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The Ageless Artist

Painting depicting icebergs and a sun

Mary Lou Dauray
Stillness, 2011
November 2013 – August 2014

There are certain professions that are restricted by age. Professional basketball players over forty are very few. Older politicians, while seasoned, may be considered behind the times. Pilots are forced to retire at 65. Artists, however, remain unconstrained by age. In fact, as people age, they often become less concerned about others’ opinions and more willing to take risks and more fully explore their creativity. Even self-professed “non-artists” may find aging to be enormously freeing, as it may inspire them to explore previously hidden or undeveloped artistic talents.

The Ageless Artist features the work of Mary Lou Dauray and Orna Makleff. Although Dauray has been painting for many years, most recently her work expresses a deep concern about global warming, climate change, and worldwide inequality and injustice. Makleff’s creativity has been continuously motivated by self-expression. Oil monotype has enabled her to express emotions on the painted surface; however, the watercolor monotype technique allows for unplanned elements – a welcome addition even if it is out of the artist’s control.

In this exhibit, ageless artists Dauray and Makleff look both inward and outward as they explore our changing world.

Artist Biographies

Mary Lou Dauray 

Mary Lou Dauray, through her art, raises awareness about climate destruction and social injustices. As an artist who is highly proficient in many mediums, she has the ability to communicate powerful messages while also creating paintings of extraordinary beauty. Her work has focused on the war in Iraq, feelings generated after visiting holocaust sites in Eastern Europe, gender inequality, and the topic of global warming. Mary Lou states that her artwork is her voice. She says, “Intense alarm would be understatement in trying to describe the feeling generated as I continue in my pursuit of the harm being done to our planet.” After completing a series relating to the mining, transporting and burning of coal in 2015, Mary Lou turned her attention to the alarming situation of increasing radioactivity due to worldwide nuclear energy policies. She started this series with artwork reflecting the serious consequences of the Fukushima Daiichi triple nuclear meltdown in Japan.

Mary Lou Dauray’s artwork is in numerous collections around the globe including the Sophie Davis Medical School, City College of New York, and many private collections. Her exhibitions throughout the U.S. include those at the Virginia Art Museum, the Blue Planet juried show sponsored by The Pacific Coast Region of Women’s Caucus for Art, Gallery 111 juried exhibition in Sausalito, CA, and Runnymede Corporate Headquarters, Virginia.

She was featured in a two-person exhibition, “Aging People/Aging Planet,” presented at the University of Southern California Institute for Genetic Medicine Art Gallery in Los Angeles, CA. Her Iceland oil paintings were shown at the Olympics in London under the auspices of “Art of the Olympians” to tie in with an environmental panel discussing the impact of climate change. “Iceberg Wasteland” also won an Award of Excellence in Manhattan Arts International’s “Celebrate the Healing Power of Art” juried exhibition in 2013.

Mary Lou recently won a Special Achievement Second Place Cash Award and Featured Artist Interview from Manhattan Arts International in its “HERStory 2016” juried exhibition. She received this award for her ongoing series of art and articles that help to inform about the dangers that threaten people and our planet. She also received an Award of Excellence from Manhattan Arts International for her painting “Burning Coal Car”, and was selected for the “Hot Topics – Bold Expressions” exhibition juried by James Bacchi, director of ArtHaus Gallery, CA, and Renee Phillips, director of Manhattan Arts International. Her work was selected for an Award of Excellence in the Manhattan Arts International exhibition “Art that Lifts Our Spirits”, in October 2013. She won an Award of Merit for her painting “Burning Coal Car” and is exhibiting in Hot Topics – Bold Expressions.

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Orna Makleff

Orna Makleff is an artist, art historian, and museum docent. In addition to her art history graduate degree, Orna has fine arts training in several media. She has a particular passion for monotype printmaking in oil and watercolor and for sculpting with found driftwood. Additionally, she is a docent at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. Her work appears in private collections and at the collection of Stanford university hospital. Recently, her works appeared in the exhibition Aging People Aging Planet at the USC Keck School IGM Art Gallery in LA.

In this group of work, Orna focused on a new technique using watercolors that are allowed to gather and pool on the monotype plate before drying. When transferred to paper, the resulting artworks are part intention and part chance, making each one unique and unexpected. After devoting a year to a series of larger than life faces using this technique, she added seascapes and landscapes subject matter to her work.

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The Sophie Davis Gallery is located between the lobby and auditorium.
It is open to the public during the School’s operating hours: Monday through Friday, 9 am to 5 pm.
For more information, contact Emily Nabors at

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