Archive for the 'Press' Category


Blog Review

This review made my day.

“Perhaps it shouldn’t be a surprise, coming from an award-winning artist, but this site looks good. If you want to know how to make a simple theme look great, look at this one.”

Just click on the image below to read more.

I do love my blog, and the website—all generated by working with April May!


Review of my blog

Please check out this slammin’ review of my blog.  It’s really a tribute to April May, who set this blog in motion, taught me how to maintain it and really made it simple and gorgeous.  She is also the website designer and implementer.  April is really, really busy and successful with her card business as well as web work these days, but if you need someone great, get in touch with her

I’m also really pleased with the comments about my work included in the review.



Hektoen International, December 2011 issue

Viola Moriarty
Bennington, Vermont, United States

Poet’s statement: Originally part of a multi-media exhibit at the Bennington Cancer Center, this poem was a reflection upon the effects of steroids during chemotherapy, where “Dex” refers to dexamethasone.

After chemotherapy

After chemo #2, 2007
Viola Moriarty
Oil on canvas
18” x 24”

Dancing with Dex
She takes the woman’s part, stepping back on her right
I try to lead, pushing her back into night
What color is cancer?
Asks this sexy salsa dancer,
Her long, lovely hands on my hefty hips
Suggestions and questions on her bright white lips,
Turquoise and teal, I think
And maybe periwinkle and pink
The dream was so real,
I can still feel
That I have the port, the sox, and the gowns
Tape over my eyes, doctors in multiple towns.
Who was there? she asked with a squeal,
Oh, yes, I repeated—it was so incredibly real—
You were there—and you were there—and you and you and you
Who, me? she demurred. Do you honestly believe that it could have been true?
She steps to the side, wanting to know
Sliding forward and backward ever so slow,
Am I a good witch or a bad witch
Or just a stubborn and silly, mucked up middle-aged bitch?
What happened in there, when the fog finally cleared?
Didn’t heaven want you? she persevered.
Are you kidding?
Cha cha cha ching.
I’m stuttering
And faltering
Without a sound mind and no sense of my body,
No, Heaven did not want me
Nor did hell
I wanted to yell
Not even that black hole filled with failure and fun,
Carousing and constantly, capriciously coming undone
Not even the fury and the flames would take
Such a distorted identity—half asleep/half awake

So, its back to black and white
Without too much fuss, certainly no fight
Thank G-d, Thank “I am that I am”
For all the drugs whose names end with “pam”
And for those that begin with an s and a z
I truly and humbly thank the Drug Company
The salsa surrenders to sappier rhythms
That belong to stupid labels that end in isms
Ba ba ba ba—expressionism, successionism—ba, ba ba ba
Bada bada bada bada—escapism, impressionism—zah zah zah zah,
Was that how cancer looked? she pointed and begged.
Like a saggy old breast that’s been recently egged?
I laughed loudly and pulled up my shirt
So she could see where it did and didn’t hurt
What’s the hole for? she wanted to know.
It’s my new hideout, where my feelings can go.
I thought it was a dream, she harshly restated
Something you imagined, subconscious, and hated.
It was—it was so many nights of turquoise and periwinkle, fuchsia and teal dreams
Where the fabric of uniforms regularly ripped out around the snaps and on seams
Where I got up at night, or so I thought
Turned on the light, never argued, never fought
Rocked in the rocker
Listened to Joe Cocker
He loves my new do, and so does my Jon
“Baby, oh, yes, you can leave your hat on, you can leave your hat on.”
I ripped up the colors on the couch and computer as prayers to dead saints
Glue sticked and cried, cutting linoleum and spilling watered down paints.
I won’t go back I scream, I won’t do it again—you can’t make me,
Now I’m numb and I’m dumb, I’m stress and panic free
There, there, my sweetness, she hums and she sways—Everything’s okay.
I’ll start another dance, and you start another day.
She twirls sultrily toward me, and whispers, shhhhhhhh, girlfriend,
we’re almost finished—finally,
Coming to the end.

VIOLA MORIARTY is a visual artist who resides and works in Bennington, Vermont, and is currently under treatment (including full brain radiation) for Stage IV metastatic breast cancer spread to the brain, central nervous system, and lymphatic systems. She was first diagnosed with the primary Stage II breast cancer in 2007. She spent many years in Colorado as an English as a Second Language and in North Adams, Massachusetts, after relocating from Denver to New England with her family. She left education for full-time painting, experimenting with all types of media, and has exhibited in Vermont, Massachusetts, Colorado, and New York. Visit her website at

While I was throwing up multiple times daily after radiation, and mostly lying on the couch a lot, my friend Marilyn took this poem I had written after chemo and radiation treatment in 2007-8 (where I found the decadron or dexamethasone (steroid) to be very challenging), and she submitted it for me to the on line magazine Hektoen International and they printed it in their December issue.  

