Pamela Blotner is an artist, educator, and curator whose sculptures and drawings reflect on humanity’s relationship with nature, belief, tradition and hardship through both functional objects and symbolic forms. Her primary media are wood, clay and hand-felted wool - evocative materials that, with their long and varied multicultural history - drive both form and content. In her writing she examines the work of artists who have lived through war and other calamities. She also writes about the ways in which art can shape culture and ensure its continued survival.
Since the 1980s, much of Blotner’s work has been informed by her experiences working as an illustrator and scribe with Human Rights Watch, Physicians for Human Rights, and the UC Berkeley Human Rights Center (HRC). She has documented or written about war survivors and artists in Guatemala, Iraqi Kurdistan, Bosnia, Croatia, Cambodia, and Burma.
On her 2007 trip to Burma, Blotner curated “the Burmese-American Art Exchange” at the American Center in Rangoon, an exhibition which paired previously unseen, politically sensitive drawings and paintings by 22 Burmese artists with “responses” created by Bay Area artists. The Center assisted in bringing these works out of Burma and, in June, 2009, they constituted the “We Are Burma,” exhibition in Berkeley. In 2014, she curated a photography exhibit entitled “Envisioning Human Rights” at the UC-Berkeley School of Law. The exhibition celebrated the HRC’s 20th Anniversary.
As an adjuct Professor at St. Mary’s College, Moraga, CA, she teaches studio practici courses on Visual Art and Social Change. Presently, she is working on a proposal to present art workshops at the Pader Girls Academy, a secondary school in northern Uganda for young women who were forced to serve in the Lord’s Resistance Army.