Mathis exhibit opens at The Arts Center

Dogtooth Buttes Arrangement II is one of the pieces on display at The Arts Center. The new exhibit, which opens Jan. 23, features the work of Roxi Mathis. A "Meet the Artist Lunch" is scheduled in February. Submitted photo

Roxi Mathis' exhibit, "Gas Bubble in Eye," opens Thursday, Jan. 23, at The Arts Center.

Mathis is a watercolor artist living and working in Minot, North Dakota. Her current work is based on the experiences she had during three eye surgeries and the recovery that followed. Dealing with a detached retina caused light distortions and patterns in her vision, so she combined these manifestations with real and imagined inspiration.

In discussing her art she says, “I like to work in detail with a lot of color and bold contrast, forming loose patterns based on the visual anomalies that I see. While much of my work includes North Dakota scenery, I also work with figurative elements. I try to tell stories that lead the viewer to find their own narrative in the work.”

Her work pairs real-world subject matter like landscapes, animals and figures with the unreal visual anomalies that she experienced after having her multiple eye surgeries. The resulting artwork is a juxtaposition of soft watercolor landscapes, many of Badlands-like buttes, with hard-edged, mostly abstract ink drawings. The ink drawings seemingly have no relationship to the landscapes, however, the more one looks, narratives begin to emerge. Someone might see Native American dancers, gateways to alternative universes, microscopic minerals, birds in flight and severe storms. Mathis has combined her graphic work and artwork to create several illustrated books. Examples of her work can be found at

Mathis grew up on a ranch in the Badlands of North Dakota. She said her art is influenced a lot by the nature she has spend her life in.


"I often have dreams that include seeing colors that don’t exist in waking life and in my watercolor-esque style of painting, I try to capture them," she said.

Mathis attended college in Minot, majoring in graphic design, which she does professionally. She said she has a passion for typography, which she designs "mostly for the fun of it."

She said she is a painter who works in watercolor and acrylic and is available for commission work of all kinds, including paintings, illustrations, graphic design, typography, etc.

Mathis will speak on her work at The Arts Center at a "Meet the Artist Lunch" starting at noon Wednesday, Feb. 12. The cost for the lunch is $5; RSVP by Feb. 10 to have lunch. People may also bring their own lunch.

The exhibit runs through March 7.

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