• Weep, Their Banner of Monument

    Weep, Their Banner of Monument

    Dawn Holder's solo exhibition, Weep, Their Banner of Monument, is on display at Franklin College's Johnson Center for the Fine Arts from Monday September 12 to October 28, 2022.

    Over the past four years, Holder’s work has been critical of the many Confederate monuments throughout the south. Travels and artist residencies in Europe widened the scope of her monument research, finding the genesis of these images of power and control in Roman antiquities. Holder’s current sculptures, installations, and photographs reference the equestrian and obelisk imagery shared by both Roman and Confederate monuments, their inscribed texts, and their visual relationship to the landscape. By excerpting these recognizable forms, her work explores the dramatic possibilities of their ruin. Holder’s sculptures and photographs compress time and history, foregrounding the eventual state of entropy, disrepair, and loss of memory that comes to all monuments. Through this work, Holder invites conversation around the ongoing fight to reevaluate and remove monuments erected in the spirit of oppression.

    Here's an article from the local paper about the exhibition:
    Monumental work: Artist examines how monuments affect landscapes

  • A Glory That May Never

    A Glory That May Never

    A Glory That May Never
    Spiva Gallery, MSSU
    Joplin, MO
    Feb 22-Mar 11, 2021

    From the press release:
    Holder’s work explores landscape as social and cultural construct. Over the past three years, her work has been critical of the many Confederate monuments throughout the south. Travels and artist residencies in Europe widened the scope of her monument research, finding the genesis of these images of power and control in Roman antiquities. Holder’s current sculptures, installations, and photographs reference the equestrian and obelisk imagery shared by both Roman and Confederate monuments, their inscribed texts, and their visual relationship to the landscape. By excerpting these recognizable forms, her work explores the dramatic possibilities of their ruin. Holder’s sculptures and photographs compress time and history, foregrounding the eventual state of entropy, disrepair, and loss of memory that comes to all monuments. Although there is a bleakness to this work, she hopes it serves to validate the ongoing fight to reevaluate the many monuments erected in the spirit of oppression.

  • New Porcelain Grass Installations in Springdale, AR

    New Porcelain Grass Installations in Springdale, AR

    My installations Median and Intersection will grace the window fronts of Famous Hardware for the next three months. Come by and enjoy a safe, socially distant viewing experience at 113 W Emma St, Springdale, AR.

    These installations reference the contrasting ways that grass is utilized in our urban and suburban landscaping. Median mirrors the impersonal parcels of land used to mediate and control human movement on roadways. In this context, grass is merely a filler: easy to control, something to hold the dirt in place. On the other hand, Intersection references the corner of a suburban lawn, where grass becomes one’s own personal outdoor domain, evoking feelings of nostalgia and relaxation.

    Short video interview on this project coming soon...

  • Recent Publications/Projects

    Recent Publications/Projects

    When the world first shut down due to COVID, I was anxious and frustrated that I could not access any of the facilities to create my ceramics and sculptural work. Rather than give up, I refocused my energies to my photography and writing. Over the spring, I began a new series of digital photo collages exploring fallen monuments. One of these images is featured in the postcard book Monuments to Escape, curated and designed by the artist Marisa Williamson.

    Buy your own set of postcards here.

    During the summer, I shifted my attention to write a critical-creative essay that weaves together personal reflection, history, excerpts of advertisements, quotations, and images of my porcelain lawn installations to examine the violence hidden in the creation of lawn-based monocultures in the suburban United States. This hybrid style of writing allowed me to bring together my research about lawns, the process of creating porcelain installations that explore lawn monocultures, and my own relationship to the lawn outside my house.

    This essay was published in volume 5 of Monday art journal, out of Jacob Lawrence Gallery at the University of Washington. The issue, titled "Angel of History" was guest-edited by Marisa Williamson.

    You can purchase a copy here.

    I am so grateful to Marisa for inviting me to participate in these projects, and that I had the opportunity to reflect and create in the turmoil and uncertainty of spring/summer 2020.

