Hilary Irons paints wondrous, exquisitely rendered visionary scenes that teem with nature in concert with the man-made. Plants, animals, houses, household items, and references to art history coexist in a harmonious, incantatory world. Her radiant images appear lit from within. Positive and negative shapes blend seamlessly into the other, creating tapestry-like patterns extending beyond the compositions' edges. She works on wood panels with a mixture of oil, acrylic, colored pencil, and marble dust, diluting the pigments until they have the appearance of watercolors. The translucency of her medium, combined with the marble dust, adds to their transcendental nature. In this sense, Irons carries forward the modernist spiritual explorations of early-twentieth-century artists Charles Burchfield and Agnes Pelton. Yet, her post-modern assimilation of everyday objects with images appropriated from ancient art and an underlying concern for the planet's health place her squarely in the present moment. She says, "I envision the landscape as a vessel that contains a story of restless searching. Images of my parents' land, storms and rain, broken ladders, and stars breaking through clouds are built by filling the spaces between things with color and darkness. Trees, paths, streams, waterfalls, windows, and lightning come forward with a dull glow as negative-space constructions, holding the power of that which is absent.”

Hilary Irons received her BFA in painting from Parsons School of Design and her MFA from Yale School of Art. She has shown her work widely throughout the United States and internationally and frequently contributes to arts journals and magazines. Irons attended residencies at the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation, the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, the American Academy in Rome, MacDowell, the Stephen Pace House, Hewnoaks, Canterbury Shaker Village, and the Surf Point Foundation. She received a Leon Levy Grant and an Al Held Prize. She has taught at the Maine College of Art and Design, the University of New England, and Southern Maine Community College, as well as a visiting artist at Bates College, Boston University, and Bowdoin College. She lives and works in Portland, Maine, where she is the Gallery and Exhibitions Director at the University of New England.

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