Dorothy Anderson Wasserman (American b. 1951 Duluth, MN) is a visual artist, photographer, art educator, tap dancer, and choreographer. These professional careers have crisscrossed over the span of five decades, informing and enlivening the artistic directions taken.
In 1968, while a junior in high school, Dorothy purchased her first 35mm camera, beginning a practice of documenting her life through photography.
Dorothy graduated from the State University of New York in 1976 with a BS in Art Education. It was during this time she started her dance training. In 1977 she was assistant director and videographer for the award-winning dance documentary “Great Feats of Feet” funded by the NEA.
In Boston (1978-1982) she created fiber art figures which were shown in galleries and shops in Boston and New York City. Dorothy also opened The Jazz Arts Studio, a tap dance school where she also directed her tap dance company, “Toe Jammin’.”
Dorothy lived in New York City from 1982 to 1991. For six years (1984-1990) she worked at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in the departments of Membership and Development. Dorothy received credits as choreographer and featured dancer in the 1987 Tristar motion picture “TAP” starring Gregory Hines and Sammy Davis, Jr. She continued her careers in the fine and performing arts, showing her work and performing in NYC venues.
In 1991 Dorothy moved to New Jersey and embarked on twenty-six years of teaching art in public elementary school. During this time she started to create limited-edition prints from original photo collages using her own photographs. With her photo collage as submissions, she was selected as a Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation Artist/Educator Initiative Fellow in 2005 and was a semifinalist in the National Portrait Gallery Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition, Smithsonian Institution, 2016. In 2012 she produced an instructional DVD of her dance “The Dorothy Shim Sham,” which is performed internationally.
After retirement from teaching in 2017 Dorothy moved to Tacoma, Washington. She joined Gallery 110 Seattle that year and continues to create and show her work. Her latest project, “The Carnival of the Animals,” is a relief sculpture suite inspired by dance and the music of the french composer Camille Saint-Saens.
My artwork is an expression of a life lived in the visual arts, dance and music. Added to this is the study of philosophy and particle physics, with my many years as an art educator no less important. These elements form the foundation of my work which I tap into when starting a new piece. Form follows function, in that the ideas are always the driving force with the visual manifestation bending to the will of the initial intention.