I listen, and I forget
I see, and I remember
I do, and I understand

- Chinese Proverb


M.J. Levy Dickson explores global interconnectedness through her artwork, and has discovered a common denominator in the natural world. She finds in nature patterns of color, light, mood, subject, texture, and sound, which transcend conventional boundaries, such as those between land and water or time and space. These discoveries she reflects in her varied artwork, from her tenures as artist-in-residence in Tangier and at the Perkins School for the Blind to her many exhibitions in Iceland, Bali, the Caribbean, the American Southwest and China.

Dickson works in a variety of mediums to convey a composite relationship between mood and subject. With a deep body of work spanning oils, watercolor, pen and ink, glass and now metal sculpture, Dickson frequently explores the intersections of water with land and life. She adapts form, color, line, texture, weight, and mood to her unique expression. Playing the boundaries between Abstract, Realist, and Expressionist, she finds, records, and is inspired by the universal in nature.

Dickson has taught at MIT, the Boston Architectural Center, and Wenzhou-Kean University in China. Working with people with limited vision, mental health problems, children, older adults, individuals on the autism spectrum, and others with special needs has honed her instinct for art as communication. She provides a counterpoint to a culture in which emotions are intellectualized and verbalized – yet not available to everyone in these forms. Encompassing thought and meaning visually, tactilely, and aurally, she offers a bridge by which diverse audiences can experience the unexpressed.

Her most recent adventures into public art, through ongoing interactive installation projects entitled, Like Sea Glass: A Hand Full of Light and Seaquence, the Whim of the Wind, have provided further experience working with broad audiences in various settings.

As its name suggests, Like Sea Glass is inspired by sea glass found on beaches around the globe. Each installation is a unique, custom-designed tactile and visual experience in which thousands of unique shapes in myriad colors are displayed. Each piece is safe to touch and presents transitions from smooth to soft, indentation to extension, concave to convex. Audiences are invited to view the rhythm of color and light, as well as to pick up, handle, and replace the glass at will, literally re-shaping the exhibit over time.

Dickson’s most recent project, Seaquence, was also inspired by walks on the beach, where she realized that dried Sargasso grass and wind and wave patterns in the sand can be simplified into circles and lines. This then led to an exploration of waves and their relation to sound, bringing yet another sense, that of hearing, into her artwork.

Although Dickson finds accommodating studio practice and public art a balancing act, she is tackling the challenge of harmonizing one with the other to produce the best possible work and the most interesting and inspiring experiences for audiences.