Marilyn  is an amazing , published author of fiction, non-fiction, poetry, …….You’ll be able to look for her blog soon….I’ll keep you posted.  She’s also an amazing friend, and I’m grateful to have her  support for me and for my work.  


“Moriarty opens Museum show today”

Moriarty opens Museum show today

Posted: 05/06/2011 11:04:16 PM EDT
Click photo to enlarge

Viola Moriarty, “My Cowgirl Boots” (2011), oil on birchwood veneer… ()

Friday May 6, 2011

BENNINGTON — The Bennington Museum will host a opening reception of Viola Moriarty new exhibit at the museum’s Regional Artists Gallery Saturday, May 7, from 3 to 4:30 p.m. The exhibit will run through June 19.

Moriarty says, in supplied material, that her show, “Quiet Lifes,” is “a collection of still lifes, landscapes, and figurative works that all have this quiet atmosphere, the stillness of transitional moments… that liminal space between actions … even between the thoughts. These works are mainly oils along with reed pen and inks, and also include a reduction lino-cut and a work in graphite powder and graphite. They represent some of the best work I’ve done over the past almost nine years — my entire artistic life.”

Calling herself a modern expressionist painter, Moriarty finds the aliveness of the painting, the energy it expresses the most important consideration of each work.

While others often refer to Moriarty as a “self-taught” artist, she feels nothing could be further from the truth.

“I do organize, evaluate and mandate my own learning — that is true,” she said. “I also spend much time developing my eye, studying original art that attracts my attention, what I think is ‘good,’ and working with and learning from artists.”

Moriarty singled out Stella Ehrich as a artistic “friend and mentor … who first opened the door to my painting life.” Other influences include Renee Bouchard

and Sarah Pike, who introduced the artist to the reed pen and printmaking supplies; and the instruction of Jaye Fox, to whom Moriarty’s creation of “Jon’s Wedding Shoes” and other recent works is owed.Since 2002, she has participated in countless exhibitions, both solo and group, and continues learning from fellow artists.

The Bennington Museum is located at 75 Main St. (Route 9). For information call 802-447-1571 or visit


’ ‘Scapes’ exhibit opens at Wild Oats in Williamstown

’ ‘Scapes’ exhibit opens at Wild Oats in Williamstown

Posted: 12/08/2010 12:47:39 PM EST

‘Radishes, Onion and Lime’ by Bennington, Vt., artist Viola… (Courtesy Viola Moriarty)
Wednesday December 8, 2010
A grocery store might seem like a peculiar place to host an art show. Wild Oats in Williamstown has been doing so for several years, and its latest exhibit features two local artists, one from each side of the area’s north-south divide.
Viola Moriarty of Bennington, Vt., and Barbara May of North Adams opened “’Scapes,” an exhibit at the cooperative grocery store that gives both women, who have been friends for years, a chance to complement each other’s work.
“I believe our work goes together well, and we have always supported and encouraged each other,” May said recently just before the show opened. “By sharing a show, we can each produce quality work, and still put up enough for the viewer to get into that special place where the contemplation of colors, forms, compositions lifts us out of the boring, rushed everyday grind and allows us to pause a moment and hopefully enter that timeless place, if just for a little while.”
The show originally was to be called “Veggiescapes,” in keeping with its venue and the original inventory that Moriarty planned on bringing solo, inspired by her long-standing friendship with Steve and Karen Trubitt of True Love Farm in Shaftsbury, Vt.
But once both artists decided to partner, the name was changed to “’Scapes” in order to include a landscape or still life.
“It’s kind of a play on ‘garlic scapes’

