Kenyon College

Mia Halton ’73 (American, b. 1950)


Halton grew up in a family of artists, including her maternal grandparents and mother. She remembers her early art-making as both a refuge and a way to make sense of the emotional vagaries of family life. During Halton’s years as an undergraduate she encountered the work of Jean Dubuffet. He was a seminal discovery for her, for his ability not only to access the dark side of inner life but also show us the humor in it.

From the beginning the role of figures was central, ranging from cartoon-­like, graphic images to more gestural forms. It is the pictorial space between the figures and forms that has continually evolved in Halton’s prints, drawings, and paintings.

Her recent body of work displays a growing vocabulary of mark-­making, a refinement of technique and a deepening psychological engagement. In 2013 a family tragedy precipitated her beginning to use clay. The physicality of the material allowed Halton to explore her emotions while also opening up to new ways of looking at the larger social issues brought up by the tragic event.

She has shown extensively throughout the U.S. Venues include the Orange County Museum of Art, Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore Clayworks, OK Harris in New York, Gallery K in Washington D.C., Malton Gallery in Cleveland, and the Creative Alliance in Baltimore, and the McLean Project for the Arts in Virginia. Her work has been included in numerous private and public collections.

She was recently awarded the A.I.R. Vallauris in France, and a solo exhibition at Stevenson University.

Image and text courtesy of the artist.