Profile: Artist Carol Morris Sees Art Creation as Divine

Artist Carol Morris believes that the creation of art is fundamental to inner peace.

“Art keeps us in touch with the divine and making art is necessary for my peace of mind,” she described. “I could see it having that effect for inmates.”

In fact, Morris has actually worked with inmates in creating art.

“I am an active advocate for art for imprisoned women,” she stated. “In 2000, I was awarded a Michigan Mini-Art Grant to teach collage to women prisoners in Coldwater. From there I held classes with other women artist volunteers in the Washtenaw County jail for several years.”

Morris has a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Sociology and a Master of Arts in Creative Writing from Michigan State University. 

Artwork by Carol Morris

“When I retired, I was a poet who discovered I no longer wanted to write, but wanted to develop as a visual artist,” Morris explained. “Painting, collage, assemblage and altering books is my focus now. I show my work in group exhibits nationally and locally.”

Morris shared information about recent exhibits as well.

“In 2017, I had a solo exhibit at the Burns Park Senior Center. Presently, I have a painting in a Detroit exhibit with the Grosse Pointe Artist Association,” she stated. “The theme is immigration and my painting depicts the chaos we have at our southern border.”

Morris has also worked for the State of Michigan. 

“I worked for the Michigan Department of Social Services for 30 Years,” she detailed. “A Caseworker, Casework Supervisor, Systems Analyst at the State Office, Senior Policy Analyst for the Medicaid Program.”

She particularly enjoyed helping the older populations.

“I was fortunate to work on many pilot programs that were beneficial for the elderly,” she recalled.

At present, she is working on a unique publication.

“I’m presently putting together a book of my published poems from literary journals and photographs of my visual art,” she explained. “These pieces were created independently of each other, so I’m finding interesting connections as I assemble the book. In the past I’ve recorded CDs of my poems with original music composed by friends and produced a half hour variety show with a singing lobster highlighting local artists for cable TV in Ann Arbor.”

Donna’s Story

Donna Marie Iadipaolo has created visual art from a young age, mostly drawings, paintings, and photography. She has a particular interest in the relationship between math and art. Her Bachelor’s degree is from the University of Michigan, where she studied in the School of Engineering for four years. She earned State of Michigan professional teaching certificate majors in mathematics, English/language arts, and all the social sciences. She later earned a Master’s of Science in Mathematics Teaching and Learning from Drexel University and a Master of Arts within the Communication Arts field from Eastern Michigan University. This August, she completed her Education Specialist degree in Curriculum and Instruction. Since 1988, she has worked as an artist, writer, teacher, and journalist and enjoys helping others.

Artwork by Donna Marie Iadipaolo