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Louisa McElwain

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Nashua, New Hampshire

Birth year

Lives in
New Mexico

Works in
New Mexico



Louisa McElwain has been a resident of New Mexico since 1985. She is a plein-air artist, an impressionist, who loves to paint the New Mexico sky and landscape. Louisa McElwain stated that, "During the process of painting large canvases outdoors, the interaction with Nature introduces insects, particles of plants and soil into the paint. To acknowledge the simultaneous levels of reality which surround me, I sometimes deliberately introduce elements into the paint like bits of broken beer bottle, bone, fur, or charred wood. Anything stuck to the motif, the images, the illusions, the beauty of landscape, I never want to forget that what I am looking at is paint on canvas."

Louisa McElwain received her BFA degree from the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia. Since then she has been in numerous group exhibitions. Her work is in many private and corporate collections which include the Tucson Museum of Art, AT & T, Pepsi-Cola, Nokia and the University of Pennsylvania.

Louisa McElwain's work has also been featured in numerous publications, among them Time Magazine, Southwest Art magazine and the Denver Post.



1990     Santa Fe Institute of Fine Arts, NM Master Class with Wolf Kahn

1977     BFA, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA

1975     Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Skowhegan, ME

1974-1973   Tyler School of Art, Philadelphia, PA

1973  Nera Simi Drawing Studio, Florence, Italy
1971  Hampshire College, Amherst, MA 
Mount Holyoke College, sculpture with Leonard De Longa

Selected One-person Exhibitions

2007   Booth Museum, Atlanta, GA, "21st Century Regionalists, Art of the New West"

2006  Manitou Galleries, Santa Fe, NM “Divine Mysteries”

2005  Manitou Galleries, Santa Fe, NM “Painting in the Present Tense”

2004  Medicine Man, Santa Fe, NM “Let Me Enjoy the Earth”

SEGI Fine Art, Scottsdale, AZ “Terra Cognita”

2003  Medicine Man, Tucson, AZ “Along the Pilgrims’ Path”

2002  Medicine Man, Tucson, AZ and Santa Fe, NM “Audience with a Cloud”

2001  Vanier Galleries on Main, Scottsdale, AZ “At An Ever Changing Origin”

Medicine Man, Tucson, AZ “Flights of Enchantment”

2002-1996  Karen Mitchell Frank Gallery, Dallas, TX

2002  “On the Plane of the Present”

2001   “Smaller Works”

2000   “Fifth Annual Solo Exhibition”

1999   “Perceptions of the Miraculous”

1998   “Ecstatic Revelations”

1997   “Dancing to the Tempo of the Evolving Day”

1996   “Landscapes from the Heart”

2000-1991 Contemporary Southwest Galleries, Santa Fe, NM

2000  “Viva, Painting in Celebration of Life”

1999   “I Am Nature”

1998  “Between Earth and Sky”

1997  “Exploring the Mystery of Sensation”

1996  “Bold Seer”

1995  “Impassioned Perceptions”

1994   Sensuous and Delicious Color”

1993   “Range and Cloud Towers”

1992   “Badlands, Violet and Gold”

1991   “Exhibition of New Works”

1993   San Juan College, Farmington, NM “McElwain Paints New Mexico”

1991-1986   C.G. Rein Galleries, Santa Fe, NM

1990   Robert Allen Fine Art, San Francisco, CA “Learning From Mother Nature”

1989   Rein-du Bois Gallery, Houston, TX

1981   Graham Arader lll, Philadelphia, PA “Fishes of the East Coast”

Selected Group Exhibitions

2007  Booth Museum "21st Century Regionalists, Art of the New West"

2006   New Haven Art Center, New Haven, CT “Particular Places” Honorable Mention

2005   Phippen Museum, Prescott, AZ “Homecoming: Outside the West”

2004   Medicine Man Gallery, Tucson, AZ “100 Years-Painting the Grand Canyon”

Chaparral Fine Art, Bozeman, MT “Visionaries”

NM Wilderness Alliance, “Wildlands Painted!”

2003-4  Palos Verdes Art Center, Palos Verdes, CA “The Wild West”
2002   Chaparral Fine Art, Bozeman, MT “Masters in Montana"
2002-1998    Kneeland Gallery, Ketchum, ID "Plein Air”

1997, 1995   Tucson Museum of Art, Tucson, AZ  "Women Artists of the West"

1995   Ian Lewis, Scottsdale, AZ  "Western Academy of Women Artists"

Hampshire College, Amherst, MA  "25th Year, Alumni Exhibition"

1993   Mongerson-Wunderlich, Chicago, IL

1988   Southwest-East, London, England

1984    Marion Locks Gallery, Philadelphia, PA

1977-1975   BFA Program Exhibitions, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia

1975-1969   Weston Arts and Crafts Association Shows, Weston, MA

Selected Collections

Tucson Museum of Art, Tucson, AZ
St. Vincent Hospital, Santa Fe, NM
Pepsi-Cola, CA
Nokia, TX
INA Corp., PA
Peat Marwick, CA
NATO Headquarters, Brussels
Mr. and Mrs. Patrick Sands, TX
University of Texas Law School, Austin, TX
Philadelphia Zoological Society
American Embassies: Sanaa, Bogota, Singapore, Bahrain
University of Pennsylvania, PA
Coors Brewing Co, CO

Recent Exhibits

Louisa McElwain participated in these exhibits:

Aug, 2014 A Walk in the Clouds
EVOKE Contemporary
Apr, 2014 Spring Fever
EVOKE Contemporary
Aug, 2013 retrospective: oil of joy, works from 1972 - 2012
EVOKE Contemporary
Aug, 2012 OIL OF JOY
EVOKE Contemporary
Oct, 2011 The West Select
Phoenix Art Museum
Aug, 2011 Oil of Joy 2011
EVOKE Contemporary
Click here to see all exhibits for Louisa McElwain
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