About Holly Downing

Photograph by Jim Hair 1973

Photograph by Jim Hair 1973

Holly Downing is a painter and printmaker who has been making mezzotint engravings since the 1970s. She studied painting and printmaking at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and the Royal College of Art, London. She lived in the UK for 6 years where she received a National Endowment to research and make mezzotints. Her paintings and mezzotints have been exhibited in solo exhibitions in London, Edinburgh, Manila, Seattle, Chicago, San Francisco and Berkeley. Her work is in many museum collections including the Library of Congress, New York Public Library, Fine Art Museums of San Francisco, Victoria and Albert Museum, Oxford’s Ashmolean Museum and the Bibliotheque Nationale.

Images of Holly Downing's mezzotints are included in The Mezzotint, History and Technique; by Carol Wax; Abrams; N.Y. 1990; Holly Downing, Twenty-five Years of Mezzotints 2001; Penumbrae: Holly Downing, Mezzotints and Paintings, Fresno Art Museum, California, 2010.

 
EDUCATION
1974-80 Residence in England; research in Mezzotint technique
1978-80 MA in Fine Art, Goddard College; Graduate Program in Europe
1974-75  Graduate Program in Printmaking; Royal College of Art, London
1969-70  Paris; independent studies in Art History
1967-72  BA in Fine Art; University of California, Santa Cruz 
    
SELECTED SOLO EXHIBITIONS
2017 “In Praise of Indigenous Cultures”, paintings, Robin’s Café at ODE, San Francisco
2015-2016 "Holly Downing, Passageways", paintings; Concourse Gallery, 555 California St., San Francisco
2014 "Holly Downing Mezzotints, Connections and Collaborations", Mahoney Library Art Gallery, Santa Rosa Junior College, Petaluma, California
  "Draped", San Jose State University, Dr. Martin Luther King Library, San Jose, California
2013 "Peruvian Portals", with poet David St. John, in the exhibit "Drawn to Language", Museum of Art, University of Southern California, Los Angeles
2012 "Holly Downing, Paintings Drawings & Mezzotints", Eloise Pickard Smith Gallery, Cowell College, University of California, Santa Cruz
2011 "Arch", The Graham Foundation, Chicago
2010 "Holly Downing, Penumbrae: Paintings & Mezzotints", Fresno Art Museum, Fresno, California (illustrated catalogue with essays by Donald Kuspit and Robert Johnson)
  Arch, artists book with collaborator Jack Stauffacher, Donohue Rare Book Room, University of San Francisco, California; Santa Rosa Junior College, California
2009 "Luminous Shadows: Mezzotints and Paintings", Quicksilver Mine Co., Forestville, California
2007 "The Printmaker as Painter" (two person), Larry Warnock Fine Arts, San Francisco
  "Mezzotints and Recent Paintings", Davidson Galleries, Seattle, Washington
2005 "Regional Paintings", YWCA, Berkeley, California
2003 "Recent Paintings", Bonnafont Gallery, San Francisco, California
2002  "Paintings", West Wing Gallery, Sanchez Art Center, Pacifica, California
2001 "Twenty-five Years of Mezzotints", Annex Galleries, Santa Rosa, California (catalogue raisonn)
1997 "Recent Paintings", 550 California Street, San Francisco
1995  "Mezzotints", On The Wall Gallery, Medford, Oregon
1993   Ebert Gallery, San Francisco, ten year survey
1992  Ebert Gallery, San Francisco
1989   Citadel Print Center, San Jose, California
1986   Allport Gallery, San Francisco
1984   Annex Galleries, Santa Rosa, California
1980   Luz Gallery, Manila, Philippines
1978  Richard Demarco Gallery, Edinburgh, Scotland
1977   AIR Gallery, London
   
SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS
2017 National Small Works, Washington Printmakers Gallery, Washington D.C.
   California Society of Printmakers, Piedmont Center for the Arts, California
   “The Universal Language of Birds”, Ucross Foundation, Clearmont, Wyoming
  “We Shall Overcome”, Calabi Gallery, Santa Rosa, California
   Codex Book Fair, Richmond, California
   Art - Kala 2017, Kala, Berkeley, California
2016 “Gathering Fragments”, Mythos Fine Art Gallery, Berkeley, California
   “2016, A State of Mind”, Boston Printmakers, Lamont Gallery, Exeter, New Hampshire
   Prints, California Society of Printmakers, juror Karen Kunc, Isabelle Percy West Gallery, California College of the Arts, Oakland
   "Art of the Book" and "Printmaking Techniques", Sebastopol Center for the Arts, Sebastopol, California
2015 Retrospective VCCA, 10 Years at Moulin Nef, Port d'Auvillar, France
  "Views from the Hill", Alumni Invitational Exhibition, Eloise Pickard Smith Gallery, Cowell College, University of California, Santa Cruz
"Transitions", paintings, Marin Community Foundation, Novato, California
   "Thirty Years of Printmaking", Robert Agrella Art Gallery, Santa Rosa Junior College, California
   Codex Book Fair, Richmond, California
  "Art Inspired by Nature", Calabi Gallery, Santa Rosa, California
  "Fifty Artists from 5 Decades", Porter College Faculty Gallery, University of California, Santa Cruz
2014 "Print Facets, Six Centuries of Printmakers", curated by Rebecca Michelman; The Curator Gallery/Chelsea, New York City (catalogue)
  "Redefining the Multiple", Gary Francis Fine Art Gallery, Alameda, California
  "Palate to Plate", Boston Printmakers, Newport Art Museum, Rhode Island (catalogue)
  "Ink, Press, Repeat", William Peterson University Galleries, Wayne, New Jersey (catalogue)
  "STUDIO", curated by Bob Cornelis; Sonoma County Museum of Art, Santa Rosa, California
  "Grand (Re)Opening Inaugural Exhibition", Calabi Gallery, Santa Rosa, California
2013 "LAPS 21st National Print Exhibition", California State University, Northridge,
juror Jack Rutberg
  "Codex Book Fair", Richmond, California
  "Memento Mori", Calabi Gallery, Petaluma, California
  "Kalassal", Kala Art Institute, Berkeley, California
  "Mezzotint Magic", Ren Brown Collection, Bodega Bay, California
2012 "Noirs Velours", mezzotint exhibition organized by Sudestampe & PARC; Octon, France
  "Inked Surfaces", juror Archana Horsting, Kala Institute; Diablo Valley College, California
  "Last Hurrah", Quicksilver Mine Co., Forestville, California
   "Terroir", Friesen Gallery, Sun Valley, Idaho
  "Field Guides and Fungi Lore", Special Collections, University of California, Santa Cruz
  "International Mini Print Exhibition", Printmakers Council traveling exhibition, London, U.K., juror Gill Sanders, Curator of Prints, Victoria and Albert Museum, London (catalogue)
  'Ink and Clay" Kellogg University Art Gallery, Cal Poly, Pomona, California
  "Members, Royal Society of Painter-Printmakers", Bankside Gallery, London
  "PrintHouston: NEXT", 4411 Montrose, Houston, Texas, juror Dena Woodall, Asst. Curator of Prints and Drawings, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
2011 Calabi Gallery, Petaluma, California
  "Boxed In", Quicksilver Mine Co., Forestville, California
  "National Exhibition of Intaglio Prints", The National Arts
Club, New York City
  "International Mezzotint Festival", Ekaterinburg, Russia (catalogue)
  "Codex Book Fair", Berkeley, California
  "A Take on Nature", Carnegie Gallery, Stanford University
2010 Calabi Gallery, Petaluma, California
  "The Art of the Book", Donna Seager Gallery, San Rafael, California
  ArtZone 461 Gallery, San Francisco
  "National Small Works", Washington D.C. Printmakers, Silver Spring, Maryland
2009  "Members, Royal Society of Painter-Printmakers", Bankside Galleries, London
  "2nd Qijiang International Prints Exhibition", China
  "Field Report", Boston Printmakers, Moss-Thorn Gallery of Art, Fort Hays State University, Kansas; Kellogg Art Gallery, Cal Poly, Pomona, California
2008  "Recent Paintings", Quicksilver Mine Co., Forestville, California
  ArtZone 461 Gallery, San Francisco
  "Prints", Museum of Modern Art, Nairobi, Kenya
  "Manire Noire/ Mezzotint", Atelier les Mille Feuilles, Quebec, Canada
  "Mezzotint Masters", Larry Warnock Fine Art, San Francisco (book)
  "Field Exchange", Boston Printmakers traveling exhibition
  "Ink & Clay"; Kellogg Art Gallery; Cal Poly, Pomona, California
  "Contemporary Printmaking", Center for Contemporary Printmaking, Newark, New Jersey
2007   "Art of the Mezzotint", Ren Brown Gallery, Bodega Bay, California
  "Looking at Architecture" Ontario Airport, Department of Cultural Affairs, Los Angeles
  "Small Prints", Washington D.C. Printmakers, Washington D.C.
  "LAPS 19th International Print Exhibition", Riverside Art Museum, California (catalogue)
  "Leaves from a Sketchbook", Bankside Gallery, London
  "Blue Print", Center for Contemporary Printmaking, Newark, New Jersey
2006   Galleria, International School of Painting, Drawing, Montecastello di Vibio, Italy
  "LAPS Juried Members", Creative Arts Center, Burbank, California
  "Members", Royal Society of Painter-Printmakers, Bankside Gallery, London
  "Impressions 2006", Sebastopol Center for the Arts, Sebastopol, California
2005   "Dwellings", Municipal Art Gallery, Los Angeles, California