  • 62nd Annual Delta Exhibition

    62nd Annual Delta Exhibition

    A grouping of six photographs from my Fallen Monuments series was selected by juror Stefanie Fedor for inclusion in the 62nd Annual Delta Exhibition at the Arkansas Arts Center Museum.

    The entire exhibition can be viewed online this year.

    Here is a recording of a conversation between juror Stefanie Fedor and Brian Lang, Chief Curator and Windgate Foundation Curator of Contemporary Craft. My work is mentioned around 33:25, and connected to the current conversation about monuments and their function in community.

  • Upcoming Solo Exhibition

    Upcoming Solo Exhibition

    Whence This Glory Perish

    This exhibition will feature new works from my sabbatical, including a series of site responsive photographs, text-based wall tiles, and a new installation.

    In my home state of Arkansas, there are over fifty Confederate monuments. Erected during the Jim Crow era, they were a way for whites to reinforce control over the public landscape, instill fear into black populations, and reframe their loss in the war as a noble fight. My recent travels and creative projects in Europe have widened the scope of my research on monuments, allowing me to analyze their rich visual history, with a particular focus on Roman antiquities. My current sculptures, installations, and photographs reference the equestrian and obelisk imagery commonly shared in both Roman and Confederate monuments. Working directly from specific references, these sculptures and photographs reveal the dramatic possibilities of ruin: Confederate monuments torn apart and covered with fallen leaves or images “discovering” the remains of classical monuments broken and buried by time. Other works mangle and remix compiled Confederate inscriptions, disempowering the formal structure and message of their original language. By deconstructing these seemingly immutable forms, my art destabilizes their messages through the process of fragmentation and rearrangement.

    Dates: Jan 23- Feb 19, 2020
    Gallery Hours: Mon-Fri 8:30-3:30
    Reception: Jan 29, 2020
    Locations: Stephens Gallery, University of the Ozarks
    415 N College St Clarksville, AR 72830

  • Fired Up in the Natural State: Contemporary Ceramics

    Fired Up in the Natural State: Contemporary Ceramics

    My work will be included in an upcoming survey on contemporary ceramics in Arkansas at the University of Central Arkansas Baum Gallery. Don't miss this exhibition of phenomenal clay artists. I will be showing one of my recent monument installations, as well as a wall piece, and a few small sculptural assemblages.

    Dates: Jan 23- Feb 14, 2020,
    Gallery Hours: Mon–Fri 10–5; Thurs 10–7
    Reception: Jan 23, 4:00-7:00 pm
    Location: UCA Baum Gallery, University of Central Arkansas
    201 Donaghey Ave Conway, AR 72035

  • Review for Shelter in Place Exhibition

    Review for Shelter in Place Exhibition

    A review for Culture Shock's group exhibition Shelter In Place was recently published in the Arkansas democrat Gazette. Here is a link to the online version: All-Female Exhibit Explores "Shelter"


    I am one of the featured artists in the May issue of Arkansas Life Magazine, in TOOLS OF THE TRADE: Inside the studios of six Arkansas artists.

    Read the article here!



    June 9, 2017 — August 27, 2017
    Arkansas Arts Center in Little Rock, AR

    Exciting News!! Grass Variation (Mown Path) was awarded the GRAND PRIZE by juror Betsy Bradley, Curator of the Mississippi Art Museum.

    An excerpt from Betsy Bradley's Juror Statement:
    Many of the artists in this exhibition examine the the natural beauty of their homes with exciting new treatments: porcelain blades of grass, steel-cut leaves, and paintings out of wood. Yet others relish the cluttered details of lives consumed by the flotsam and jetsam of daily life, the clues to our values and our inner truths. As much I found some artists savoring the details of their words, I was truly struck by others whose works evidenced a great unease, eerie expressions of a world slipping into an abyss, emanating tones of fear, anger, and anxiety. To expect otherwise, some of these artists would tell us, would be unrealistic, and an impossible task for the soothsayers and truth-tellers who must confront us with with visions we often work very hard to avoid.

    I'll have two 5 x 5 porcelain grass installations in this exhibition, including one that has never been shown before.