and on landscapes and veggiescapes and whatever scapes,” Moriarty said. “Fire escapes. Cityscapes. You could put in just about anything, and since I never have my work done ahead of time when I set up the show, I need names that are flexible.”
Both women agreed that it’s more fun to show together with the right person than to do solo exhibits. They concurred that making art is such pervasive and deep, solitary work that it’s enjoyable to collaborate with a trusted friend and colleague.
“We are good friends (who) support each other in living an artistic and beautiful life, and are both really family oriented,” Moriarty said. “We draw together every Wednesday night, and we talk a lot about our own desires artistically and how that relates to our families. We are both motivated in our lives by similar values and ideas.”
Enter the food co-op
Exhibiting and selling artwork also can be prohibitive for an individual artist because of the framing and marketing costs and by having many pieces committed to one venue for a period of time. By joining forces on a show, Moriarty and May can split the marketing costs and logistics, such as the exhibition’s hanging.
Both women are sharing a concurrent exhibit of nudes at Stone Soup in Adams, and they came to the Wild Oats show at the invitation of volunteer curator Arlene Curtiss, who teaches at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts in North Adams. Renate Kopynec, the store’s operations manager, explained the local co-op’s interest in art.
“We are a community store with empty wall space in its cafe,” Kopynec said. “We fill it with a revolving display of community artists’ works. Since 2005, Wild Oats has had between one and three artists displaying their work on a monthly basis.”
May, a former dental technician and small business owner, came to North Adams from Illinois 21 years ago with her husband, chiropractor Peter May. She claims to have “drawn since I was able to,” but it has only been since her business career ended that she has devoted serious time to her craft. May is contributing six pieces to “’Scapes.”
“My prints were created from watercolors I did a few weeks in a row at the Harriman Airport in North Adams,” May said. “They are views that I painted day after day, as the weather blew in and out, and as that summer went by.”
Moriarty, a retired educator and recent breast cancer survivor, moved to Bennington in the 1990s with her husband Jon Lev, now superintendent of the North Berkshire School Union. Moriarty has offered seven works to benefit the cause, an endeavor that she emphasized had a practical as well artistic aspect.
“Now that Barb and I are both full-time artists and homemakers, we want to work together on these kinds of bread-and-butter shows in local venues,” Moriarty said. “Though we both, of course, prefer making art to exhibiting and selling, we need to do those things for our work to be self-sustaining and sustaining to our families.”
Moriarty added that she and May understood the importance of working with small businesses and nonprofits, and they would prefer their shows to be in local settings with money going to support their neighbors’ businesses.
“Exhibiting together in such venues is good for our own ability to make art and for supporting our regional communities,” she said. “Our art and methods may be very different, but it’s also easy to promote your friend’s work when you really like it as we do.”
“’Scapes,” runs through December at Wild Oats, located on Main Street in Williamstown. For more information, visit


Bennington Banner ARticle: Making Our Bones


’Making Our Bones’ Show opening at BAG

Posted: 11/17/2010 11:01:29 PM EST
Wednesday November 17, 2010 

BENNINGTON — Three artists have come together in an innovative and thought-provoking new show of collaborative work at the Guest Gallery of the Bennington Arts Guild.

The “Making Our Bones” project is an exploration of the possibilities of creative interaction between three distinct artistic approaches – those of Arla K. Foster, Viola Moriarty, and Ricardo Olvera.

Their connection? A mutual love and respect of bones, and a belief that death is a celebration of life. The show opens Nov. 20, with a public reception to meet the artists from 5 to 8 p.m,. at the Guild.

“Like the ancient character of La Huesera, who sings over the bones to bring them back to life, these artworks are our songs over the bones,” said Foster, a Bennington native.

Each artist’s individual work has incorporated bones previously. In this show, Moriarty and Olvera pay tribute to El Dia De Los Muertes as painters, and Olvera and Foster with mixed media pieces. All share a love for cards, which appear in many of the pieces. In the summer of 2009, Moriarty and Foster worked together to make their first “bone lady.”

“It was pure play and joy in the studio that day, and we planned to work together again,”said Moriaty. “Making Our Bones has brought us back to playing together.”

The Bennington Arts Guild Gallery, located at 103 South St. at the Four Corners intersection of downtown Bennington, is a cooperative run by artists from Bennington and the surrounding communities with the common goal to bring public attention to, and provide a viable market for, fine art and fine craft, locally produced. Membership is open to artists throughout the greater Bennington Area. B.A.G. is open daily except Tuesday; call 802-442-7838 for hours or


Riverfest 2010

viola moriarty

(American, b. 1958)
Modern Expressionist Painter
2012-13 Recipient of the Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant

Upcoming Exhibitions

Current and ongoing: New Works, Allegro Ristorante in Bennington on Main Street.

Elm Street Market, Bennington

Spiral Press Cafe, Manchester, Vermont (2013) details TBA

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