September 3 – December 2, 2020

The Jansen Art Center is pleased to welcome Malissa Perry and Christen Mattix for an exhibit of their work. The virtual exhibit opens on September 3 and will be on display through December 2, 2020. Through the Eyes of the Beholder is a collaboration between artists — Malissa Perry, a woman with Down Syndrome and autism, and Christen Mattix, Malissa’s friend. The exhibit pairs Malissa’s abstractions with Christen’s portraits of Malissa. Overturning stereotypes of ability and disability, artist and model, the exhibit reveals a democratic approach to life. Christen’s portraits translate Malissa’s body language into paintings, finding unexpected beauty in Malissa’s appearance, evoking Malissa’s radiant spirit. Malissa makes her voice heard with bold color and compositions. When gazing into Malissa’s paintings, one is transported to realms of undersea splendor, visions of earth from space, and galactic majesty.  Each painting is a portal into an unspoken beauty.  


Malissa Perry Bio Malissa is a self-taught artist from Bellingham, WA. Diagnosed with autism and Down syndrome, she is non-verbal, using sign language minimally. She began painting on canvas when caregiver, Nancy Daugherty, gifted her a blank canvas in 2015. Exhibitions: Smith & Vallee Gallery, Edison, WA; Jansen Art Center, Lynden, WA; Seattle University, WA; Makeshift Art Gallery, Bellingham, WA; Joseph Medical Center, Bellingham, WA. Her paintings are in many private collections. Malissa’s story made the front cover of Cascadia Weekly (December 2015), with a full article inside.     Christen Mattix Bio Christen is a multifaceted artist, WWU professor, and catalyst. Exhibitions: St. Mary’s College (Notre Dame, IN), Tacoma Art Museum, (Tacoma, WA) The Whatcom Museum (Bellingham, WA) and beyond. Residencies: James Washington Art Residency, The Vancouver Project, and Grunewald Guild. Christen’s artworks are held in public and private collections.

2020 Exhibit Sponsor:           


Artwork can be purchased through our Gallery Shop and will be available for pickup when the exhibit closes. Please email [email protected] or call 360-354-3600 for more information. Please note, the Jansen Art Center does not ship artwork.

Malissa Perry Sonata and Nocturne Acrylic 24” x 48” (Diptych)


Malissa Perry Migration of the Butterflies Acrylic and mixed media 12″ x 24”


Malissa Perry Illuminance Acrylic 4” x 12”


Malissa Perry Swirl Acrylic 4” x 4”


Malissa Perry Grace Acrylic 6” x 6”


Christen Mattix Egg Acrylic on panel 12″ x 16″


Malissa Perry Lagniappe Acrylic and mixed media 4″ x 4″


Christen Mattix Sunrise in Your Smile 30 x 40 inches Acrylic on panel


Malissa Perry Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious Acrylic on canvas mounted 8″ x 8″


Malissa Perry Depth Acrylic 4″ x 12″


Christen Mattix Malissa and Maria 30 x 40 inches Acrylic on panel


Christen Mattix Malissa and Phoebe Acrylic 36″ x 48″


Malissa Perry Sakura Acrylic 12″ x 12 “


Malissa Perry Star Dance Acrylic 12″ x 24″


Christen Mattix Stitches in Time Acrylic on panel 30″ x 40″