DONNA JEAN MAYNE
Donna Jean Mayne is a Windsor artist who produces work in fine sculpture. She studied Figure Drawing and Commercial Art at the Center for Creative Studies in Detroit, MI (1983-84), and received a Bachelor of Arts – Visual Arts at the University of Windsor (1982).
Photo Credit: donnajeanmayne.com, windsorstar.com
From 1999 to 2010, Mayne partnered with the City of Windsor’s Parks & Recreation department through the Jobs Creation Partnership Program, Public Mural Projects. She led teams of artists in the planning, creation and installation of a series of large-scale public art projects comprising more than 40 mural sites. All were site-specific, delivered on time, and under budget. As part of this process, Mayne researched historical themes, techniques and supplies required to execute public art projects. Accordingly, Mayne is comfortable in collaborative environments that involve various levels of government, as well as local business groups and private collectors. Mayne’s classical training made the transition from muralist to sculpting an exhilarating one. She began her new enterprise, Fine Sculpture, in 2013, and began exhibiting in international competitions in 2015 with her first two pieces being awarded. Initially, Mayne’s sculptural work is made in oil-based clays and later cast in bronze, using the time-honoured lost-wax method. Mayne is highly recognized and respected in the fine arts sector, and in the community. She received the Best in Show and People’s Choice Runner Up awards at the Avera McKennan SculptureWalk in Sioux Falls (2015), was twice nominated Windsor Artist of the Year in Biz X Magazine (2010, 2019), and received two City of Windsor Arts, Culture & Heritage Fund (ACHF) grants to complete a clay study of Mary Ann Shadd Cary and Rosalie Trombley. The artist’s professional affiliations include Canada Council for the Arts, CARFAC Canadian Artists’ Representation, Artists in Canada, Arts Council Windsor & Region, and Arts & Cultural Alliance of Windsor Essex. She has volunteered hundreds of hours driving children for the Windsor-Essex Children’s Aid Society, and thousands more as a safe-water researcher and advocate in Windsor. Mayne’s contemplative works embody tranquility and romance, favouring the exquisite grace of the human form reminiscent of the Neo-Classical era. Mayne finds great joy in creating lasting tributes to those who have made a positive difference in the lives of others. She has received sculptural commissions from the Fine Arts Sculptural Centre (2021), the University of Windsor (2019), Oklahoma State University (2018), and Confederation High School (2018). In 2022, her life-sized bronze sculpture of Mary Ann Shadd Cary, which evolved from a clay study funded through the City’s ACHF program, was unveiled at the University of Windsor’s Windsor Hall downtown campus. The piece honours the legacy of a pioneering and trailblazing Black publisher, teacher, lawyer and abolitionist who made a home in Windsor. She was a prominent teacher and activist in the Underground Railroad and founded an integrated school in Windsor before publishing The Provincial Freeman, which advocated for abolitionism and equality. She was also the first woman in Canada, and the first Black woman in North America, to establish a newspaper, and the first Black woman in the United States to attend law school. Presently, Donna Mayne is interested in furthering her portfolio of portraying famed local women, “to rebalance the playing field because women have done so much to contribute to the area.” Of the Rosalie Trombley Commemorative Sculpture project, Mayne says: “Her unique intuition altered the course of popular culture and introduced Windsor to legendary artists – and their fans – worldwide... Of greater importance, perhaps, is that Rosalie’s rise to international power-broker status helped shatter a gender barrier that cheated women of opportunity. Her unparalleled gift for identifying hit songs delivered a loud message to the male-dominated radio business: Women belong.”
OTHER EXAMPLES OF DONNA'S WORK
Angel in the End Zone
Life-size, bronze - 2022
In commemoration of a young man's spiritual journey as he battled cancer.