Michelle Arnold is a contemporary painter with a unique freshness in her approach to representational painting. Her subjects – landscape, figure, and architecture – are about the spirit of space, and how we converse with the places which are a part of our lives.

During the three years she spent living and working in Italy for Gordon College’s study abroad program in Orvieto, she steeped herself in the Renaissance masters and the intimacy and beauty of daily Italian life. Images from the years she spent there flow in and out of her work. In addition to numerous private collections across the U.S., her work can also be found in several university collections.

Her education is a distinctive combination of liberal arts and fine arts, with a B.A. from Gordon College in Art and English, a Post-Baccalaureate Certificate from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and a M.F.A. from University of New Hampshire.

My work is based in the visual reality I find around me. My subjects - landscape, architecture, and the figure  - embody my struggle to know and accept my place in the universe as both a physical and spiritual being, the space in which I dwell on the earth and under the sky – a space of convergence.  My paintings inhabit the edge between finite and infinite, physical and spiritual space.

Sometimes the big stories reveal themselves in the smaller ones, if we stop to look – or rather, if we stop looking and begin to really see. I must pay attention to where I am now, to the moment I am in, open to life as it is unfolding around and within me. When I am attentive, I see that the reality of the quiet details, the subtle changes of light and shadow have a universe all their own – I am a guest, and must listen watchfully here on the horizon, where earth and sky converge.

During the three years I lived in Italy the encounter with the narrative power of pre-Renaissance painting changed me, and now I struggle to make relevant those stories using contemporary visual language. I want to participate in this ‘sacra conversazione’, to become a dancer in the choreography of tradition.  I, too, have something to contribute to the dialogue; my story is a subplot in a much larger narrative and so in my paintings I delve into the mystery of what lies behind what I see: that reality, or essential meaning, which can be prompted by the commonplace. Painting is an act of faith: that epiphanies are possible and the story not yet complete. 

Selected Exhibitions  

2014 Inside Out[side] | Sloane Merrill Gallery | Boston, MA

Just/Art | Hansen Galleries | Wheaton College | Wheaton, IL
Faculty/Alumni Exhibition  | Gallery at Barrington Center for the Arts | Wenham, MA
Faculty Exhibit  | Danforth Art | Framingham, MA
Blitz Media Group  | Waltham, MA

Journey of Faith  | OSilas Gallery | Concordia College-NY | Bronxville, NY
Off the Wall  | Danforth Museum of Art | Framingham, MA
B+B Gallery  |  Boston, MA
Run with the Fire  | Digital Exhibition created by CANA and Veritasse | UK

Small Works Exhibit | Porter Mill Studios | Beverly, MA
New Members Exhibition  | Cambridge Art Association | Cambridge, MA
Members Juried I | Concord Art Association | Concord, MA
My Lamp to Light You on Your Way | Kathryn Schultz Gallery | Cambridge, MA
Black and White | Lincoln Arts Project | Waltham, MA
New Members Exhibition  | Newton Art Association | Newton, MA 

Fall Salon |  University Place Gallery | Cambridge, MA
New Work 2010  | Wadleigh Gallery | Chester College | Chester, NH
Small Works | Lincoln Arts Project | Waltham, MA
GiveArt |  Albright Gallery | Concord, MA
South End Open Studios Boston, MA
Renewal | Grace Chapel | Lexington, MA
Arsenal Center for the Arts | Watertown, MA
Art in the Barn | Essex, MA

Art in the Barn | Essex, MA
Small Works Exhibit | Experimental Art Gallery | Salem, MA
West Campus Lobby | Gordon College | Wenham, MA
Artrageous 09 | Montserrat College of Art Beverly, MA

InsideOut | School of the Museum of Fine Arts | Boston, MA
December Salon | The Nave Gallery | Somerville, MA
Open Studios | Redbrick Arts Center | Beverly, MA
Soulfest: Upper Room Gallery  Gilford, NH
Fall Exhibition | Park Street Church | Boston, MA
Small Works Exhibit | Experimental Art Gallery | Salem, MA
Visions of Peace | Preston Cutler Gallery | Christ Church | Hamilton, MA
Water: Redbrick Members Exhibition | Redbrick Arts Center | Beverly, MA

MFA Thesis Exhibit | The Art Gallery | University of New Hampshire | Durham, NH
December Sale | School of the Museum of Fine Arts | Boston, MA
To the Least of These The Gallery at Barrington Center for the Arts | Wenham, MA

Open Studios  Redbrick Arts Center | Beverly, MA

Alumni: Recent Work | Barrington Center for the Arts | Gordon College | Wenham, MA
December Sale | School of the Museum of Fine Arts | Boston, MA
Space and Spirit | Calvin College | Grand Rapids, MI

