Paintings made with natural pigments of powdered earth, plants, minerals, milk 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.,

Born in Chicago, Illinois

Resides in the San Fransisco Bay Area

Selected Solo Exhibitions and Group Shows

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

2016 Symbiosis, co-curated by Tobias Tovera and Denise Susanne Townsend, 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

2016 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 (April)

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 (February)

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, BCST

2001 North American Institute of Medical Herbalism (formerly RMCBS), Boulder, Colorado, CCH

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

Professional Affiliations

College Art Association (CAA), New York, New York

de Young/Legion of Honor (FAMSF), San Francisco, California

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA), San Francisco, California


Denise is an American born visual, poetic and performance artist and has studied and practiced holistic modalities of healing which deeply influence the agency of her art.   She received her MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute in 2012 and Post Baccalaureate in Fine Arts from Studio Art Centers International in Florence, Italy in 2009.  Her love of art, experiential learning, somatic therapies, and Zen inspires Denise's interdisciplinary workshops and international retreats in the heart of nature exploring creativity, consciousness and the balance of being.

Selected Collections

Betty Jean Browning, Ottawa, Canada

Mary F. McGuire, Owings Mills, MD

John Kadlecek, Santa Fe, NM

Bobbie Luckett Owens, Boulder, CO

Sally Ray, Austin TX

Linda Gonzalez, Jasper Trail, CO

Lorenzo Pezzatini, Florence, Italy

Zita Xavier, Durango, CO

Arlene McIntyre, Florence, Italy

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

Mona Shehab, Saudi Arabia

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


2013 “The In Between,” Post Baccalaureate Program, Studio Art Centers International, Florence, Italy

2011 “Pleasures and Passions: An Exploration of Inner Landscapes, Alchemical Upheavals and the Potential of Paint,” Studio Soma, Denver, Colorado

2011 “Creating Space: Dynamics of Energy in Space and Form,” Boulder, Colorado

2011 “Doorways of Perception: Cultivation of Awareness in the Depths of Nature,” Boulder, Colorado

2011 “Maintaining Equilibrium in Swift Currents of Change: Holistic Healing and the Arts," Boulder, Colorado

2010 “Pilgrimage to Peru: A Sacred Journey through the Andes," in collaboration with Gayle Yabar, Cusco, Sacred Valley, and the high Andean mountains of Peru, South America

2010 “Ways of Knowing, Ways of Seeing: An Exploration of the Cosmology of the Three Worlds,” Studio Soma, Denver, Colorado

2009 “The Energy of Intent: Cultivating Creativity, Consciousness and Connection,” Boulder, Colorado

2007 “Connecting Filaments of Light: A Sacred Journey through the Andes,” in collaboration with Gaye Yabar, Cusco, Sacred Valley, and the high Andean mountains of Peru, South America

2006 “In the Presence of the Mystery: Exploring the Indigenous Cosmology of Peru,” in collaboration with Gayle Yabar, Loveland, Colorado