    The Annual Delta Exhibition was founded in 1958 to feature contemporary work by artists from Arkansas and bordering states. Today, it is one of the most anticipated Arkansas Arts Center exhibitions of the year. The Annual Delta Exhibition provides a unique snapshot of the artists from the Mississippi Delta region and a glimpse into the contemporary art scene, reflecting the region’s strong traditions of craftsmanship and observation, combined with innovative use of materials and an experimental approach to subject matter.

    Review: “Hard Edges: The 59th Delta provokes thoughts about why we love our unnatural lawns, and what is real, anyway?”

    'The Delta' four: Top picks’ innovation sways juror

    Arkansas Arts Center Blog



    "Traces Remain" an exhibition with works by Melissa Cowper-Smith and Dawn Holder will have its opening at the Historic Arkansas Museum on Friday, May 12th 5-8 pm.

    Melissa Cowper-Smith is enamored with memory, with forgetting, with the fleeting nature of everything around us. Her 2D pieces begin as acrylic paintings digitally collaged with photographs and manipulated using specialized computer software. The resulting images are then pigment-printed onto paper made by hand from cotton and other plant fibers grown at Wildland Gardens, Melissa’s eco-farm. Each still image, each print, represents only a single moment in Cowper-Smith’s stop-action videos, multimedia projections that play with the representation of time’s passage.

    If Death kept a formal garden, Dawn Holder’s ceramic sculptures might be his topiary. Carefully composed from discarded chunks of concrete and asphalt, adorned with blossoms and bits of plant matter dipped in slip and sheathed in pops of synthetic CMYK color, the objects preserved in this garden might seem to live (or die) forever, suspended in time like the victims of Pompeii encased in ash. Fired at high temperatures, each flower is a hollow clay shell, fragile and apt to crumble to dust. In Holder’s work, viewers confront an aesthetic of sickness — poisoned and barren.

    Traces Remain continues in the Trinity Gallery for Arkansas Artists through August 6, 2017.

    Update: Composition 145 (Three Flowers) (pictured above) was recently acquired by the Historic Arkansas Museum for their permanent collection!


    Check out this fabulous video interview that the Zuckerman Museum created about me as part of the "A View Beyond the Trees" exhibition!


    Also, here is a thoughtful review of the entire exhibition in ArtsATL:


    Curious Devotion
    Sept 8- Oct 20, 2016
    Baum Gallery, University of Central Arkansas
    Conway, AR

    Art Installations by Dawn Holder, Langdon Graves, and Danielle Riede. Curated by Sandra Luckett.

    I will be showing a new grass installation: Suburban Lawn Iteration V.

    Opening reception and gallery talk
    Sept 8, 4:00pm

    Artist Lecture
    Sept 22, 1:40 pm
    McCastlain Lecture Hall 143


    Monday July 25, 11:30-1:00
    The Jones Center, Springdale, AR

    Welcome to Uncaged Bird: Phenomenal Women in the Arts!

    The ACO and the Jones Center are more excited than ever to announce a pop up women's luncheon featuring this month's exhibition of Arkansas Women to Watch: Featuring four phenomenal women in the arts: Jenni Taylor Swain Juggler of Ideas Potluck Arts, Sara Segerlin the Senior Educator of Public Programs at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Dawn Holder professional artist on tour with the Arkansas Women to Watch exhibit, and concluding advocacy speaker Barbara Satterfield representing the Arkansas Committee of the National Museum of Women in the Arts.

    Uncaged Bird: Phenomenal Women in the Arts
    Monday July 25, 2016 – The Jones Center
    11:30am - 1:00pm
    11:45 - 12:00 - Jenni Taylor Swain
    12:00 - 12:15 - Sara Segerlin
    12:15 - 12:30 - Dawn Holder
    12:30 - 12:45 - Barbara Satterfield
    12:45 - 1:00 - Open Discussion

    $25 at the door
    Please email RSVP to the ACO Director of Visual Arts, Eve Smith at eve@acozarks.org

    Scope of Luncheon:
    Uncaged Bird focuses on the importance of women's voices in the art world
    Art as the bird's voice: The narrative of female lives and experiences These women devise an Artistic Narrative through their voice
    Together with other women in the arts world they create the Uncaged Bird, Phenomenal Women in the Arts.


