From Cecile Oreste of danceDC
When artist Anne Marchand came to the District more than 30 years ago, she wanted to live in the center of everything. She decided to settle in Dupont Circle and has lived in the area since she moved from her native New Orleans. Not only have the Spanish and French influences of her hometown left a lasting impression on her color sensibility, but the urban landscapes of D.C. have also inspired her work.
Marchand’s cityscapes can be found throughout the District, including a large, colorful mural at the Westminster Playground in Shaw. This particular mural is featured in architect Dhiru Thadani’s The Language of Towns & Cities, published in 2010.
Abstraction has been the consistent thread in Marchand’s work. Within the last five years, she has focused on abstract painting and exploring the physical,mental and emotional connection between people and their surrounding environment. Her interest in mystical poetry has inspired her to create art that questions man’s place in the universe. She incorporates this writing in her work as well, but often times the words are illegible.
“Words have power,” Marchand said. “I take the energy of words and incorporate this energy as elements of my own work. It’s not about reading the words. It’s about the energy behind them.”
Marchand uses different pigments and experiments with iridescent and flat surfaces to further convey this theme of outer space. She plays with materials and continues adding to them, often times not knowing what the work will look like until the paint has dried. As the layering process continues, it’s almost as if Marchand is having a conversation with the materials themselves.
“There is an element of surprise. That’s the exciting part of the process,” she said. “The moments of creativity happen when I’m not controlling them. I have to stand in the unknown, but I welcome that. How ordered is the universe anyway?”
Currently, Marchand’s abstract paintings are featured in two shows presented by Zenith Gallery including “Universe” at the Gallery at 1111 Pennsylvania Avenue NW and the Sustainable & Scrumptious 2011 Calendar Exhibition at the Chevy Chase Pavilion. Marchand is also preparing for upcoming exhibitions at Gallery 555 and the School of Art and Design at Montgomery College.
Marchand is a Mid City Artists business supporter and has exhibited at several local establishments including Biagio Fine Chocolate, Longview Gallery and Coldwell Banker. Most recently, her work was on display at the Gary Fisher Gallery at Hounshell Real Estate on 14th Street NW. In addition to her work as an artist, Marchand promotes local art events through her blog Painterly Visions. For more information about Marchand and her work, visit her website.