Marjorie Kouns is an artist based in New York City. She has mounted exhibitions in Berlin, Istanbul, Beijing, Hong Kong, New York, Shreveport, and Washington D.C., where she was commissioned to create a memorial commemorating those lost in the horrors at Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
At Illinois Wesleyan University her studies in painting and drawing gave way to a desire to become a sculptor. This desire has remained with her for over forty years and has lead to both national and international success. Of course she saw sculpture in a very different way.
Kouns found her calling in the 'public' studio and soon began to create public art first in her own neighborhood and soon all over the world. Her first installation was created in New York's Washington Sq. Park in 2005. Here, she created 'Well-Lit Chess Pieces' with hugely oversized chess pieces and whimsical lampshades that adorned the lights along the four corner park entrances. It was a visual sensation and a very popular attraction for locals, tourists, and the even the uptowners.
Other commissions soon followed allowing her to create public art all over the world. Her focus is on connecting the public to art by encouraging active participation in the creative process. "I get excited to see how the creative mind works in others by giving them the opportunity to try their own hand at this task," says Kouns. She has been a lecturer and producer of public art with USIS (United States Information Services) in both Paris, France, and Berlin Germany at the former Amerika Haus.
Recent Works include…
- Body As Canvas (BAC) performance series of dance, music and painting was featured in a group show in Chicago at WomanMade Gallery curated by Mary King. 'BAC' was presented at the 'Look but Don't Touch Nude Show' 2012 at Bossier Arts Council in Bossier City, Louisiana. 'Body As Canvas' has been performed at select venues in Los Angeles and New York City, and Omniart honoring Art Basel/Miami 2004-05. Kouns is currently developing a collaborative performance-based series of bodypainting works in both the U.S. and in Europe.
- Social Media Murals, a division of Pixie Dust Productions, L.L.C. launched in Shreveport, Louisiana. This is one example in a series of low tech and high touch mural concepts created and produced for culturally underserved urban and rural areas.
- Other social media murals include "What's Cooking", and The Shreveport Common murals, in which Kouns was one of ten artists awarded grants from the 2011 National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and Mayor's Institute on City Design Grant in conjunction with Shreveport Regional ArtsCouncil/Shreveport Common Artists Collaboration. With 'A Call To Action' project she contributed the initial designs, conception production, and management necessary to launch this work for the Shreveport/Bossier Convention and Tourism Bureau headquarters.
- Commissioned Murals include: Children's Aid Society (P.S. 50) New York, NY-July 2005 (Deutsche Bank / Sponsor) and New York Cares Day's and 'Human Sundial' El Barrio's Artspace (P.S. 109), New York, NY, October 2003; 'Cultural Monitors' Lefferts Jr. High (M.S. 61), Brooklyn, NY, October 2002; and 'The Seasons', Richard Green School (M.S. 113) Bronx, NY-October 2001.
- Hudson River Park Day, June 2001: Piers 25 and 26. This public art project was produced in conjunction with Materials for the Arts - NYC Dept. of Cultural Affairs. Kouns and local children explored Hudson River marine life by creating supersized Styrofoam fish as well as human sundials.
In September of 1997, Kouns was commissioned by the MotherCenters (a German non-governmental organization), to present the Satellite Mural Project: three murals painted with the participation and collaboration of children and parents who are residents of Mother Centers in Stuttgart, Hamburg, and Munich.