Donna Miskend

category: Literary, Visual,

Contact & Info

Artist Statement

My work is nature and literary themed. I've added scientific and botanical illustration to my portfolio to deepen my understanding of individual species. And I integrate nature and the environment into my teaching programs wherever possible. My non scientific work is influenced by the organic fluidity of Art Nouveau and many historical artists. I primarily work in watercolor, but I enjoy other mediums and teach a variety of traditional 2D art mediums and 3D projects using up-cycled materials to children through senior adults. I think art is for the curious and should be fun, inspiring and engaging!

Nature and literature are the recurring themes in the group exhibits I curate. Eye on Nature, Artists Explore the World of Plants and Animals introduced audiences to scientific illustration. Dickens, A Celebration in Pictures brought together a wide range of artists, performers, and scholarly collaborators who shared their expertise on Dickens in programs for kids and adults. The catalogue and exhibit information is included in the bicentennial archives of The Dickens Museum in London by invitation. In a contemporary take on Fairy Tales, participating artists reflected on multicultural stories. Edgar Allan Poe Illustrated traveled from NY to join a larger exhibit in Philadelphia, exploring both fan favorites and lesser known titles at the Poe Festival.  Visit my news blog for highlights on these exhibits and Conversations blog for interviews with the artists, collaborators and other creatives in the arts. 

I've also worked on several productions for The August Strindberg Repertory Theatre as a graphic designer/illustrator, creating illustrations projected onto the stage as part of the set design, along with their posters and programs. And I've had designs produced by the textile industry.

Professional memberships include American Society of Botanical Artists, The Society for Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, and a current board member and former president of the Children's Book Illustrators Group.

In addition to art workshops, I lecture on art and develop public programming as part of exhibits. I am also a contributing writer to the Botanical Artist journal. As a guest judge, I participate annually for the Scholastic Writing Awards, and the Morgan Book Project for children (Morgan Library & Museum), a program that utilizes art and writing related to core curriculum subjects. Other literacy programs I've been  involved with are: ABFE and Kids Right to Read, World Book Night US, as a story time reader for the Morgan's Beatrix Potter exhibit and 150 Years of Alice in Wonderland and annually for the Irish Arts Center's Book Day. 

An exhibiting artist throughout the US, I continue to work on commercial design, illustration and writing projects. For news visit my website and separate all info blog

Educational Background

BA, Art History (minor: psychology), New York University.  Additional education courses for commercial and fine art: New York Botanical Gardens; School of Visual Arts/Pratt/Parsons School of Design/Fashion Institute of Technology and New School For Social Research (teaching ESL).  

Teaching Artist Experience

An award-winning artist, Donna’s artwork has been exhibited throughout the US.  She is also a designer for theater productions and other commercial ventures.  Her writing includes articles and fiction. Donna curates exhibits with educational programming for children through adults including art sessions, guest speaker talks, panels, and interviews.  Previous exhibits include Mother Goose Re-Imagined, Edgar Allan Poe Illustrated, and  Eye on Nature, Artists Explore the World of Plants and Animals.  Donna has conducted art workshops with adults, seniors, and for children where she addresses common core studies.  She holds a B.A. in Art History, a discipline that informs all her endeavors.  As an educator, she wants to engage both children and adults in understanding art and shares her expertise as an artist in the creation of art.  “Art should be fun, inspiring and informative.  My students inspire me to keep learning as well.”  Her art workshops explore a variety of visual art techniques using traditional mediums, and materials that can be "up-cycled" for use in projects.  She continues to be a guest judge for the Scholastic Writing Awards, and the Morgan Library & Museum's Morgan Book Project for children. She has worked with elementary schools in Mt. Vernon, including Grimes and Edward Williams Elementary Schools, in Yonkers with Casimir Pulaski, and Foxfire schools, in Hartsdale with Woodland High School, Sterling Community Center in White Plains, community centers in New Rochelle and Mount Vernon, and at Greenburgh Nature Center and other outdoor festivals. She also holds workshops for libraries and other venues throughout Westchester and New York City for all ages.