  "Members", Royal Society of Painter-Printmakers, Bankside Gallery, London
  "Contemporary California Mezzotints", Collector's Gallery, Oakland Museum
  "North American Print Biennale", Emmanuel College, Boston, Massachusetts
  "International Miniature Print Exhibition", Center for Contemporary Printmaking, Norwalk, Connecticut
2004   "Prints", Stewart Gallery, Boise, Idaho
  "48th National Print Exhibition", Hunterdon Museum of Art, Clinton, New Jersey
  "Members, Royal Society of Painter-Printmakers", Bankside Galleries, London 
  "Originals '04", Mall Galleries, London
  Anne Bradford Gallery, Healdsburg, California
2003  "U.S.A. Prints 2003", Springfield Museum of Art, Springfield, Missouri 
  "North American Print Biennale", Boston University, Massachusetts
  "LAPS 17th National Print Exhibition", Armory Center for the Arts, Pasadena, California (catalogue)
  "Prints", Stewart Gallery, Boise, Idaho
2002  "Works on Paper", Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge
  "National Small Works", Washington Printmakers, Washington D.C.
  "Impressions", Sebastopol Center for the Arts, California
  "Pacific Prints", Pacific Art League, Palo Alto, California
2001  "Vanishing Landmarks", 3 painters, Quicksilver Mine Co., Sebastopol, California
  "Pacific Rim International Print Exhibition", University of Hawaii, Hilo (catalogue)
  "Arts on Fire", paintings, Sanchez Art Center, Pacifica, California
  "Between Light & Shadow", the Gary Bettis Collection, Boise Art Museum, Idaho
2000 "Day of the Dead", A Street Gallery, Santa Rosa, California
  "11th National Florida Printmakers Exhibition", New World School, Miami
1999 "Mezzotints", Vorpal Gallery, San Francisco, California
  "43rd National Print Exhibition", Hunterdon Museum of Art, Clinton, New Jersey
1998  "Treasures", Bradford Smock Gallery, San Francisco
  "Mezzotints from the collection of Derby Fine Arts", Chicago
  "Amsterdam Art Exhibition", Fort Mason, San Francisco
  "International Mezzotints", Davidson Galleries, Seattle, Washington
  "LAPS 15th National Print Exhibition", Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles (catalogue)
1997  "Small Works", California Museum of Art, Santa Rosa
  "Visions", paintings, Bradford Gallery, San Anselmo, California
  "Resolutions", paintings, Bradford Gallery, San Anselmo, California
1996 Kala Art Institute, Oakland, California
  "Landscapes - Under a Foot", Bradford Gallery, San Anselmo, California 
  "Mezzotint, Art of Darkness", New Orleans Museum of Art, Louisiana, curated by Carol Wax and Earl Reptif (catalogue)
1995 "U.C. Santa Cruz Printmakers", Pajaro Valley Gallery, Watsonville, California
1994 "Taking Flight", Patricia Stewart Gallery, Napa, California
  "New Traditions: Contemporary Mezzotints", curated by Carol Wax; Bradley University, Peoria, Illinois
1993 "Landscapes", California Museum of Art, Santa Rosa
"West Coast Edition Printmakers", Claudia Chapline Gallery, Stinson Beach, California
"Taking Flight", Califia Books, San Francisco
1992  "Summer Exhibition", Ebert Gallery, San Francisco
"Mezzotints: Yesterday and Today", Stanford University Art Museum, California
"Black and White", Ebert Gallery, San Francisco
"The Saga Show", Portland Art Museum, Oregon
1990 "The Mezzotint", Sylvan Cole Gallery, New York
  "The Making of a Print", Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts, Wilmington
1989  "From Dark to Light: Contemporary Mezzotints", Sacred Heart Schools, Menlo Park, California
  "Exemplary Contemporary' Eloise Pickard Smith Gallery, University of California, Santa Cruz
1987  "Prints', World Print Council, San Francisco
"North of the Gate", Sonoma State University Gallery, Rohnert Park, California  (catalogue)
1986  "Drawing: A Classical Continuum", Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery (catalogue)
  "Frechen International Print Biennale", Frechen, W. Germany (catalogue)
1985  "Drawings", Marilyn Pink Gallery, Los Angeles
  "Drawings", All Port Gallery, San Francisco
1984  "New Gallery Artists", Soker-Kaseman Gallery, San Francisco
  "International Mezzotints", Pratt Manhatten Center Gallery, New York
  "International Mezzotints", Oxford Gallery, Oxford, England
1983 "Recent Acquisitions", Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts, Palace of the Legion of Honor, San Francisco
  "Phelan Art Award Recipients", World Print Council, San Francisco
  "Frechen International Print Biennale", Frechen, W. Germany
1982 "Mezzotints", World Print Council, San Francisco
"Subjective Realities", Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts, Palace of the Legion of Honor, San Francisco (catalogue with essay by Robert Flynn Johnson)
"Mini Print International", Cadaques, Spain
"Cabo Frio International Print Biennale", Brazil
1981 "Heads or Tails", Newcastle Upon Tyne and Neal Street Gallery, London
  "International Exhibition of Small Graphic Forms", Lodz, Poland
  "National Print Workshop Exhibition", Crescent Art Gallery, Scarborough, England
  "Seoul International Print Biennale", Seoul, Korea
  "Dealer's Choice", Artefact Gallery, London
1980 "International Biella Prize for Prints", Biella, Italy
  "Cracow International Print Biennale", Cracow, Poland (catalogue)
  "World Print III", and traveling exhibition, San Francisco (catalogue)
  "Listowel International Print Biennale", Listowel, Ireland
   
