Pamela Flynn is a mixed media artist who is heavily inspired by social and cultural issues. Pamela holds an MFA and works as a Professor of Art and Fine Arts Coordinator at Holy Family University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Pamela frequently exhibits artwork at New York’s Phoenix Gallery and is also a member of the Philadelphia Chapter of The Women’s Caucus. Her art has been exhibited throughout America as well as in South Korea and she was awarded a 2006 Puffin Foundation Grant. Pamela recently discussed her artwork and her hopes for the future.


Blasting News (BN): What steered you towards becoming an Artist and how did you evolve your style and favorite mediums?

Pamela Flynn (PF): Making art is part of who I am. I started my journey in art making as a painter, and over the years I evolved into a mixed media and mixed process artist. One factor that remains true to all my art making is that I make work that is process intense and based on bringing my voice to the visual.

BN: How many pieces have you produced, do you have a favorite, and was s any piece particularly challenging to create?

PF: This exhibit titled “No Pretense” is oil on ceramic and has 36 buds in a range of sizes. Each piece is unique and based on the premise that plant form and human form have a unique visual link.

Each piece is my visual creation- from the sculptural process to the painting with oil paint -to create the unfolding/revealing image. Each one of these pieces was a challenge to make but the large standing piece is especially difficult because I had to be careful that the clay form was hollowed out and vented so that it would not explode in the kiln.

BN: How many styles have you experimented with and how did you first go about getting your work displayed in galleries?

PF: The thread that links my work is the use of mixed media and mixed process. My work ranges from these sculptural painted forms to works on paper that use stitching and overlays of transparent paper to oil paintings that are combined with a sea of seed beads individually glued in place.

When I graduated from college I self-declared myself an artist and have never stopped making art from that point. I have always participated in group exhibits and looked for opportunities to exhibit my work.


BN: How did you connect with the Phoenix Gallery and what have your experiences with them been like?

PF: About 20 years ago I was in a Women's Caucus for Art group exhibit that was being held at the Phoenix Gallery. When I visited the exhibit, I met the gallery director, Linda Handler, and she introduced me to the idea of a collective artist gallery. I applied for membership and was accepted, and I have been a member ever since. I truly believe in the concept of an artist run gallery.

At the Phoenix Gallery, the members can exhibit work that is expressive and true to their individual voice. As we are at a time that the artist's voice is a major force in the social/cultural/political landscape, an artist-run gallery is an important institution in American cities.

BN: What is the most rewarding thing about working as a professional artist and do you have any other jobs on the side? If so, do they influence your artistic work in any way?

PF: What I find rewarding in being a professional artist is twofold. I cannot imagine not making art the process of creating is who I am - Every moment in the studio is rewarding and fulfilling on many levels. The exhibiting of my work is rewarding because I get the opportunity to bring my visual voice to others-art is about dialogue and my art creates a dialogue.

I am also a Professor of Art at Holy Family University, Philadelphia. Working with student artists fuels my own art making. The mentoring of student artists is rewarding and hearing their artistic voices is inspiring.

BN: What advice would you give to a person who is trying to make it as a professional artist?

PF: Being a visual artist is not easy. Being an artist means that you self-define as an artist. Being an artist must be your primary driving force. We all have many defining rolls in life, but the artist one is rooted in an artist's self.

BN: Do you have any projects or events forthcoming that you would like to discuss?

PF: Yes, I have pieces displayed through May in the Tiny Gallery Creative Arts Workshop in New Haven, CT.

In July of 2017 my “Considering Harm Anti-Gun Violence Art Project” will be displayed at Hudson Pride Connections Center in Jersey City, NJ, and it will then be traveling to Rhode Island for an exhibit. From October to November I will have an exhibition of a body of work that is about the process at Eureka Gallery in Vernon, CT. In the Spring of 2018 I will have an exhibit of new work at the Phoenix Gallery, and in the Fall of 2018, I will be showing in the Upstairs Gallery at Ridgefield Guild of Artists in Vernon, CT.