France White

Artist Statement

My art is a sacred calling arising from the divine feminine. I am compelled to make art that begs that questions be asked or preconceived notions be examined. Underneath the surface, tangled in title or image, are invitations to see the world through the eyes of others or look more deeply inside. I make art that is the call of the sacred to live lightly on earth, a summons to honor our interconnection with all that is and was. Each piece of art is a meditation on an experience, sacred text or a welling up from the sacred mother.

It is my belief that we who inhabit earth can make a sustainable, inclusive, peace-filled future. My deepest and dearest contribution to that future is the offering of images. The way I do art is I reflect/meditate on personal experience: inner, spiritual experiences, encounters with others or the result of involvement in social justice issues. My being sits with the raw material and seeks to know its shape, color, depth, spirit. I go inside the event or feeling to find its spiritual heart, the kernel of wisdom it holds or the aspect that is not simply my perception.

I use abstraction or allegory to portray feelings and insight from these experiences to make the art become bridges of understanding among diverse people. I hope to express something of the universality of our human condition and thereby engender respect for diverse peoples, especially those on the margins of society.


1981 BFA Rosemont College, Rosemont, PA
1973 Studies Portland State University Summer Session Grant
1971 Education Equivalence Portland State University, Portland, OR
1969 BA Immaculate Heart College, Los Angeles, CA


France White, SHCJ was born and raised in Portland, OR. She is a Roman Catholic nun and began formal art education after 15 years in religious and academic studies and teaching, earning a BFA with honors and being elected by the art faculty to receive the annual award for outstanding studio art. She moved to Los Angeles where she worked as a graphic artist, peace educator and administrative assistant while pursuing her development as an artist. At a time when her work made it necessary to forgo painting she turned to drawing and marketing prints and cards of her art.

She is involved in social justice issues concerned with creating a culture of peace and sustainability, with women—their rights in society and church, with homeless people, with refugees and with the impact of imperialism and multinational corporations. Her art has been influenced by these and various intercultural and international experiences: living as support staff in a shelter for homeless women and children; teaching art at the Center for Renewal in Jos, Nigeria; working with other sisters with barrio children in Santiago, Chile and hosting sisters from Africa and Europe to volunteer at a transition house for women in Los Angeles; giving retreats and teaching art in a Haitian batte in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic; studying medieval art in England and France and later returning to France with Buddhist teachers for an emersion in Celtic power places.

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