Artifacts for the future: stone sculptor M.J. Anderson

Submitted by the San Juan Islands Museum of Art.

Sculpture artist M.J. Anderson will tell you that she sculpts because someone needed to portray the female form differently. See for yourself in ANTIDOTE, an exhibition of her work on display now through Dec. 5 at the San Juan Islands Museum of Art.

“Everyone finds a way to give voice to how they’re feeling,” offered Anderson, whose marble torsos redefine historical norms of how the female form is viewed. “For me, the stone is my voice. For centuries male artists have created sculptures that present women as objects of desire in poses designed to titillate. Women have a different perspective. And, since traditionally there have been so few women who worked with marble, my work expresses a woman’s body in her own right, with a message that says ‘I am enough.’”

Anderson has been carving marble and travertine and onyx from Carrara, Italy for over 30 years. When cooler weather moves into her studio in Oregon, she travels to the coastal community known for its translucent and pristine stone. There she gets dusty slicing and carving some of the most beautiful marble in the world. When it’s time to move back, she ships her works in progress to Oregon where she sands and polishes each piece.

In addition to the works on display at SJIMA, several of which were created for the current exhibit, Anderson’s work includes a pair of marble figures flanking the entrance to the Justice Center in Salem, Oregon, and a five-ton marble sculpture called Witness: Women of the Resurrection for a church in Ohio. She is a recipient of numerous awards including an Oregon Arts Commission Individual Artist Fellowship and a Ford Family Foundation Opportunity Grant. She has taught design and sculpture at Marylhurst University, Sitka Center for Art and Ecology and the Northwest Stone Sculptors Association.

ANTIDOTE continues through Dec. 5. Museum hours are Friday to Monday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Call 360-370-5050 or visit for more info.