Stephanie King was born in 1968 in Gulfport, Mississippi. She currently works predominantly in goauche. She graduated with a BA , emphasis in graphic design from the University of Mississippi in 1991. She worked in advertising as an art director from 1992-1996. In 2000, Stephanie started a decorative painting and mural business. As she reacquainted herself with drawing and painting, she slowly returned to painting in oils, acrylic and experimented with encaustic, beginning in 2001. Her first gallery showing was in 2004, where she participated in an annual group show at David Lusk Gallery in Memphis.
“Olly Olly Oxen Free” is the title used to represent Stephanie’s collaboration work with fellow Memphis artist, Pam McDonnell.
Olly Olly Oxen Free is a phrase used in children’s games to indicate that players who are hiding (in a game of hide and seek, for example) can safely come out into the open.
The playful paintings created by the collaborative team of Stephanie King and Pam McDonnell started in 2017 when McDonnellgave King a two-year-old drawing to complete (Phase I). The resulting piece birthed the idea of an over/under game where clever prey outsmart the hunter. Both artists felt compelled to pursue the subject further with more paintings.
Their second collaboration took place in 2018 at L Ross Gallery in Memphis, TN. This showpresented eight large scale paintings worked out and over by the pair together and separately over a period of five months. The first-round series of paintings delight the imagination with magical creatures such as shady rabbits, leaping frogs and flying fish.
The duo now moves into the third phase of Olly Olly Oxen Free by continuing to develop their own styles within as well as outside of their collaborative work. In their 2019 show at Anne Neilson Fine Art in Charlotte, NC, King and McDonnell will each present 7 individual, non-collaborative pieces directly influenced by the work they have done together. The duo feels this forward/backward creative process embraces the act of working together to create singular pieces of art.