Bio + Artist Statement
Daniela Naomi Molnar is an artist and poet working with the mediums of language, image, and place. She is also a wilderness guide, educator, and eternal student. She works across forms, melding painting, poetry, prose, site-specific intervention, editing, and teaching. 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 focused on issues of climate justice and climate grief and the materials that 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 rainwater, riverwater, and oceanwater. As such, 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.
Her paintings mix these natural paints with synthetic paints, creating fascinating interactions and mimicking the complexity of our ecological moment, which is rich with contradiction, conflict, and unexpected beauty.
Her writing is also a confluence of languages: poetry and essay mingle with color and form. She also works in more traditional poetry, essay, and lyric essay forms.
She loves researching and it informs everything she does: political ecology, affective ecology, 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 front-page feature in the Los Angeles Times, has been shown nationally, and is in private collections internationally. It has been recognized by numerous grants and residencies (see CV for details).
Her forthcoming book chorus won the 2021 Omnidawn 1st/2nd book prize (selected by Kazim Ali). It will be published by Omnidawn 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, Cique, petrichor, LEON, GAZE, Archivaria, and elsewhere.
Daniela founded the Art + Ecology program at the Pacific Northwest College of Art and is a founding member of the Board of Directors, a backcountry guide and faculty member with Wide Open Studios. She has also been an integral part of Signal Fire since its inception in 2008, providing opportunities for artists to learn about environmental issues by engaging with public wild lands.
She currently teaches about art + ecology, creative writing, pigment, and color with Literary Arts, Sitka Center, Playa, Wild Pigment Project, and Portland Underground Graduate School and 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.