Project Updates

Margarette Mattos: Windows

Margarette Mattos

“Windows protect us from the unknown,

The windows spy us all the time,

The windows suggest freedom. ”

The fascination with the colors and textures of raw iron ore, extracted from the city of Itabira and the Serra dos Carajas area of Brazil, is the inspiration for my artwork. By combining the ore with other materials I produce abstract images on canvas.

It took me more thanCSArt in progress II, Margarette Mattos, 2016 two decades of research to discover and perfect the best way in which to incorporate iron ore particles in my work, without losing the unique luster texture and colors of the raw material.
Using iron ore from Brazil, together with vibrant watercolors paints, pigments, and gold leaves on canvas, I create works which show shapes that resembles windows, through the balance and the poetry of materials.

CSArt in progress I, Margarette Mattos, 2016 My proposal to the CSA Project challenged me to apply the technique and materials used in larger works on canvas to small formats on paper.
Through the suggestion of “Windows”, I invite the viewer to find new angles and new ways to view each piece, creating different visions and moods for both the art and the viewer, while showing the balance and poetry unique to each creation.

Linda Haas: At Home, Abroad

Linda Haas

Through the years my photographic work has taken many forms including photojournalism, portraiture, street photography, and landscapes. Much of this work was created locally, but the combination of foreign places and photography has been a passion of mine for decades.

In August and September 2016 I’ll be traveling in Wales and Italy. During those weeks, I intend to concentrate on making images that I can use for my CSA project. Initially, I’ll be returning to the part of Wales where my husband grew up. Each time I return there I find myself exploring and recording new niches and corners of coastal Ceredigion.

Then I’ll be moving on to Northern and Central Italy. There I’ll be experiencing locations that are either new to me or that I haven’t seen in many years. I find myself closing my eyes and envisioning many magical images I’ll be encountering. How close will the reality of my experiences match my imaginings? That’s part of the fun of the anticipation of the visual adventures I’ll be recording with my camera.

Anne Plaisance: New Beginnings and Difficult Conversations

Anne Plaisance

When I arrived in the US, in August of last year, I was struck by the number of homeless people on the streets. Old, young, men, women, etc. Discovering the American way of life, culture, problems and opportunities, I deeply felt that I needed to do something that would be beneficial to others with my art. I came up with the Art’s Room Project; where I would build artistic mobile tiny-home for homeless women, within a high-tech and zero waste program. As I was developing this project, I was lucky enough to get my first grant ever. In response to the grant project, I decided I would do portraits of homeless women. Portraits initially were made for those who had everything. So I decided I would do the opposite, portraits of people who have nothing.

CSArt in progress I, Anne Plaisance, 2016One of the greatest challenges for me, was to find a way to create so many artworks in a limited period of time. Sometimes it takes me months to make a painting I’m fully satisfied with. So I had to first concentrate on the technique that would allow me to work much faster (drawing), sizes that would be easy to handle, materials easy to find and cheap – recycled ones when possible (cardboard), and check what would help me grow as a person, as an artist. I decided that my Art’s Room Project could be a perfect fit for the Community Supported Art (CSArt) program, to show the beauty of human beings and also expose the problems no one wants to see.

The journey is still there. Since I’m new in the country, I might not always know how to choose the best path to make things, I try various ones till one clicks. For example, I contacted several institutions to draw homeless women in shelters, but the institutional path seems to be very complex for administrative reasons. So, instead, I’ll sit in the streets and will have a more “direct approach”, discussing directly with homeless women, without a third-party. We’ll see.

CSArt in progress II, Anne Plaisance, 2016

I have been told by curators that it’s very positive for your art career to receive grants, it’s a high recognition of your work. I have no clue how this might influence me but I’m curious to see. What I specifically value in the CSArt program is the artists I met, the deeply involved staff at the CAC, the variety of workshops provided, and the feeling to be part of a team. It’s precious since as an artist you’re often alone. I’m highly impressed in general by the professionalism of people involved in arts here in the US, so I’m happy I have the opportunity to learn a lot.