TEACHING
1983-2006 Santa Rosa Junior College, California
1983, 1981 University of California, Santa Cruz
1981-82 San Francisco State University
1978-80 Brighton University, England, BA and Graduate students
  Guest artist lectures at: School of the Art Institute of Chicago; Stanford University; Kala Art
  Institute, Berkeley; Sonoma State University; University of Southern California; University of California, Santa Cruz; Sonoma State University, California; Stanislaus State University; University of Reading, U.K.; Maidstone College of Art, U.K.; Portsmouth Polytechnic, U.K.; West Surrey College of Art and Design, U.K.; Canterbury College of Art, U.K.
   
SELECTED AWARDS
2016 Visiting Artists and Scholars Program, American Academy in Rome, Italy
2015 Residency, Ucross Foundation, Wyoming
2012 Residency, Visiting Artists and Scholars Program, American Academy in Rome, Italy
2009 Grant, Graham Foundation, Chicago; for creation of artist's book
2007 Residency, Fundacon Valparaiso, Mojacar, Spain
  Residency, Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, Vermont
2006 Residency at Montecastello di Vibio, Umbria, Italy
  Merit Award, "Impressions", Sebastopol Center for the Arts, Sebastopol
2005 Residency, Moulin Nef, Auvillar, France
2004 Residency, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and 2009, 2010, 2015
  Elected to the Royal Society of Painter-Printmakers, London, U.K.
2003 Purchase Award, LAPS 17th National Print Exhibition, Pasadena, California
2001 Jurors Award, Pacific Rim International Print Exhibition, University of Hawaii, Hilo Purchase Award
  Prize, 43rd Print Exhibition, Hunterdon Museum of Art, Clinton, New Jersey
1997 Barnhart Memorial Award, "Small Works", California Museum of Art, Santa Rosa
1987 The Jacqueline and Jay Zemel Patron Award,The Print Club 63rd Annual, Philadelphia
  Prize, The Print Club 59th Annual Competition, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
1983 Phelan Art Award for Printmaking, San Francisco
1980 Purchase Award, Barcham Green Printmaking Competition, U.K.
1979 Purchase Award, Cleveland International Drawing Biennale, U.K.
  Purchase Award, Korean Miniature Print Exhibition, Space Gallery, Seoul, Korea
1978 Arts Council of Great Britain, U.K.
1976-77 Greenshields Foundation Award, Canada
1975-76 National Endowment for the Arts, Individual Artist's Fellowship
   
SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY
2017 “Making a Mezzotint” by Holly Downing, Journal of the Print World, January
2016 “Mezzotint by Holly Downing”, Vimeo video by Nawakum Press
2014 Print Facets, Five Centuries of Printmakers; exhibition catalogue; curated by Rebecca Michelman of Michelman Modern, edited by Kat Sommovigo; The Curator Gallery, New York City
Palate to Plate, The Boston Printmakers, exhibition catalogue with recipes and print images, a Blurb book.
  Drawn to Language; review by Betty Ann Brown; art ltd., Los Angeles; Jan/Feb 2014
2013 Drawn to Language, exhibition catalogue with interviews, Fisher Museum of Art, University of Southern California, Los Angeles
  Drawn to Language; review by Diane Calder, ArtScene, Los Angeles, December 2013.
  STUDIO: 50 Sonoma County Artists; photographs and publication Bob Cornelis
  California Society of Printmaking, 100 Years; editor Maryly Snow, assistant editor Sylvia Solochek Walters
2012 Terroir, illustrated catalogue with essay by Maureen Lamasney, Friesen Gallery, Ketchum, Idaho
2010 Holly Downing, Penumbrae: Paintings & Mezzotints, Fresno Art Museum, illustrated catalogue, essays Donald Kuspit and Robert Flynn Johnson.
  "Solitude", The Fresno Bee, Fresno, California, by Donald Munro, October 8.
2009 Printmakers Secrets, Anthony Dyson, A & K Black Publishers, London.
  "Holly Downing", Preview at Quicksilver Mine Co. by Debra Koppman,
Artweek, Vol. 40, #2, March.
2008 Mezzotint Masters; illustrated catalogue; Larry Warnock Fine Arts; San Francisco.
2006 "Printmakers, The Directory", The Royal Society of Painter-Printmakers, A & C Black, London.
  "Sebastopol Impressions 2006" by Dan Taylor, Press Democrat, March 23
2004 "Printmaking Today"; London; vol. 13, No. 2, Summer
2002 'New Sanchez Exhibit", Pacifica Tribune, Pacifica, California, Feb 2.
2001 "Holly Downing at the Annex", by Sandy Thompson, Artweek; San Jose, CA, vol. 32, #10, October
  Holly Downing, 25 years of Mezzotints 1975-2000; illustrated catalogue raisonne; forward Robert Flynn Johnson.
1999 The Sunday Star-Ledge, review by Dan Bischoff, Clinton, New Jersey, June 20.
1996 Mezzotint, Art of Darkness; catalogue; Carol Wax & Earl Retif; New Orleans Museum of Art, Louisiana.
1992 "Contemporary Printmaking"; Artweek; Oakland, California; vol. 23, #27, November 5.
1990 The Mezzotint: History and Technique; by Carol Wax, Harry N. Abrams, Inc., New York.
1984 "International Mezzotint Competition", The Print Collector's Newsletter; Vol. XV, No. 4; Sept.-Oct.
1983 "Curator Goes Out on a Limb" by Thomas Albright; San Francisco Chronicle; San Francisco; May 26.
  "The Phelan Awards" by Frank Cebulski; Artweek; Oakland, California; vol. 14, #28, August 27.
1982 "7 Artists Who Are Drawing Attention" by Al Morch; San Francisco Examiner; San Francisco; June 7.
  Subjective Realities; illustrated catalog curated by Robert Flynn Johnson; Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco.
1981 "Artists' Views of the Decade 1970-80"; Art International; London; No. 22, March.
1978 "Five Views of Nature and The Nature of Life"; by Leslie Myers; Artweek, Oakland, CA; vol. 9, #12, June.
  
