Visual art is an engaging dialogue and music a social conversation, two tools for a singular expression in the profound works and enchanted life of Alison Chase Radcliffe, a true ace of the arts. In her own words, "Art and music are my tools to investigate the human condition. Uniting these two art forms, my task is to present a coherent expression of the universal experience of joy and sorrow. I approach the past and the present as one state of being, and seek answers with artifacts from my imagination as well as engaging interactive social dialogue through portraiture. "
As a young child Alison was steeped in traditional music and surrounded by working artists. She began to create her own music and art at the age of four, performing with her mother's string bands and assisting her father with his photography. This was the beginning of her lifelong devotion to art and music. For Alison, the ultimate human experience is making art, specifically the act of combining aesthetic expression with practiced technical execution. She unifies these art forms as a succinct expression of the human condition.
Alison's drawings and paintings are well described as psychological portraiture, reflecting and revealing unseen qualities of her subject. The subject is often a person Alison is interacting with in real time in her everyday social life. "Sometimes, I hold mad tea-parties in other dimensions." Many of Alison's strongest pieces originate from sheer invention or are first rendered from observation and then finished by means of imagination and memory. In this way Alison is meaningfully depicting and humorously celebrating the beauty, dignity and hardships of our lives.
As a musician, Alison works in blues, spirituals, jazz, and soul. She seeks to elevate the audience’s awareness and responsibility toward the human condition. She arranges and performs traditional music and writes and composes originals for vocals, piano and keyboard. Alison sings and plays boldly in a nostalgic style reminiscent of a bygone era.
Alison shows and teaches art and music locally and internationally, performs both as a solo act and collaboratively, and has a band called The Blood & Sunflower in Brattleboro, VT. A wide variety of venues at which she performs include festivals, churches, funerals, weddings, and house concerts. Her recordings include Doris in Mind, Songs of Peace and Forgiveness, I Want Jesus to Walk with Me, and Soul of a People Smithsonian Documentary Soundtrack.
Alison's new EP "Hard Feelings" is now available, and she is currently working on her new full-length album.
Among Alison's numerous art exhibitions and musical performances are the following selected shows:
"Pictured People, Painted Faces" Exhibition of Portraits by Alison Chase Radcliffe, Jack Radcliffe, and Dave DeRan
Oscar Marion Memorial
Jack Radcliffe’s photography exhibit in Cascais, Portugal
Washington Folk Festivals
Creative Alliance, Art To Dine For
Centrum Country Blues Festival (performer and instructor of vocal workshop)
D.C. Blues Society Festivals
Baltimore Ethical Society
Harmonica Conventions across the U.S.
The Root Social Justice Center
Sycamore Rouge Art Exhibit and Concert
Art and Drama Therapy Institute
Lincoln Theater with Art and Drama Therapy Institute D.C.
“Alison’s paintings become timeless mirrors of our souls, creatively capturing in psychological portraiture each person's essence. These hand-eye-coordinated renderings are images revealing invisible elements of the artist’s subjects and depict more than even photography could.
Alison’s otherworldly vision and voice as a musician and painter profoundly affect one’s own spirituality and sense of creativity by means of her awakened perceptions of natural experience and depth of emotional expression as well as her demonstration of an instructive mastery over a range of disciplined skills. Her work possesses a unique renewal of artistic antiquities and manifests the immortal art-spirit within her invoked as her truest self. Alison’s angelic presence is something more than human, impressing upon the heart and soul of her sincere listener, a challenge to ponder the unity of eras, genres, cultures, and genders as Alison’s extraordinary self-presentation transcends and defies the confines of such boundaries.” Brian C Baker, Artist
" Radcliffe’s powerful and distinctive singing immerses the listener in a world of yearning and sweet anguish that is as haunting as it is overwhelming." Mark S. Sanders, award winning poet, actor, and performer