Martha Pfanshmidt

Signs & Symbols (encaustic on paper)

Artist Statement
As a child I sat at the kitchen table drawing with crayons while my mother cooked dinner. I lost myself in the activity of drawing. It was my first experience of the infinite.

In school I loved making things—scratchboard drawings with black crayon over colored boards, linoleum block Christmas cards, clay figurines glazed in garish colors. At home I continued to draw, and found opportunities to express my creativity in other activities like making gingerbread houses and planting a garden. As an adult I continue to find much joy in the act of creation. Whether I am making a collage or painting I am the alchemist, turning raw materials into beautiful and provocative objects. I am deeply moved by beauty and need it around me for my well-being; it is a pleasure and a necessity.

  • MFA, Vermont College, 1998
  • BA, Portland State University, 1978

One-person Exhibitions

  • 2012 so many...just one, Waterstone Gallery, Portland, OR
  • 2011 Color Cut and Fused, Northwind Arts Alliance, Port Townsend, WA
  • 2010 No Place Like Home, Waterstone Gallery, Portland, OR
  • 2008 Oscillation, Waterstone Gallery, Portland, OR
  • 2007 Floating Downstream, Bullseye Gallery, Portland, OR
  • 2006 A Wide River, Waterstone Gallery, Portland, OR
  • 2001 Mayer Gallery, Marylhurst University, Marylhurst, OR
  • 2001 Bush Barn Focus Gallery, Salem, OR
  • 1997 Alysia Duckler Gallery, Portland, OR
  • 1993 Bush Barn Focus Gallery, Salem, OR
  • 1991 Mayer Gallery, Marylhurst College, Marylhurst, OR
  • Alchemy of the Abstract, 2008, Port Townsend, WA Award
  • Expressions Northwest, Port Townsend, WA, 2008, Special Award
  • Art in the Pearl, 2005, Best in Show
  • Beaverton Showcase 1998, Beaverton, OR, Grand Prize Award
  • All Oregon Art Annual, Salem, OR, 1982, 1989, Award
  • First Mini Print International, Johnson City, NY, 1986, Award
  • MESC Art Exhibition, Gresham, OR, 1982, Purchase Award


  • Bullseye Glass Company
  • China National Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing, China
  • City of Tucson, Arizona
  • Gordon and Vivian Gilkey Center for the Graphic Arts, Portland Art Museum, Portland, OR
  • John Grey Collection, OR
  • Lake Oswego Visual Chronicle, Lake Oswego, OR
  • Museu da Gravura, Cidade de Curitiba, Brazil
  • New York Public Library
  • RACC Moveable Collection, Portland, OR
  • Washington County Public Service Building Moveable Collection, Oregon