Dianne McMillan Brannen & Donnabelle Casis

September 9 – September 27, 2019
Opening Reception: Monday, September 9, 5 – 7 p.m.

Dianne McMillan Brannen was born in New York City and is of Caribbean descent. Although studied, she is largely a self-taught artist who continues to explore primitive art in everyday life. About her vision, Dianne says, “My work explores the imagery, symbols and colors of pre-classical and tribal societies when the earth was young. Where living colors and raw textures were interwoven with everyday life. The printing process and works on canvas are in a constant dialogue creating effects that surprise me. The images alter themselves like echoes of intent”

Creating her first oil painting on canvas at the age of eight, Dianne continued to study fine art at preparatory school and college, earning a B.A. degree from the College of Wooster and studying French and Art History at the Institute of European Studies in Nantes, France.

With a career background in textiles and apparel, color and design have always been her focus whether in the medium of printmaking, painting or decorative arts. Since 1992, Dianne has participated in exhibitions of her work at galleries and universities, museums, and libraries including The Elaine Benson Gallery, Bridgehampton, NY, and Paramount Studios in Los Angeles, Ca, and The Great Neck Library in Great Neck, NY.

As a curator, Dianne has originated a series of exhibitions at museums and galleries based on Diaspora history and literature including “Black Whalers-Their Tales , Courage and Conquests”, “Whaling- A Cultural History”,  “The Return of the Amistad” and “Genetic Memories—Life Songs of Native Americans”.

Donnabelle Casis’ paintings explore the relationship of personal identity and ritual to visual systems of signification in both ancient and modern cultures. Through the use of patterns and geometry, she re-assembles disparate iconographic sources into unified compositions.  Filipino tribal tattoos and textiles, bullfighting costumes, and facial recognition software all inform her aesthetic decisions and whether large or small, intimate or vast, they are part of her expansive point of reference.

Donnabelle Casis is a Filipina-American artist living and working in Florence, MA. She earned a BFA in Painting from the University of Connecticut and an MFA in Painting at the University of Washington. Her work has been included in group and solo exhibitions at Platform Gallery, LABspace, Readywipe, Geoffrey Young Gallery, Carroll and Sons Gallery, Andrew Edlin Gallery, Howard House Contemporary Art, Elizabeth Leach Gallery, Historic Northampton Museum, Hampden Gallery at the University of Massachusetts, Wing Luke Asian Museum, Tacoma Art Museum, Bellevue Art Museum and Center for Contemporary Art (CoCA), among others. She received numerous awards and grants including the Neddy Artist Fellowship for painting granted by the Behnke Foundation, a New Works Laboratory residency from 911 Media Arts Center in Seattle, an Artist Trust Gap Grant, Northampton Arts Council Grants, and she was a Pollack-Krasner Foundation Grant Finalist. Her work is included in several public and private collections.

Donnabelle Casis' website



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