Popular Columbus area artist Marina Dunbar will be featured in first Atlanta exhibition

Local artist Marina Dunbar at work in her studio.
Local artist Marina Dunbar at work in her studio.

Columbus area artist Marina Dunbar pushes the limits of watercolor as a medium, and her ability to do so has caught the attention of art galleries across the Southeast.

Spalding Nix Fine Art Gallery will host her first Atlanta exhibition this month — an event Spalding Nix requested from the artist herself.

Dunbar’s exhibition at Spalding Nix will feature more than of her latest paintings and is titled “Movements in Color.” The work is based on elements of nature and specifically features botanical works on paper.

In her artist’s statement for the show, Dunbar explained the inspiration behind her work. “My paintings are nature-based abstractions driven by an exploration of movement, color, harmony and balance,” she said. “Watercolor lends itself to the build up of layers, capturing traces of time and transformation.”

This particular body of work was influenced by a very specific concept. “I am inspired by the aesthetics of floral X-ay photography, developed by a radiologist in the 1930’s, this documentation of plant forms resulted in a poetic merge of art and science,” said Dunbar.

It was about more than the photograph, though. “The minimal and reductive photographs conveyed an intrinsic beauty,” Dunbar explained. “Taking from their simplicity, I approach my paintings with a sense of restraint; laying down transparent shapes of color and letting the interaction of hues establish a feeling of depth and dynamic motion within each piece.”

Dunbar works with watercolor in ways most artists do not. “My relationship with the medium is very physical,” explained Dunbar. “The surface of a painting is bent, manipulated and twisted to guide the paint, granting the process a sculptural quality.”

Dunbar said that the techniques she uses to literally move the paint around are what give her work the movement and depth it conveys. “Through simple gestures of pouring and removing paint, gravity shapes the lines and forms that start to resemble organic elements,” she said. “Each painting seeks a level of reservation as well as an embrace of spontaneity.”

All of the paintings featured in “Movements in Color” are around 36 x 24 inches, so Dunbar said transporting the body of work to Spalding Nix will be easy. The exhibit will open at Spalding Nix on Jan.26 along with two exhibitions by other artists.

According to Dunbar, the relationship with Spalding Nix came about organically. “The gallery reached out to me about two months ago with interest,” she said. This will be Dunbar’s Atlanta debut, and she is thrilled to have her work at such a fine gallery. “I’m looking forward to sharing my work with the Atlanta audience,” said Dunbar.

For more information on “Movements in Color” or to preview the work, please visit Dunbar’s website at

If you go

What: ‘Movements in Color’ by Marina Dunbar

Where: The Spalding Nix Fine Art Gallery, 425 Peachtree Hills Ave., Northeast, Suite 30-A.

When: Opens Jan. 26

Call: or