Mary Lou Dauray
Indian Paintbrush and the Grand Tetons, Jackson Hole Wyoming National Park, acrylic on canvas, 30″ x 30″, 2020
Great Smokey National Park, Tennessee/North Carolina, acrylic on canvas, 30″ x 30″, 2020
Zion National Park, Utah, acrylic on canvas, 30″ x 30″, 2020
Mountain Cave near Grand Canyon National Park, Utah, 30″ x 30″, 2020
Bryce Canyon, Utah, acrylic on canvas, 30″ x 30″, 2020
Grand Prismatic Spring, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, acrylic on canvas, 30″ x 30″, 2020
Machu Pichu, Peru, acrylic on canvas, 30″ x 30″, 2020
The paintings I have created these past few years reveal my deep concern about human-caused climate destruction. I am profoundly alarmed about global warming’s contributions to the massive displacement of people, social injustices, food scarcity, forest fires around the world, rising ocean waters, radioactive pollution, and more.
I spent many months painting a series related to potential dangers originating from nuclear power plants. There are many who postulate that new nuclear power plants should be a viable source of alternative energy. Prohibitive costs, radioactive pollution, and lack of ability to hide, destroy, or eliminate radioactive water serve to counter the nuclear power argument. The multi-million-dollar (sometimes billion-dollar) costs to build new nuclear power plants could be redirected toward other, more sustainable and safer energy production alternatives. The effects of the deadly Fukushima Daiichi triple meltdown in Japan in March 2011 impelled me to undertake a particular series about that disaster. After completing the paintings, I delved into a study of uranium in rocks, which comprise a completed group of paintings on canvas and on mannequin heads.
As we all know, March 2020 will go down in history as a removal from “normal” living. As soon as shelter-in-place orders took effect, I fashioned an 8-foot-by-8-foot sunroom into a studio and immediately found solace and purpose by painting almost every day. The first group of artworks reflect my worries about the devastating effect of new Trump administration rules threatening our national parks. Alarm bells went off as that administration’s Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Interior reopened mining in those areas and cut back the size of some of the national parks. Over many days I painted vistas of the parks that I had been fortunate enough to visit in 2019. Thankfully, I mentally left my little studio just by putting brush to canvas to depict some of our most beautiful land.
More recently my paintings have been veering more toward the abstract, into the non-objective realm. While I enjoy painting semi-realistic work, creating abstractions presents an enormous challenge to me.
I paint on paper, canvas, and wood panels and use a variety of oil- and water-based pigments.
About the Artist
Mary Lou Dauray exhibits throughout the United States. Venues where her work has been shown include Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, Virginia; Blue Planet, a juried show sponsored by the Pacific Coast Region of the Women’s Caucus for Art; Runnymede Corporate Headquarters, Norfolk, Virginia; the Art Gallery of the University of Southern California Institute for Genetic Medicine; a juried show at Gallery 1, Point Reyes, California; and the London Olympics. Her work about nuclear power was featured in the 2020 annual gala of the Ploughshares Fund, an organization that highlights the need to prevent the use and spread of nuclear weapons. In May 2021, a painting from Mary Lou Dauray’s Iceberg series was accepted into a juried exhibition at O’Hanlon Gallery, Mill Valley, California.
In addition to an Award of Excellence from Manhattan Arts International (for her Burning Coal Car), Mary Lou Dauray is the recipient of a Manhattan Arts Special Achievement Second Place Cash Award and Featured Artist Interview — the result of her participation in the juried exhibition “HERStory 2016.” In April 2021, one of Mary Lou Dauray’s paintings (New York) was chosen as a winner in Contemporary Art Gallery’s “All Cityscape Online Art Exhibition & Competition.”
An arts advocate, Mary Lou Dauray has taught master classes at the A.W. Dreyfoos Art School, West Palm Beach, Florida.