Merz, Thya

Studio: t. merz studios
Community: Port Townsend
Phone: 917-952-6430
Media: painting

Past exhibits and events with Northwind

2016 Art in the Library | 2016 Poem Inspired | 2016 Small Expressions | 2015 Alchemy of the Abstract | 2015 Radical Change

Artist Statement

For me, art making is an intensely personal means to engage with, explore and comprehend our shifting social and environmental dynamics.

My abstracted imagery draws from a combination of direct observation, memory, and imagination, often incorporating the intersection of landscape and architecture.

Recently, I have been considering ”life changing moments”. I am fascinated by that brief shift, where we live simultaneously with “what is” and “what could be”.


In the early 70s I studied design and ceramics at the Aarhus Art Academy in Denmark. During that time of technical growth I was also exposed to art making as a social responsibility. Our weekly critiques were based equally in considerations of aesthetics and social practicality – including the economic impact of each piece. As a young American new to this way of thinking I felt both intrigued and constrained. In response, I found myself pushing self-set boundaries to create more sculptural and unique work, which was difficult to analyze from a production standpoint. However, the cultural understanding of artist-as-integrated-citizen, rather than outsider, took hold and continues to inform my thinking about inclusive social constructs and being an artist.

Returning to the States I chose to employ myself in socially useful ways: midwife, mother, art teacher, educational leader, even as I continued to explore the possibility of artistic expression and exploration. At times my artistic life came to the foreground and included showing and selling my work through commissions, gallery representation, juried shows and open studios. At times showing my work receded as a priority, but its creation always sustained me.

In July of 2014 my husband and I moved to Port Townsend from New York City in order to create a life where art making could become my full time profession. I find I have come full circle, living in this place where the intersection of land, sea and art inform each and every day.

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