This profile offers a good introduction to what I do and why I do it.
Bio + Artist Statement
Daniela Naomi Molnar is an artist, poet, and writer working with the mediums of language, image, paint, pigment, and place. She is also a wilderness guide, educator, and eternal student. She can be found in Portland, Oregon, exploring public wildlands, or at www.danielamolnar.com / Instagram: @daniela_naomi_molnar
For the patient and/or curious:
Daniela Naomi Molnar is an artist, poet, and writer working with the mediums of language, image, paint, pigment, and place. She is also a wilderness guide, educator, and eternal student.
She works across and between forms including painting, poetry, prose, site-specific intervention, editing, and teaching. Regardless of genre, her goal is to shape and nurture generative new questions, feelings, and ethics about what it means to be human at a time of socioecological crisis.
Her work for the past several years has focused on issues of climate justice and climate grief. The materials she uses are themselves bearers of meaning. She makes many of her paints from pigments gathered from urban and wild public lands, combining these pigments with water from rain, rivers, hot springs, taps, and oceans.
Her paintings mix these natural paints with synthetic paints, creating fascinating interactions and mimicking the complexity of our socioecological moment, which is rich with contradiction, conflict, and unexpected beauty.
Place is always one of her mediums. She understands “place” to be a form of living history, encompassing all human and other-than-human stories. Place is a record of, and an ongoing, active participant in, struggles for justice, visibility, and vitality.
As a writer, Daniela works in poetry, essay, and lyric essay forms. She also works in hybrid forms, melding the unique languages of poetry, essay, color, and line. Poet Solmaz Sharif has described her writing as “tendrilic, electric, a mind in swift action.” Her writing focuses on explorations of consciousness, selfhood, grief, isolation, and interconnection via topics such as color perception, climate chaos, wildfires, wilderness, and wandering.
She loves researching and it informs everything she does: political ecology, affective ecology, climate research, and various strains of the environmental humanities all inform her work.
A cornerstone of her practice is to be resolutely non-competitive, non-expert, and committed to always changing.
Daniela’s work was the subject of a recent “Oregon Art Beat” profile and a front-page feature in the Los Angeles Times. It has been shown nationally, and is in private and public collections internationally. It has been recognized by numerous grants and residencies. Most recently she was a resident at Ucross and Playa and received grants from the Oregon Arts Commission and the Regional Art and Culture Council.
Her forthcoming book chorus won the 2021 Omnidawn 1st/2nd book prize (selected by Kazim Ali). It will be published in October 2022. She holds an MFA in Poetry from Warren Wilson College and her writing has recently appeared or is forthcoming in Fugue, Moss, Tripwire, Bomb Cyclone, Cirque, petrichor, LEON, GAZE, Archivaria, and elsewhere.
Daniela founded the Art + Ecology program at the Pacific Northwest College of Art, where she taught full time for many years. She is a founding member of the Board of Directors and a backcountry guide and educator with Signal Fire and Wide Open Studios. She has been an integral part of Signal Fire’s work since its inception in 2008, providing opportunities for creative people to learn about environmental issues by engaging with public wild lands.
She currently teaches about art + ecology, creative writing, pigment, and color independently and with Literary Arts, Sitka Center, Playa, Wild Pigment Project, Oregon Humanities, and Portland Underground Graduate School. She offers individual mentoring focused on individuals’ unique creative practice and potential.
She was an Art Director at Scientific American Magazine for years, is founding Co-Editor of Leaf Litter (Signal Fire’s art and literary journal), and was Art Editor for many years for the The Bear Deluxe Magazine.
A member of the third generation of the Holocaust and the daughter of immigrants, she grew up in and around New York City and lives in Portland, Oregon, in the Cascadian bioregion, atop a buried headwaters confluence, 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.