Something I Want to Tell You – Big Paintings by Pamela Dodds


Dusk, Pamela Dodds, Oil on Canvas, 5 x 7.5 feet / 152 x 228 cm, 2007

Artist Pamela Dodds Explores Family Secrets and Race Through Interpersonal Encounters

An exhibition that calls on the viewer to examine how intimate exchanges reflect and shape culture

Exhibition Extended thru July 31, 2020

View the exhibition online

Something I Want to Tell You–Big Paintings by Pamela Dodds
Suite 215 Gallery
78th Street Studios, 1300 W 78th St, Cleveland, Ohio, 44102, USA

Socio-political narratives and interracial relationships
These 11 large, oil on canvas paintings, created in the mid-1990s-mid-2000s explore tenuous moments of interaction—often reflecting broader socio-political narratives and interracial relationships. “It is in these layered, sometimes fraught, sometimes fleeting situations, that individuals act and react—making choices that ultimately affect the course of a society.” Dodds states.

A synthesis of color, form and representational imagery
Through a synthesis of color, form and representational imagery, conflicts and communions of daily life are portrayed. The resulting works are reflections on the kinds of small, private struggles that everyone experiences, often as momentous challenges.

Familiar narrative
Dusk explores the complex emotions that come with being the object of another person’s fear. The painting depicts the familiar narrative of a White woman in the presence of a Black man on a dark street. She is clutching her handbag and glancing anxiously over her shoulder. The scene is placed before a tall wrought iron fence, an explicit symbolic reference of barriers and imprisonment. Through this compositional element, the viewer is forced to consider the weaponization of the White woman’s fear. Her panic could quickly result in violence via law enforcement and the systemic racism it is founded on.


Installation View showing L-R: Reflections on a Family History, Bath, Love Child, Cafeteria, 2020

Hot colors, extreme perspective
Dodds examines the nuanced, often commonplace dynamics that shape family life. Morning Coffee portrays a potentially violent moment in a domestic argument. The intensity of the moment is conveyed through the angular distortions of the room, hot colors and the extreme perspective. The open back door allows a glimpse of an ordinary sunny day in a suburban neighborhood. Through this door, the viewer sees a man mowing his lawn; he could be looking in on the fight or completely oblivious, which speaks to the untold nature of domestic violence due to social stigma and a fear of retribution. The title implies that this fight is routine.


Morning Coffee, 6 x 7 feet / 182 x 213 cm, 2007

The viewer as active participant
The viewer is central to Dodds’ work; her practice is predicated on the audience’s perception and interaction with these complex, intimate scenes: “In creating work, I contemplate the viewer, and the viewer’s role, as an active participant in the artwork, bringing their own history and experience to the viewing moment and reading and interpreting the work uniquely, personally,” says Dodds.
– C. Pavaglio

Something I Want to Tell You–Big Paintings by Pamela Dodds
Suite 215 Gallery
78th Street Studios, 1300 W 78th St, Cleveland, Ohio, 44102, USA
78th Street Studios regrets that the elevator is broken. The gallery is not accessible.
Dates: Through July 31, 2020. (Virtual show – ongoing)
Gallery Hours: Tuesday – Saturday, Noon – 5 p.m.
Contact: Pamela Dodds

View the exhibition online
Click to view images of the work, installation photos, and a video of the show.

Read Review in Collective Arts Network Journal

Watch recording of Artist Talk hosted by LGBT Community Centre of Greater Cleveland

Join Pamela Dodds’ live online Artist Talk at OCADU:
I Miss You…Stay Away!
Thursday, July 16, 2020, 11 a.m. – Noon EDT
Guest artist talk for Dr. Pam Patterson’s Class Materials and the Anthropocene.
Tune in to the Microsoft Teams talk here.
Pamela Dodds explores location and relationship through a discussion of her work within the context of isolation/anxiety during the COVID-19 pandemic and in relation to the larger issues of refuge and kinship in the Anthropocene.

Be there virtually!
Enjoy 78th Street Studios’ July Third Friday, event, Friday, July 17, 7-8 p.m. EDT
78th Street Studios’ July 17 Facebook Livestream Event
includes 2-minute narrated video walkthrough of the show among livestream of other artists’ spaces.

Pamela Dodds’ work is exhibited regularly in the Canada, USA, and most recently in Europe, and has been purchased for collections including Cleveland Museum of Art, Capital One Bank, Boston Public Library and Purdue University. She has been awarded numerous fellowships and residencies such as at Fundación Valparaiso, Spain; Atelier Presse Papier, Québec; Wurlitzer Foundation, New Mexico and Open Studio Printmaking Centre, Toronto. She has been supported by Massachusetts Cultural Council; Ontario Arts Council; the Gottlieb Foundation; and Barbara Deming Memorial Fund Grant for feminist art. She was a feature artist at Lesbian ARTivisms Colloquium at University of Ottawa, Canada, 2016.

Dodds was born in Halifax, grew up in Toronto, and was moved to the Cleveland, Ohio area as a young teen due to rifts and realignments in her family life. She later moved to Boston where she attended university and began her career as a visual artist. Returning later to Cleveland, her work was exhibited at the highly respected William Busta Gallery until Mr. Busta’s retirement in 2015. She returned to Toronto in 2007.

Come Closer – Stories in Woodcut and Linocut Print, a comprehensive survey of her work in relief print was presented at Visual Arts Centre of Clarington, Ontario, 2017; an installation of Undertow, a suite of tall, scroll-like prints portraying swimmers in peril, appeared at Impact 10 Printmaking Conference in Santander, Spain, 2018; and her work was shown at FiLiA, a Feminist Conference, London, UK, 2017, Print Matters, First Canadian Place, Toronto, 2018, and at Haugesund Museum of Art, Norway, 2019.

Something I Want to Tell You-Big Paintings by Pamela Dodds opened February, 21, 2020 and due to the pandemic lockdown and audience appreciation, has been extended through July 31.