Manuela Mourão is a mixed media visual artist formally trained as a literary scholar. She teaches literature at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia, and has published mainly on 18th- and 19th-century literature and culture, as well as on issues of gender and race. She began painting in 2004 after studying privately with the late Scott Williams, a New Mexico artist who encouraged her interest in exploring the intersections of art, scholarship, and personal identity. Three of her exhibitions in particular—Whitewash, Remainders and Habit—exemplify that practice as they investigate race, nationality, and cultural experience from a multidisciplinary perspective that widens the scope of the inquiry to blend scholarly analysis with personal, subjective impressions.
She was born in Porto, Portugal, and has lived in the US for nearly three decades. Her work has been exhibited at the Vienna Kunsthalle, in Austria, and in Virginia at the Selden Gallery, the Charles H. Taylor Art Center, Lorrie Saunders Art Gallery, Virginia MOCA, the Sandler Center for the Arts, the Gallery at Pavilion II, the Neil Britton Gallery at Virginia Wesleyan College, and d’Art Center.
Her artwork has been used in covers for books and on-line journals, and is in many private collections in the US.