Danielle Mailer is the Official Visual Artist of the 2014 Litchfield Jazz Festival. She has been showing and selling her art under the Jazz Fest Fine Art Tent since 1999.
Danielle received her BA from Bowdoin College and studied at both the New York Studio School and the School of Visual Arts. She has focused recently on public art pieces and has works in downtown Historic Torrington, the Scoville Memorial Library in Salisbury -- both in Connecticut, was commissioned to do wall pieces for a Hospital in Boston, and most recently she mounted an instillation for the summer outside The Roger Smith Hotel on Lexington Avenue in NYC.
Mailer has shown in galleries and museums throughout North America. She was honored with a retrospective at the Mattatuck Museum with over 40 of her works on display. She was also part of a traveling retrospective of Provincetown artists titled "The Tides of Provincetown" at the New Britain Museum of American Art. She is represented by the Berta Walker Gallery in Provincetown Mass., and has her own gallery and studio in Goshen, CT. She is also Litchfield Magazine's two-time recipient of the "50 Most Influential People" of 2010 and 2012 in Litchfield County.
Danielle Mailer, daughter of Peruvian painter Adele Morales and writer Norman Mailer, has been teaching art at Indian Mountain School in Lakeville, Connecticut for over ten years. She resides in Goshen, CT with her husband, jazz trombonist, Peter McEachern, their Jack Russell Terrier, Merlin, and their three grown children, who visit often.
Photo of Danielle taken at the Litchfield Jazz Festival by Steven Sussman whose jazz photographs are also displayed under the Jazz Fest Art Tent.
Learn more about Danielle's art, her influences and the official 2014 Litchfield Jazz Fest image in the Q&A below.
Q: Tell us about the Official 2014 Litchfield Jazz Festival image you’ve created which will grace the festival t-shirt this summer.
A: I created this image inspired by that uniquely beautiful combination of summer and Jazz. The warmth of an August sun, the song of the barn swallow, the presence of the base and trumpet, make a collective tapestry that I hope speaks of the magic of the Litchfield Jazz festival.
Q: What are some of your greatest influences?
A: I am a huge fan of Niki de Saint Phalle, Gustav Klimt, Miriam Shapiro and Frieda Kahlo to name a few. However, it is safe to say that Matisse is never further then my back pocket.
Q: How has being married to jazz trombonist Peter McEachern influenced your art work?
A: I had grown up with parents that were big jazz enthusiasts but were more inclined to the jazz musicians of the 1950 and 60’s with particular fondness for Miles, Coltrane, Mingus, etc. But my husband Jazz trombonist Peter McEachern introduced me to all kinds of unusual forms of music that has expanded my repertoire considerably, not to mention his own innovative work. He keeps me well equipped with play-lists to listen to, while I paint; a huge inspiration.
Q: Your parents were both artistic, painter Adele Morales and writer Norman Mailer. Did they impact who you are as an artist today?
Subtlety sprinkled throughout my work, like the mortar in an elaborate mosaic, are my strongest influences: My Peruvian heritage, the colorful echo’s of my Mother's large abstract expressionistic paintings, and the words of my Father, the late Norman Mailer, who always said, “paint what you know”.
Q: We’ve noticed you’ve done a number of instillations and large scale outdoor pieces in the tri-state area recently. Tell us a little about that.
A: In the last decade I have begun to transition from an intimate personal expression to more of a “larger then life” statement, to finally a career in Public art. With this exhilarating and often challenging move into the “super-size” scale, my cats, horses, lions and, more recently, crows have left the cute and cuddly behind and entered the realm of the surreal and the iconic. They have also won themselves a place on three city walls, a country library, and a hospital cardiac unit.
Q: You’ve recently started to mentor young visual artists. Tell us a little about that.
A: I have been blessed with the opportunity to work with students on my Public Art projects. I appreciate their energy and enthusiasm and willingness to do what-ever is needed. I in turn, have been able to offer them recommendations to art schools. Currently I have a college intern who is working for me in exchange for college credit. That sure feels like a win-win.
Q: How long have you been displaying your artwork at the Jazz Festival art show?
I have been showing my artwork at Litchfield Jazz Festival since 1998.
Q: Why do you love doing this and has it opened you up to new experiences and people?
A: I love everything about the twelve years I have been exhibiting my work in the art tent. I delight in the music, the culinary treats and the chance to meet new friends and collectors. Even though I am represented by two galleries, the festival has always offered an exceptional selling opportunity. It is a weekend of pure heaven, safe to say our favorite weekend of the year.