Witmer, Carly

Artist’s Statement:


In the moment that I noticed it, maybe for the first time, I was struck by the realization that spots of colored light bouncing around the room were coming from a clear glass ornament dangling from a window lock.  Rainbows materialized magically out of a state of colorless-ness.  I cannot remember exactly how old I was, and I cannot express the exact thought, but a great sense of mystery took root in my life at that moment, and my efforts to explore that mystery have resulted in very many drawings and paintings.  They began, when I was very young, as charts whose components were all dictated by ‘scientific’ necessity.  


Having become fully invested in painting by 2002, a resolution to work within strict parameters based upon a Cartesian plane was part of an effort to avoid semblances of figuration and move my explorations into a purely conceptual space.  However, the work evolved into a refusal of concept—at some point it became apparent that conceptual thinking itself was a barrier to the exploration of my impulses as a painter.  The content of the work began to rest more and more solidly on very basic compositional principles: strength of center and balance of symmetry.  Thereby, I was able to reduce the amount of calculated decisions that would have to be made in the process of creating a painting.  In the same spirit, my relationship with color has developed into a careful consideration of the terms set forth by color itself.


A deep yearning to create a dense and lush atmosphere within the surface of a painting continues to inspire the direction of Prismatic Paintings as a body of work.  The paintings are developed through their attempt to pull light into themselves, especially when they are full of darkness; they also offer to return light from within layers of color.  The paints are custom-mixed using pure pigments and acrylic mediums for a precise measure of color and transparency.  The use of metallic elements, along with many varieties of glitter suspended in multiple pours of sanded resin, conspire to manipulate light on and within the painting.  They promote a surface dynamism that subtly belies the 2-dimensional nature of the work.


The Prismatic Painting series will continue to grow in numbers as they evidence a heartfelt intellectual pursuit of the unknown.  They are how I learn everything I don’t know.





MFA painting degree, Maryland Institute College of Art 2012

BFA painting degree; Ohio University 2005




2017   Prismatic Effect, The Rymer Gallery, Nashville, Tennessee

2014    "The First 100", The Rymer Gallery, Nashville, Tennessee

2014    Featured artist at the Four Seasons Fountain restaurant in Philadelphia, PA*

2013    “Poetics of Pattern”, curated by Janice Lessman-Moss for the Ohio Arts Council’s Riffe Gallery, Columbus, OH

2013    “Signs and Symbols”, curated by Todd Keyser for Gross McCleaf Gallery, Philadelphia, PA, June 2013

2013    “Prismatic”, a two-person show with Will Penny, The Rymer Gallery, Nashville, Tennessee

2013    Micheal Iacovone and Carly Witmer; a two-person exhibition curated by Natalie Cheung for Jean Efron Art Consultants, The Heurich Gallery, Washington, D.C.

2012   “Stroke: Gesture, Mark, Muscle”, curated by Rene Trevino, School 33 Art Center, Baltimore, MD

2012    “Young Blood”, by invitation, Maryland Art Place, Baltimore, MD

2012    “Alumni: New Ground”,  director’s choice (Natalie Dunham), The Rymer Gallery, Nashville, TN

2010    ”Mathematic Abstraction”, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH*

2009    "100 Leagues Under the C”, Ohio Art League annual juried show, Columbus Metropolitan Library, Columbus, OH

2008    “Paint and Pixels”, two person show,  Troy-Hayner Cultural Center, Troy, OH

2007    ”El Arte Suyo es el Arte Mio”,  Fulbright Commission, Quito, Ecuador*

2006    “Winners”,  curated by Andreas Greusslich, Kunstvereign INGAN, Berlin, Germany

2006    “Beauty, The Sublime, and Intensity”, curated by Adrian Hatfield, Gallery Project, Ann Arbor, MI

2005    ”You’re Perspective”,  Ohio University, Seigfred Gallery, Athens, OH

2005    “Rites of Passage”,  juried show with Manifest Creative Research and Drawing Center, Cincinnati, OH                                                                                                                                                           *solo shows




“El Arte Suyo es el Arte Mio” slide presentation at the Fulbright Commission, Quito, Ecuador, 2007

“Color Communication” slide presentation at MICA grad center, February, 2013

“Color Communication” slide presentation at University of Maryland, October 2013




Hoffberger Fellowship, Maryland Institute College of Art, 2010

Fulbright Grant, Institute for International Education, New York, NY, 2006-2007