Diversity in media and materials is integral to Donna Payton’s creative process. A native of
St. Louis, MO, she began collecting discarded items and assembling them as a young child.
In Los Angeles, where she received her MFA from Otis Art Institute in sculpture and painting,
her mixed media work expanded to include constructions of building materials and salvaged
architectural parts. Payton is currently creating high relief collages as well as installations
combining recycled objects, natural materials and constructed sculptures. She also makes
photographs using the human form as a sculptural base for parts of her disassembled
sculptural constructs. Payton received the New Jersey Print and Paper Grant from the
Brodsky Center at Rutgers University. She has exhibited in galleries and museums in
California, Florida, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Washington, D.C. and New Zealand.
Payton’s work is in private and corporate collections, including Southeastern Banks, Citibank
of Florida, Cleveland Clinic in Florida, Novo Nordisk, Bristol-Myers Squibb Company,
AtlantiCare New Jersey, New Jersey State Museum, Jersey City Museum, Zimmerli Art Museum,
New Jersey State Council on the Arts and Hunterdon Museum of Art.
Wood scraps, straw, string, wire, sticks, china shards, glass pieces and flea market finds sing
out to me of their histories, previous uses and possible transformations. The patina of their
surfaces and various characteristics of their forms are energized in the assembled sculpture,
glorifying fundamental shapes and classical forms. In my work, society’s discards and
unnoticed items are viewed with beauty and clarity enlightened above their original use. With
the components of these sculptures, I strive to find the distances of being and knowing in my
own recesses and bring them forward to give then order and color and form on a tangible,
visible level. To further explore this aspect of the finished sculptures, I use them as subjects
in my drawings and paintings where they can interact with each other in fantastic, unreal worlds.
Feel free to visit Donna’s website: www.donnapayton.com