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Dorothy Fagan Biography


Dorothy Fagan inspirational expressionist artist

Dorothy Fagan knew she would be an artist, when the nuns encouraged her to copy a picture of the Virgin Mary a box of colored chalk. As a young mother, she won international recognition at Pastel Society of America, Pastel Society of Canada, Copley Society, and the National Arts Club.

When an assailant's knife threatened her life, Dorothy found her voice with color to express deeply held emotion. Transforming trauma into strokes of color juxtaposed light and dark worlds led her on her incredible healing art journey to the mission of her artistic gifts

During residencies in France and Italy in 2013, 2015, 2017 and 2018, she developed her healing chakra colors palette. 

Dorothy's colorful pastels, oil paintings, mixed media, and fiber art stand apart in international collections including; Musee de La Grande Vigne, Dinan, France, Boston Children's Hospital, U Mass. Memorial Research Center, City University of New York, and Longwood University Art Museum.

Studying oil painting and watercolors as a child, Dorothy completed her B.F.A. in Printmaking and Painting at East Carolina University in 1974. In a ten-year Master Painting Mentorship, Robert Bowers Mayo guided Dorothy to look inside herself in painting from her heart. 



2020     Dress Me Exhibition Milan Fashion Week 2020 MADS Gallery, Milan, Italy   

2020      Art Ideal, Circle Foundation, France

2020      Her Story Women Artists, Manhattan Arts International

2020     First Place, The Crossing, CROSSROADS ART CENTER  RICHMOND, VA   

2019     By Land(scape), or by Water(color) , Peninsula Fine Art Center Newport News, VA

2019    Abbaye de Lehon, Lehon, France
2014    Musee de La Grande Vigne, Dinan, France


Sale Prices 

2001 Medium Paintings $1800
2006  Med - Large Paintings $2500 - $5800
2015  Med - Large Paintings  $3600 - $8500
2020  Med - Large Paintings  $4500 - $15,000


Born in Morristown, New Jersey in 1953, Dorothy Fagan is the eldest daughter of a music teacher and a mechanical engineer. At age 8, through the encouragement of her mother Pauline, Dorothy discovered both her love of music and painting. Playing the organ at church, and taking sculpture and painting lessons with her mother, the foundation for her artistry had already begun.

At 14, Dorothy received her first award for painting and went on to win first place in a five-county student competition in Morristown, New Jersey. Graduating from East Carolina University with a B.F.A. in Printmaking and Painting, she married and moved to rural southeastern Virginia in 1974. Raising three sons, she painted at nap time and sent her paintings to New York City to compete in international juried exhibitions. At age 25, she achieved acceptance into the Pastel Society of America. 

Dorothy plein air painting in Brittany, France, Musee de La Grande Vigne

Her paintings were exhibited at the prestigious National Arts Club in New York City, and purchased by the City University of New York. Her oil paintings followed with the American Artists Professional League at the famous Salmagundi Club in New York. At home, the Virginia Museum of Fine Art, the Hermitage Museum, the Virginia Contemporary Museum of Art, and the Longwood Art Museum exhibited her pastel paintings.

Her father, Jack Fagan, encouraged Dorothy in conversations about the nature of creativity. A WWII vet injured at the Battle of the Bulge, his life was an inspiration to Dorothy. Her paintings made during his passing in 2013, tell the final chapter of their special connection in her book, High on a Hill with a Cloud and a Prayer.

Fagan's art is included in collections on five continents, including the Musee de La Grande Vigne, Dinan, France, Longwood University Art Museum, U Mass Memorial Hospital, Boston Children's Hospital, Camp LeJeune Mental Health Hospital, AAA, City University of New York, International Paper, and numerous corporate and private collections.

Public Collections

Musee de La Grande Vigne, Dinan, 
City University of New York

Longwood University Art Museum, Farmville, VA
Emory University

Juried Exhibitions

Pastel Society of America, National Juried Exhibition, National Arts Club, New York
Pastel Society of Canada, International Juried Exhibition, Cambrian Rose Gallery, Ottawa
American Artists Professional League, National Juried Exhibition, Salmagundi Club, New York
G.V.W. Smith Art Museum, National Juried Exhibition, Springfield, MA
Virginia Museum of Fine Art, Prints & Drawings ’81 National Juried Exhibition, Richmond, VA
Virginia Contemporary Museum of Art, Virginia Beach, VA
The Copley Society, Pastel Society of America Members’ Exhibition, Boston, MA
Kansas Pastel Society, National Juried Exhibition
Hermitage Museum, Pastel Society of America Members’ Exhibition, Norfolk, VA
New Jersey Institute of Technology, Pastel Society of America Members’ Exhibition, Newark, NJ


U. Mass Memorial Hospital,
Boston Children’s Hospital,
Camp Lejeune Mental Health Facility, 
Wellness Center at The Landing

Riverside Cancer Center
Southampton Memorial Hospital
The Village at Woods Edge
Walter Reed Riverside Hospital

Main Street Preservation Trust, Gloucester, VA
Princess Anne Country Club
Mathews Land Conservancy
Assured Construction  
Williamsburg Land Conservancy
General Electric,
First National Exchange Bank,
International Paper,
Monarch Bank,
Towne Bank,
Raycom Media,
Coldwell Banker
Bronco Federal Credit Union
Union Camp Forestry Division
City of Franklin
City of Virginia Beach
Roanoke Athletic Club
Wintergreen Resorts
Union Camp Medical
Franklin Main Street Association


PRIVATE COLLECTIONS in the United States, England, Italy, France, Iceland, Singapore, Jordan, Canada.

Residencies, Awards & Education

Artist Residency Florence, Sept – Nov 2017, Independent Painting Writing

Artist Residency Florence, Sept – Nov 2015, Independent Painting Writing

Artist Residency Musee de La Grande Vigne, July – Sept 2013, Dinan, Provence, Paris.

Medal of Honor G.V.W. Smith Art Museum, Academic Artists’ Association

Best in Show  Virginia Contemporary Museum of Art


American Masters Painting Mentorship with Robert Bowers Mayo, Valentine Museum and Gallery Mayo, 1979 – 1989, Richmond, VA. Mayo guided Fagan in developing her unique approach to painting by imparting his understanding of the artist psyche through the works of George Inness, Martin J. Heade, Elliot Clark, and Walter Metcalf.

B. F. A. East Carolina University, 1974, Printmaking and Painting
At East Carolina University, she studied under printmaker Donald Sexauer and painter Ed Reep 1971 - 1974. 


Joy’s Garden, Embrace the Mountain Dorothy Fagan, 2018

CreativSOUP, Adult Creativity & Coloring, Dorothy Fagan, 2016

100 Plein Air Painters of the Mid-Atlantic, Gary Pendleton, Schiffer Publishing 2014

Joan Cawley Publishing, Fine Art Prints, 2001 - 2011

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