January 9th, 2024

Written by Rachelle Pimentel, Fine Art Consultant

“Even Here” by Alison Rash 14″ x 18″


When an artist incorporates words into a painting they invite viewers to engage in a nuanced exploration of visual and linguistic elements.

What do these words mean to you? How do you interpret what the artist is saying? Is it a positive message — or a concept that makes you feel unsettled? What do you think the artist is trying to say? Oftentimes, our artists look to the viewer to interpret the meaning in a piece. When they write on the piece, even the meaning of the passage can have multiples.

The combination of imagery and text fosters multiple interpretations and encourages observers to delve into the layers of meaning embedded in the artwork. Many of our Gallery MAR artists make this choice, including Alison Rash and Sara Edgar, both featured here.

“Ive Changed My Mind” by Sara Edgar 12″ x 12″

The artist’s choice of words can serve as a deliberate guide or a subtle catalyst, allowing each viewer to construct their own narrative and meaning within the canvas. What do you think? Are you drawn to a “spoken word” painting or sculpture?

“Fear/Love” Sculpture by Joe Norman 72″ x 24″ x 24″



“The Long Act of Letting Go” by Alison Rash 11″ x 14″