PUBLIC COLLECTIONS
Achenbach Foundation, Fine Arts Museums, San Francisco
Bancroft Library, Berkeley, California
Boise Art Museum, Idaho
Art Exhibitions Bureau, Lodz, Poland
Arts Council of Great Britain, London
Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, England
Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris
Califia Books, San Francisco, California
Chi-ba Art Museum. Chi-ba, Japan
City of Bath Art Gallery, Bath, England
Clydesdale Bank, Glasgow, Scotland
Continental Bank, Chicago
Department of the Environment, London
Derby Fine Arts, Ltd, Chicago, Illinois
Dundee Art Gallery, Scotland
Ekaterinburg Museum of Arts, Ekaterinburg, Russia
Emery University
Fisher Museum of Art, USC, Los Angeles
Graham Foundation, Chicago, Illinois
Hawaii State Art Museum, Honolulu
Johnson & Johnson Corporate Art Collection
Kaiser Permanente Hospital, San Rafael, California
Library of Congress
Luz Gallery, Manila, Philippines
Mount Holyoke College, Massachusetts
Nakasatsunai Art Museum, Hokkaido, Japan
New York Public Library
Northampton Museum, England
Northern Arts Association, England
Oberlin College
Portland Art Museum, Portland, Oregon
Royal Society of Painter-Printmakers, London
San Francisco Public Library, California
Santa Rosa Community College, California
Scottish National Gallery of Art, Edinburgh, Scotland
Selkapet Kunst pa Arbeidsplassen, Norway
South East Arts Association, England
Southampton University, England
Space Gallery, Seoul, Korea
Stanford Museum of Art, California
Stanford Library Special Collections. California
Sutton College, London
University of Alberta, Canada
University of California, Santa Barbara
University of California, Santa Cruz
University of Cincinnati
University of Hawaii, Hilo
University of Reading, England
University of Washington, Seattle
Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Amherst
Victoria & Albert Museum, London
Yale University, Beinecke Rare Book Library