Paintings made with casein and natural pigments of powdered earth, plants, minerals, and ash act as material explorations of alchemical agencies and metaphorical messages through the methods and media from which their voices emerge.

Denise Susanne Townsend, MFA, M.Ed., CCH, BCST

Born in Chicago, Illinois

Currently resides in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains of Colorado

Selected Solo Exhibitions and Group Shows

2018 Betti Ono Gallery, exhibition and artist talk by Denise Susanne Townsend, Tobias Tovera, Jamie Lee Andreson and Jonatas Campelo, Oakland, California

2018 Invisible Light, Casa de Artes Sustentaves, co-curated by Denise Susanne Townsend, Tobias Tovera and Mika Aono, The Ark Project, Salvador, Bahia, Brazil

2018 Il Filo Degli Altri, SACI Gallery, Florence, Italy

2017 Origin, co-curated by Denise Susanne Townsend, Tobias Tovera and Ari Rudenko, The Ark Project, Oakland, California

2016 Symbiosis, co-curated by Denise Susanne Townsend and Tobias Tovera, The Ark Project, Oakland, California

2016 Lucid Art Residency Annual Exhibition, Gallery Route One, Point Reyes Station, California

2014 Solo Exhibition, Ephemera, Andrew Clark Gallery, Denver, Colorado

2012 Il Filo Degli Altri, SACI Gallery, Florence, Italy

2012 Dynamo, Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art, Boulder, Colorado

2012 Vernissage, San Francisco Art Institute MFA Thesis Exhibition, San Francisco, California

2011 Keeping an Eye on Surveillance, The Performance Art Institute, San Francisco, California

2011 Co·labor·ation, Diego Rivera Gallery, San Francisco, California

2010 Trio, Studio Soma, Denver, Colorado

2010 Thirteen, Diego Rivera Gallery, San Francisco, California

2010 Abandon, Swell Gallery, San Francisco, California

2009 6 Routes: Same Destination, La Corte Arte Contemporanea, Florence, Italy

2008 The Cradle Project, Albuquerque, New Mexico

2008 Solo Exhibition, Alaya Studio, Louisville, Colorado

Residencies, Honors and Awards

2018 The Ark Project, Salvador, Bahia, Brazil, international summer residency hosted by Casa de Artes Sustentaves

2016 - 2017 The Ark Project, Oakland, California, an independent art studio and exhibition residency program with a focus on creation, presentation, and documentation of contemporary art in all forms that engage discovery, transformation and innovation

2015 Lucid Art Foundation, Inverness, California, a month-long solo residency deep in the heart of the Bishop Pine Preserve dedicated to creative exploration and inquiry into arts and consciousness

2012 Nominee and Finalist for the Headlands Graduate Fellowship, The Headlands Center for the Arts, Sausalito, California


2012 San Francisco Art Institute, San Francisco, California, Master of Fine Arts

2009 Studio Art Centers International, Florence, Italy, Post-Baccalaureate in Fine Arts

2004 Colorado School of Energy Studies, Boulder, Colorado

2001 Rocky Mountain Center for Botanical Studies, Boulder, Colorado

1991 Lesley University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, Master of Education: Creative Arts in Learning


Denise is an interdisciplinary artist who began her formal education in the arts in Florence, Italy in 2008 and completed her MFA at the San Francisco Art Institute in San Francisco, California in 2012. The agency of her art is deeply influenced by her practice of Zen, yoga and integrative medicine, her work with plant medicines and mysticism in the Amazonian jungles and high Andean mountains of Peru as well as encounters with exquisite places and people around the globe, most recently in Brazil, Sri Lanka, Bali, France, Costa Rica and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia where she inquisitively ventured to live and work for eighteen months upon graduation from SFAI.  Awarded solo residencies with the Lucid Art Foundation in Inverness, California and the Ark Project in Oakland, California, Denise returned to the states to reside in the San Francisco Bay Area and recently moved home to the beautiful Rocky Mountains of Colorado.  Her work has been exhibited in solo and group shows in the United States, Europe, and South America and is part of numerous private collections at home and abroad. The synthesis of her passions is shared through her devotion to art, to the revolution of healing, and to the facilitation of international retreats in the heart of nature inspiring creativity, consciousness and the balance of being.

Selected Collections

Jamie Andreson & Jonatas Campelo, Salvador, Bahia, Brazil

Arlene McIntyre, Florence, Italy

Lorenzo Pezzatini, Florence, Italy

Mona Shehab, Saudi Arabia

Betty Jean Browning, Ottawa, Canada

Mary F. McGuire, Santa Fe, NM

John Kadlecek, Santa Fe, NM

Bobbie Luckett Owens, Portland, OR

Sally Ray, Austin TX

Linda Gonzalez, Jasper Trail, CO

Zita Xavier, Durango, CO

Maria Bailey, Boulder, CO

Curtis Ramsay, Crestone, CO

Robert and Julie Townsend, Park Forest, IL

Marcella Davis, San Francisco, CA

Melysa Reiss, San Diego, CA

Tavin and Marcie Dillie, Littleton, CO

Rendl M. Clark, Boulder, CO

Jane De Blieux, Park City, UT

Susan Diana Walker, San Mateo, CA

Jessica Morningstar Wolf, Denver, CO

Heather Luttrell, Defiance, OH

Paul Batchelder, Conifer, CO

Deanna Gabriel, Boulder, CO

Karen Horan, Niwot, CO

David Lang Kessem, Boulder, CO

Ricardo Ocampo, Denver, CO