About the Artist
“As a biologist and longtime resident of Louisiana, Stewart witnesses our fraught relationship with nature on micro and macrocosmic levels – as we awaken to the peril currently at the heart of our relationship with our biosphere. Poised as she is, Stewart is capable of such delicacy and finesse within the ominous frisson of her underlying message - the oddness of a hue or eccentricity of a formal relationship hints at something much larger and less stable or reassuring than her surfaces may lead us to feel. Stewart’s art isn’t the calm before the storm - it is the eye,” Peter Frank
Trained as a biologist, Allison Stewart’s forty-year visual arts career has been steadfastly informed by our increasingly fragile environments and the ultimate interconnectedness of all living things. Using deep layers of color and texture to illustrate experiences of time and transformation, Stewart navigates the complex and often disturbing relationships between humans and nature. Activated in the liminal space between realism and abstraction, Stewart’s paintings are visual diaries upon which her responses to our threatened landscape are illuminated.
Stewart has exhibited extensively throughout the United States and is represented by the Arthur Roger Gallery in New Orleans, Gail Severn Gallery in Sun Valley, and Michael Warren Contemporary in Denver. Her work is included in many public, corporate and private collections, including the U.S. Department of State Art in Embassies, the New Orleans Museum of Art, the Historic New Orleans Collection, Ogden Museum of Southern Art, Freeport McMoRan, ARCO, American Express, Pan American Life, and the Pensacola Museum of Art. Awards include fellowships and grants from the Louisiana Division of the Arts, the Endowment for the Humanities, and the Mary Freeman Wisdom Foundation, and artist-in-residence with Anderson Ranch Arts Center in Colorado.
In 1998, Stewart and her husband, artist Campbell Hutchinson, founded KID smART, a Louisiana non-profit arts organization that brings the visual and performing arts as teaching tools to under-resourced children in the public schools of New Orleans. KID smART’s focus is arts integration – linking the arts with the existing academic curriculum to make learning come alive. Today KID smART programs are found in eleven New Orleans elementary and middle schools in and have reached more than 33,000 students.
Stewart holds a BS in Biology from Spring Hill College, and an MFA from the University of New Orleans. She has served on the faculty of the New Orleans Academy of Fine Art, Loyola University, Delgado Community College, Aspen Museum of Art and Anderson Ranch Arts Center in Colorado. She maintains studios in New Orleans and Snowmass Village, CO.
“Nature in Stewart’s imagination is mythic, incantatory, an effervescent field of energy. Poised between the accidental and constructed, Stewart’s profound fluidity emphasizes the impermanence of all things, her work residing in the place where all appears in and as flux,” Dominique Nahas
“Stewart’s painting inhere so much of their sources’ natural vitality that they are charged with an energy that bridges the real and painted. There is finally no distinction between those two states – a condition many organic abstractionists seek but only a few achieve as regularly, and as deftly,” Peter Frank