    A short news spotlight on KNWA of me and my work, currently at Arts Center for the Ozarks in Springdale, AR. The show is Organic Matters: Arkansas Women to Watch, traveling Arkansas 2016-2017.

    AR Women Artists Featured in Traveling Exhibition


    Follow the link for a short video of the install.... Two and a half days of work compressed into 49 seconds!!


    Ceramics wil be on view at Marcia Wood Midtown in Atlanta from Feb 18-Mar 19, 2016.

    Images of work from show:

    Review of show in Burnaway:


    The group exhibition Organic Matters, curated by Courtney Taylor and sponsored by the Arkansas Committee of The National Museum of Women in the Arts, is currently on display at the Wingate Art and Design building in Ft Smith. This show will travel to a number of venues throughout Arkansas through mid-2017.

    Almost Sticky Sweet
    Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette


    A View Beyond the Trees

    Bernard A. Zuckerman Museum of Art
    Kennesaw State University
    June 18–August 14, 2016

    I'll be exhibiting a new, large porcelain grass installation as one of several separate but interrelated projects on theme of landscape and geography.

    More information to come soon!!


    Culture Shock: Shine your Rubies, Hide your Diamonds
    Concordia Hall Gallery (at the Butler Center in River Market District, Little Rock, AR)
    Friday, April 8 to Saturday, August 27 2016
    Artist Included: Melissa Cowper-Smith, Melissa Gill, Tammy Harrington, Dawn Holder, Jessie Hornbrook, Holly Laws, Sandra Luckett, Morgan Page, Rachel Trusty.

    CULTURE SHOCK (previously known as The Show & Tell Art Collective)
    The Culture Shock Art Collective was founded in the fall of 2013. Members include Melissa Cowper-Smith (Morrilton), Melissa Gill (Little Rock), Tammy Harrington (Russellville), Dawn Holder (Clarksville), Jessie Hornbrook (Conway), Holly Laws (Mayflower), Sandra Luckett (Conway), Rachel Trusty (Russelville). Past members include Morgan Page (Batesville) and Paige Dirksen (Batesville). The group holds regular critiques. During a critique one artist shares their work and receives constructive feedback from the group. Through an in-depth, meaningful, sincere, and sometimes difficult conversation, the collective supports the intellectual, emotional, and creative development of each members artistic practice. With an awareness that male artists continue to have greater opportunity and exposure, The Collective is committed to expanding the networking and exhibition opportunities for women artists in Arkansas.


    New Installation at the Arts and Science Center for Southeast Arkansas

    A Flower's Shade
    February 11- April 21, 2016
    Reception Feb 11, 5-7 pm

    The formal garden, as seen in the Palace of Versailles or Chateaux de Vaux-le-Vicomte, is a spectacle of man’s dominion over the natural world. Inspired by the rules of geometry, optics, and perspective and created under the pretext of aesthetic pleasure, French formal gardens embody and enforce order and hierarchy. Here, the chaos of the natural world has been pruned into obedient symmetry—trees are sheared into geometric forms, boxwoods embroider the earth in curving patterns, the earth itself is flattened and terraced. Pools, cascades, and fountains display feats of engineering, as they reflect and amplify man and his creations dotting the landscape. This luxuriously artificial space informs my compositions, even as I reject the patriarchy of its visual language. In A Flower’s Shade, broken slabs of concrete, a calling card of the Anthropocene, are arranged into geometric patterns reminiscent of those found in the formal garden.

    The sculptural forms growing from the concrete garden celebrate and preserve the fleeting and the unwanted: weeds collected by the roadside, branches and leaves trimmed from hedges, shrubs and trees removed to improve the view, and flowers picked as they begin to wilt and fade. Each bit of plant matter was dipped in liquid clay slip and fired. During the firing, the plant matter burns out, leaving behind delicate porcelain fossils, which are then assembled into new forms. The successive layers of slip and glaze serve to abstract and de-familiarize the once recognizable vegetation. Collectively, the sculptures form a dark garden as they colonize and reclaim the fractured concrete terrain. Yet, each delicate form is carefully ordered and composed, a specimen on display.

