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M.J. Anderson's ANTIDOTE opens on September 23

M.J. Anderson exhibits glowing figurative and abstract sculptures. The whimsical “Sea Siren” greets visitors to the museum.

MJ Anderson's SEA SIREN

For over 40 years she says the “concept of my sculpture has been to offer a strong female voice that addresses the identity of women from our own perspectives.” She speaks to how women feel, rather than how they look. Stone gives strength to her message and offers images of beauty and resilience. Several pieces were created especially for this SJIMA exhibition.

Sponsors: The Honeywell Charitable Fund, Town of Friday Harbor, Printonyx, Browne’s Home Center and Harbor Rentals.


Working in outside studios for 30 years on the Oregon coast and in Carrara, Italy, I am affected by the weather, time of day, and seasonal changes. The drama and nuance of light are my constant companions and collaborators. Similar to my approach with the figure, I am just as concerned with what a sculpture evokes as with how it appears. When I first encountered the striated layers of green onyx, I saw and felt water-- petrified water. As I cut, grind, and polish the onyx, I am allowed to not only give form to the elements of air and water, mists, and rain but to connect with the ineffable, the cosmos within. As changing light combines with the translucency of onyx, an ethereal dynamic is at work. Just as the sea or river changes color with the weather or time of day, a sculpture may at times seem to glow from within or show itself as a bold opaque silhouette.


Oregon native, M.J. ANDERSON graduated from Portland State University in 1977, concentrating on sculpture & fibers. Her early art career focused on textiles, working out of a textile studio making rugs for Portland’s Saturday Market, constructing fiber sculpture and teaching weaving at the Oregon School of Art and Craft.

In 1982, upon meeting sculptor Manuel Neri at UC Davis and planning to attend graduate school there, he directed her instead to learn to carve marble in Carrara, Italy, the world center of marble sculpture.

Artist M.J. Anderson

Sculpting stone now for almost 40 years, M.J. Anderson selects marble, travertine, and onyx from quarries and stone yards of Carrara, Italy for her iconic figurative and abstract sculptures.

In addition to her personal work for gallery exhibition, M.J. works with designers and architects on public art commissions as well as liturgical commissions, including a pair of marble figures flanking the entrance to the Justice Center on Capitol Mall in Salem, Oregon, and a 5-ton sculpture for the Church of the Resurrection in Solon, Ohio.

M.J. Anderson has won numerous awards, including a Pollack Krasner Grant, Individual Artist Fellowship awarded by the Oregon Arts Commission, and The Ford Family Foundation Opportunity Grant. She has participated in symposium in Japan and Australia, has taught design and sculpture at Marylhurst University, Sitka Center for Art & Ecology, and the Northwest Stone Sculptors Association.

Her work is included in the following selected collections: Providence Portland Medical Center, Museum of Northwest Art, The Hallie Ford Museum, The Portland Art Museum.


M.J. Anderson's ANTIDOTE will be on view from September 23 - December 5, 2022, in the North Gallery.

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