Embracing the Gift: CIVA Juried Exhibit | Asuza Pacific University | Asuza, CA
December Sale | School othe Museum of Fine Arts | Boston, MA
Hope Fellowship ArtsFest |  Cambridge, MA

Annual Gala Auction | Museum of Fine Arts | Boston, MA
Post-Baccalaureate Student Exhibit | School of the Museum of Fine Arts | Boston, MA
Journey of the Seeker Tufts University Hillel Center | Medford, MA
Featured Artist | The Vine Boston Regional Dinner |  Boston, MA
December Sale | School of the Museum of Fine Arts | Boston, MA
Student Annual Exhibition (juried) | School of the Museum of Fine Arts | Boston, MA
Juried Drawing Exhibit | School of the Museum of Fine Arts | Boston, MA

Where We Live | Christ the King Presbyterian Church |  Cambridge, MA
Prospect Arts Multicultural Arts Exhibit | Cambridge, MA
CIVA Conference Walk-In Exhibit | Barrington Center for the Arts | Gordon College | Wenham, MA

Exhibition of Artisans-Artists of Orvieto | Cloister of San Giovanni | Orvieto, Italy
San Giovenale Extemporaneous Painting Competition | Orvieto, Italy 

Solo Exhibitions

Sacred Pause | Imagine/Northampton | Northampton, MA
Convergence | Ashland Public Library Gallery | Ashland, MA
Pilgrimage | Park Street Church | Boston, MA

2011 | Center for Faith and Inquiry | Gordon College | Wenham, MA

2010  | Scandinavian Living Center | Newton, MA

Rivier College Gallery | Rivier College | Nashua, NH
Chapel of the Resurrection | Valparaiso University | Valparaiso, IN

Advent | Preston Cutler Gallery | Christ Church | Hamilton, MA
MFA Thesis Exhibit | The Art Gallery | University of New Hampshire | Durham, NH


2007 M.F.A. Painting  University of New Hampshire | Durham,  NH
2004 | Post-Baccalaureate Certificate  | School of the Museum of Fine Arts | Boston, MA
2002  Drawing Marathon Fordham University/New York Studio School Orvieto, Italy
2001  Drawing Marathon Fordham University/New York Studio School | Orvieto, Italy
2000  Continuing Education  School of the Museum of Fine Art| Boston, MA
1999  B. A. summa cum laude | Gordon College Wenham, MA Majors: English, Art History Minor: Foreign Language (French, Italian)
1999  Italian Language School  Summer 1999 | Middlebury College Middlebury, VT
1998  Study Abroad  Gordon College | Orvieto, Italy
1997  Study Abroad  Istituto Lorenzo de Medici | Florence, Italy


2011 – Present  Adjunct Faculty – Art and Design  |  Drawing, Color and Design Middlesex Community College | Bedford, MA
2011 Adjunct Faculty – Art and Design Art History Northern Essex Community College  Haverhill, MA
2011Adjunct Faculty – Art Foundations Art History Mount Ida College | Newton, MA
2008 – 2011 Lecturer – Fine Art  Painting/Drawing Chester College of New England Chester, NH
Fall 2009  Visiting Faculty Painting Gordon-in-Orvieto Gordon College, MA


2011-2013 | Artist-in-Residence | Center for Faith and Inquiry | Wenham, MA
2009 | Artist-in-Residence | Chapel of the Resurrection | Valparaiso University | Valparaiso, IN
2005 | Artist-in-Residence | North Shore Chapel | Danvers, MA

Press & Publications  

Imaginatio et Ratio: A Journal of Art and Theology  Vol. 2 Issue 2, 2013 | Art and Faith Catalog  Whitestone Gallery | 2012
Ruminate Magazine | Finalist | Visual Art Contest | Winter 2010
Ruminate Magazine | Cover and Full-page color photos | Issue #17 | December 2010 
Nashua Telegraph | Feature story on L’Attesa e L’Ascolto | by Ellen Grimm | Sunday, Nov. 22, 2009 | Color photo of Paine’s Journey: Siena Duomo and Longing: Notre Dame
Stillpoint | Gordon College Alumni Magazine | Back Cover | Full color photo Advent I | Fall 2007

Collections & Commissions
Center for Faith and Inquiry | Gordon College Wenham, MA
The Hawthorne/ Hotel Commonwealth Boston, MA
Valparaiso University Chapel of the Resurrection Valparaiso University, IN
Rivier College | Nashua, NH
St. Thomas Aquinas Parish | Jamaica Plain, MA
St. Michael’s Parish Exeter, NH
North Shore Chapel Danvers, MA