    Short article in the Pine Bluff Commercial:
    Installation brings hint of dystopia to Arts and Science Center


    Two Explorations of Nature and Centuries-old Gender Stereotypes
    Washington Post

    5 Questions with Dawn Holder
    Broad Strokes: National Museum of Women in the Arts Blog

  • Monoculture will be featured in the National Museum for Women in the Arts

    Organic Matters- Women to Watch 2015

    June 5- September 13, 2015

    Organic Matters, the fourth installment in NMWA’s Women to Watch exhibition series, explores the relationships between women, nature, and art. Women to Watch is presented every two to three years and is a dynamic collaboration between the museum and participating outreach committees. The 13 committees participating in Women to Watch 2015 worked with curators in their respective regions to create shortlists of artists working with the subject of nature. From this list, NMWA curators selected the artists whose work is on view in Organic Matters.

    The connection between women and nature has a long history, one that is fraught with gendered stereotypes and discriminatory assumptions. The contemporary artists highlighted in Organic Matters build upon and expand these pre-existing conceptualizations by actively investigating the natural world, to fanciful and sometimes frightful effect. Collectively, their work addresses modern society’s complex relationship with the environment, ranging from concern for its future to fear of its power. Through a diverse array of mediums, including photography, drawing, sculpture, and video, these artists depict fragile ecosystems, otherworldly landscapes, and creatures both real and imagined.

    The exhibition features works by Dawn Holder (Arkansas), Jennifer Celio (Southern California), Andrea Lira (Chile), Françoise Pétrovitch (France), Jiha Moon (Georgia), Goldschmied & Chiari (Italy), Lara Shipley (Greater Kansas City Area), Rebecca Hutchinson (Massachusetts), Mary Tsiongas (New Mexico), Rachel Sussman (Greater New York Region), Mimi Kato (Ohio), Ysabel LeMay (Texas), and Polly Morgan (United Kingdom).

    Organic Matters Exhibition

  • Solo Show at Ft. Smith Regional Art Museum (RAM)

    Several Collections of Commemorative Plates
    April 3- July 19, 2015

    Installation Images

    Article in the NW Arkansas Democrat Gazette

  • 66th Annual River Valley Invitational

    A few weeks ago, I installed my work Suburban Lawn Iteration III in the light-filled lobby of the Ft. Smith Regional Art Museum as part of the 66th Annual River Valley Invitational. At the opening a few days ago, I was honored and excited to find out that my work won first place and that I will have a solo show at the museum in 2015! The installation will be up through mid September.

    For hours, directions, and info on Ft Smith RAM:

    A short article about the show, with images:

  • Always Greener

    Arkansas Tech University
    Norman Hall Art Gallery Schedule 2013 - 2014

    August 19 – September 26

    Opening Reception & Gallery Talk:
    Thursday, September 12th, 2:30pm - 3:30pm



    NCECA Concurrent Independent Exhibition
    March 19-23, 2013

    Monoculture investigates the lawn in its dual nature as "natural" space and cultural signifier using thousands of blades of hand-made porcelain grass. The obsessive and repetative nature of this work mirrors the suburban obsession with creating the perfect lawn, a cultural ideal that isn't as green as it seems.

    MotherDog Studios, 720 Walnut St, Houston, TX 77002
    Exhibition Dates: March 19 – March 23, 2013
    Gallery Hours: 10:00am – 5:30pm
    Opening: Friday March 22, 6:00pm-9:00pm

  • White Noise, November 19 - December 10, 2010

    White Noise: An exhibition investigating personal space and the boundaries of manufactured control.

    Dawn Holder | Jamie Horgan | Nicholas Rice

    Curated by Dave Sinaguglia.

    November 19 - December 10, 2010

    Opening Reception
    November 19th, 6-8pm

    Jorgensen Gallery
    University of Connecticut
    2132 Hillside Road,
    Storrs, CT
    Gallery Hours: Mon-Fri 11am - 4pm

  • Upcoming show!

