Danielle M. Richard

MFA ’24 Fine Arts 2D

I make objects that signal a fractured memory of growing up queer in rural Massachusetts, and an interiority bent on its obliteration into fantasy, and its tender recollection. Pieced together in wood, metal and found materials, I build furniture pieces that act as characters facing a moment of reckoning. Though they tell separate stories, the pieces live in the same dark, nocturnal world that I build through writing, and drawings in my studio. I also go to lengths to define materials and processes that symbolize elements of rural butchhood within areas of high contrast that interest me: such as coverage and exposure; boundaries and permission; pain and pleasure; security and risk. 

Joinery as a symbol is evocative and important to me. So first I say, ‘I’m making a table’. Then, I say, ‘where is the joint?’ and I built the object out from that joint. So a swirling cloud of memory and materiality–for example, piles of junk, gutted and condemned houses, bonfires in the woods– gets translated into the joinery, the forms the furniture takes, and their surface treatments. 

My materials describe a sensibility that is cruddy, distressed, colonial, vulnerable, and rugged. The objects holds these memories still enough for me to see the persistent questions in my content, or even further fracturing my questions in the studio into new questions: What is private property, isolation, Catholic school, suicide, fucking in a locked car, opioid use? What does it feel like outside the light of the bonfire, the street light, the porch light, the candles lit in the church? What does the air feel like? How does it smell? What does my skin feel like? Why is it like that?


Danielle is an artist from rural Massachusetts. Through woodworking and joinery, their furniture pieces explore queerness, rurality, materiality, and a moment of reckoning.  

Danielle earned their BA in Comparative Literature from Boston University and their MFA from MassArt. They’ve shown their work around Savannah, GA and the Boston area, notably at The Piano Craft Gallery and ARTS Southeast + Sulphur Studios. In 2023, they were awarded acceptance into The Boston Printmakers.