enclosure?
Document, artifact, dirge, trace: what is it I am making?
Daniela Naomi Molnar’s work asks how to live in the ecotone of now/here, on the brink of socioecological collapse/rebirth. She works across forms, melding painting, poetry, writing, curation, editing, site-specific intervention, activism, and teaching. Her mediums, therefore, are paint, paper, water, varied types of language, and varied forms of community engagement. Place is always one of her mediums. She uses these mediums to try to shape and nurture generative new ideas, ethics, and cultural change. Her work for the past several years has been focused on the complex, intersectional sociopolitical-cultural issues of climate justice and climate grief.
The materials that she uses are themselves bearers of meaning. She makes many of her paints from natural pigments that she gathers from urban and wild places, combining these pigments with rainwater, riverwater, oceanwater, and various types of binders, some of which are also foraged. When painting, she mixes these natural paints and inks with synthetic paints and inks. This not only creates fascinating and often unpredictable interactions, but also mimics the post-natural world in which we live, a world that is rich with contradiction, conflict, and unexpected beauty.
Her practice always incorporates wide-ranging research, regardless of medium or method: political ecology, biology, ecology, botany, various social sciences, environmental humanities, critical theory, literary theory, and lots of poetry all inform her work.
Part of her practice is to be resolutely non-competitive, non-expert, and committed to always changing.
Daniela is the founding Department Head of the Art + Ecology program and a full-time Associate Professor at the Pacific Northwest College of Art, where she has been teaching undergraduate and graduate students since 2007.
She is a founding member of the Board of Directors, a backcountry guide, and an all-around integral part of Signal Fire, providing opportunities for artists to learn about environmental justice by engaging with public wild lands.
She is founding Co-Editor of Leaf Litter, Signal Fire’s art and literary journal and Art Editor at The Bear Deluxe Magazine.
Her work has been shown nationally and has been recognized by grants from the Ford Family Foundation, the Regional Arts and Culture Council, and the Pacific Northwest College of Art. She was nominated as a finalist for the Creative Climate Awards in 2018. She has been awarded numerous residencies, including Caldera, Sitka Center, and The Spring Creek Project, North Street Collective, The Sable Project, Elsewhere Studios, Sou’wester, and Leland Iron Works.
She is an MFA candidate in Poetry at Warren Wilson College and her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Tripwire: A Journal of Poetics, Bomb Cyclone, petrichor, LEON, Discursive Impulse, GAZE, Archivaria, and Submit.
She is a member of the third generation of the Holocaust and a daughter of immigrants. She grew up in and around New York City and lives in the Cascadian bioregion on the unceded land of the Clackamas, Cowlitz, Chinook, Multnomah, and other Indigenous peoples.
Download my CV (PDF)
Some clients I’ve worked with
Scientific American magazine, sciam.com, Scientific American MIND magazine, McGraw-Hill Companies, W.H. Freeman and Company, Electronic Publishing Services, Inc., American Society for the Technion, Floreant Press, Park Sports Physical Therapy, Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History, Educational Development Center, Inc., University of California at Santa Cruz, The Berry Botanic Garden, Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, Pacific Northwest College of Art, Outstanding in the Field, Rose Live Music, Wine Label Design, Inc., Kitchenbar NYC, Jim Denevan, Art & Spirit Yoga Vacations, Mali Mrozinski, Kazia Jankowski, Edison Woods, Deer Stop Yoga Studio, The Bear Deluxe Magazine, Bitch Magazine, Orlo, Slow Food USA, Democratic Party of Oregon, Vinartculture, Signal Fire, Brooklyn Kitchen, Ruth Tobias, Natasha Gardner, Big World/Small Kitchen, Bark, The University of Nevada.