works by Monica Dorley

  • Reception / Meet the artist: Friday, November 3 / 5-8pm
  • Free and open to the public
  • Reception coincides with Art Round Town.

In honor of Portsmouth’s 400th year anniversary, 3S Artspace held an open call for submissions by artists living or working in Portsmouth today. There was no shortage of talent and creativity. We invite you to join us as we celebrate the extraordinary artists selected to exhibit in the Lobby Gallery in 2023. All exhibited works are available for purchase, with revenue supporting both the artists and 3S.

Artist Statement

I’ve been a graphic designer by trade since 1997, however, until Covid Lockdown, I never considered myself an artist.

I started to refinish our retro metal lawn chairs and really got good at spray painting after watching hours of YouTube. Once I had what I like to call “white man’s confidence”, I started to tackle some space scenes. Planets and possible worlds were my focus.

I also started walking outside at night and really got into thinking about space and our place in it. I was born in Portsmouth, Rockingham, New Hampshire, New England, United States, North America, Western Hemisphere, Earth, OurSolar System, Milky Way, Laniakea Super Cluster — Hawaiian for ‘immeasurable heaven’ (Nature.com)

How far can we zoom out? What does it all mean!? Are we insignificant sincewe are just so small? Or can we celebrate this physical experience while we are here? Why are we here? Why are we conscious? What happens next? Can we tap into universal energy somehow? What other questions are there?

The focus of the work will be historically significant and off-beat takes on the city we call home. I will be spray painting space scenes and using collage and photography to give them a place in Portsmouth. Using reclaimed materials like glass and wood, I will be making use of something that might have otherwise been discarded. I buy most of my paints from Marden’s discount store. Partially because I am a cheap lesbian, partially because I use a lot of paint.

Monica Dorley Bio

Monica Dorley, local artist born at City Hall, presents “Planets + Possibilities: Space + Our Place In It,” a clean and colorful portrayal of the infinitely expanding universe through the eyes of a Portsmouth native, spray-painted and collaged on reclaimed surfaces.

After graduating from PHS, Monica attended Boston University as a scholar-athlete and was captain of the women’s field hockey team. She was named All-American. Monica received a BA in Mass Communications and an MA in Advertising. She is an active alumna and enjoys reconnecting with her classmates.

In January 2006, Monica Dorley started Fast Girl Productions. After working in the design industry for over ten years, she set out on her own to pursue more creative work and freedom.

Recently, she has dabbled in stand up comedy opening for Cindy Foster and Jaye McBride. She performed as part as an ensemble in Period. The End? at 3S Artspace in October of 2022. When Monica is not working, she likes being outdoors. She has run at least one mile every day since January 1, 2017. She enjoys walking in all types of weather and especially at night, when she can see and contemplate the stars and planets. She finds inspiration in these walks and imagines the many possibilities that the universe offers. Her appreciation of nature has made her an environmental advocate, which is evident in her art.


Generously supported by:

3S Artspace is supported in part by a grant from the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.