Joan Waters earned her BFA from The Maryland Institute, College of Art,
where she studied African art with Prof. James E. Lewis. She is originally
from England, and grew up on the East coast of the U.S. In her childhood
she travelled to the Caribbean many times with her family, where she
developed the love of saturated tropical colors which are seen in her art.
These travels exposed her to foreign cultures, and helped her cultivate the
habit of looking at the world from different perspectives. This is reflected in
her art in the use positive/negative shapes which play with shifting
Waters’ paintings and metal sculptures suggest the energies and forms of
nature without directly depicting natural scenes. By concentrating her will
and energy into the materials, the work attains a visceral power and vibration
of its own.
In 1989, Ms. Waters moved to Phoenix, Arizona where the abundance of light and feeling of spaciousness were integrated into her large abstract acrylic paintings. At age 34, breast cancer surgery and six months of chemotherapy forced Ms. Waters to take time off in order to get well; during this period of introspection, a re-examination of priorities led to her decision to commit more time to painting and drawing, and to exhibit her work more often. A welding class at Mesa Community College introduced Waters to the challenges of working in steel.
Ms. Waters exhibits her work extensively in the Scottsdale/Phoenix area and on the East Coast, and her work is in numerous public and private collections. Recent commissions include public art for City of Chandler, City of Phoenix, Mesa Permanent Sculpture Collection, Mesa Community College, Copper Sun Child Center and Burton Barr Central Library. Waters was guest curator of the Herberger Theater Gallery for the 2007 season. The artist welcomes commissions and enjoys the synergy of the collaborative process.