    Dawn Holder: The Idea of This Perfect Edenic Place
    Hartford Public Library ArtWalk Gallery
    Feb 19th- April 16th, 2010

    This installation explores the concept of the garden, which from the artist’s perspective, is an infinitely malleable space. Its many incarnations may serve as a myriad of metaphors: for desire, abundance, growth, fertility, youth, possibility, community, stability, wealth, or the passage of time. The garden is a space of unrestrained beauty and hopefulness, a sensory explosion, a quiet moment of escapism, a joyous collaboration with nature, a perfect edenic kind of place.

    Instead of cultivating a traditional outdoor garden, Ms. Holder has chosen to create the garden of her dreams in her studio. Rather than growing in the rich soil, handmade plants bud forth from her own innovative recipe of porcelain paper-clay. Ms. Holder chose to work with porcelain because of its purity of color; its pliability and receptive working qualities; and its history of preciousness. The clay's malleable nature allows her to create delicate, fragile, and detailed forms. The trees, plants, and flowers are not meant to replicate actual varieties of plants, but rather to capture the idea of flowers, as they live in the imagination.

    Gardens, like all living things are not static. They transform over time, reacting to the elements, growing, flourishing, fading, withering. Similarly, this is not a static piece of art. Over the course of the exhibition, the work will grow and change as Ms. Holder creates and plants new vegetation in the garden. As a result, return visits to the gallery will reveal new experiences to the viewer.

    Ms. Holder would like to thank her students, Hailey Schumacher, Katie Linke, Jess Schillinger, and Casey Hanrahan, for their contributions to this project.

  • The Awesomest Art Thing Ever

    The Awesomest Art Thing Ever


    Storefront Art has never been cooler than it is right this very second in Downtown Hartford. Nine Hartford artists were specially chosen to create installations in these storefronts based on the creativity of their proposal, how their artwork enhances the vibrancy of Downtown Hartford and for their overall awesomeness.

    Ethan Boisvert
    Inner Outer Space
    10 State House Square, Main Street

    Colin Burke
    Window Shopping
    54 Pratt Street

    Jeff Cowie
    "Given: The Illuminating Gas"
    64 Pratt Street

    Dawn Holder
    Once Upon a Time in the Forest of I'm Not Sweet Enough...
    42 1/2 Pratt Street

    Ryan Iverson
    Welcome to Hartford!
    64 Pratt Street

    Tao LaBossiere
    Competition of the Contortionist
    252 & 254 Trumbull Street

    Joe Saphire & Joel VanderKamp
    The Time Is
    10 State House Square, Main Street

    John Lepak
    Graphic Design For the Awesomest Art Thing Ever
    88 Pratt Street
    54 Pratt Street

    Nine Hartford Artists were selected to install works ranging from full-scale three dimensional pieces to interactive artwork to graphic art. The unique projects will improve the physical appearance of the buildings and streets and enhance the vibrancy and marketability of the city of Hartford. Each space utilized for the project is for lease and the project intends to create additional visibility for developers and attract merchants interested in filling the storefronts permanently.

    The Awesomest Arts Thing Ever aims to cultivate a new appreciation of the downtown area, encouraging pedestrian activity and engaging the urban environment in a creative dialogue. In addition, The Awesomest Art Thing Ever provides an opportunity for artists who have been affected by the economic downturn to display their creativity by transforming vacant storefronts into exhibition spaces that will present their artwork to a wider audience.

    All artists are either residents of the City of Hartford or rent studio space in Hartford. All carpenters, installers, and support personnel are Hartford residents and materials were purchased from merchants and vendors within the city of Hartford whenever possible.

    The Awesomest Art Thing Ever is being exhibited in storefronts provided by Northland Investment Corporation and State House Square and can be seen along Pratt, Main, and Trumbull Streets in Downtown Hartford through January 2010.

    The Awesomest Art Thing Ever is a project of the Hartford Business Improvement District, funded by a grant from the City of Hartford's 2009 Arts & Heritage Jobs Program.