Mireli Books: Illustrations and Transitions

Mireli Books

My current body of work is inspired by the striking architecture of Cambridge and Boston. Boston is one of America’s oldest cities and its architecture encompass several periods. There are old buildings with decorative ornaments, arches, brick detail, and some very modern structures with Art Deco and angular details, and geometric forms. I am attracted to drawing geometrical figures and patterns so illustrating urban landscapes, although a challenging, is also very appealing. For my CSArt project I am working on a composition of Cambridge images.

A challenge I have encountered with this project is in the prep stage. My drawings are based on photos and each subject requires several shots. In the studio I settle which photo perspective best fits the subject and final composition. Often there is a detail that was omitted or none of the shots are appropriate, and it requires another photo shoot. Another challenge has been straight lines and exact curves required to draw architectural details. I prefer to draw freehand with a graphic pen, but for this project this method was not as exact as I liked. To address this, I decided to draft first with pencil and using rulers, which takes time and requires great care.

CSArt in progress sequence, Mireli Books, 2016
CSArt in progress sequence, Mireli Books, 2016

I have encountered exciting opportunities as a CSArtist.Being that I am a newer artist; exposure and growing an art dossier are important. As a participant, I was able to exhibit at the Cambridge Art Association and Lesley University, and also participated in the 2016 River Festival.

These experiences are important as I begin this new chapter as a professional artist. As a child I began drawing and painting very early, and I enrolled in a design program after high school, but I discontinued my studies to travel. After starting a family, I returned to university and earned a PhD in science. Although I used my artistic flare for presentations, for the most part, art became relegated to my spare time. Last year, I made a dramatic shift and decided to take time off from science to illustrate. Since then, I completed a children’s book and several illustration books, and began a startup to publish my work. I reached out to Jason Weeks, Director of the Cambridge Arts Council, about local opportunities for artists and he convinced me to participate in Open Studios. From there, things evolved.

Today I find my artistic career at a stage of discovery, asking ‘where can I take my art next?’ I love drawing, t has a meditative quality . However, I also enjoy challenges and continuous learning. That is also one of the things that I love about science. Looking into the future, I would love to find ways to balance my passions for art and science. To this end, I believe animation would be a natural extension to my illustration and allow me to bridge the two. This year, I enrolled in the animation program at the Vancouver Film School for 2017. I believe this was possible, in part, thanks to the Cambridge Creative Marketplace: Community Supported Art program.

Deidre Tao: Winter in Progress

Deidre Tao

CSArt in progress I, Deidre Tao, 2016
CSArt in progress I, Deidre Tao, 2016

This sounds crazy to most people, but winter is actually one of my favorite times of year. I grew up here in Massachusetts and don’t disparage the snow or cold – I welcome it. I love my clothing I bring out for that time of year, I enjoy the different pace of life, and I embrace the special foods and flavors that are prepared and enjoyed only in winter. I tell new friends who relocate here that you just have to give into winter instead of resisting it, and you’ll be a lot happier.

CSArt in progress I, Deidre Tao, 2016
CSArt in progress II, Deidre Tao, 2016

I’m inspired by several artists of the 20th century, among them the painters of the ‘Group Of Seven’ of Canada. One of this group’s most prominent members was Lawren Harris, who recently had an exhibit of monumental winter paintings at the MFA Boston, curated by (comedian and avid art collector) Steve Martin. I had already known Harris’s work of course, so was really excited to go check out this curated show in the spring. If you saw these paintings, too, you may see some influence of Harris in my piece I’m working on for you.

CSArt in progress III, Deidre Tao, 2016
CSArt in progress III, Deidre Tao, 2016

I am allowing you to take a peek into my studio to see the painting as a work in progress. The image evolved from a number of pictures I took in the late afternoon just before sunset when the sun was low, and I am working hard to capture that moment while still allowing the piece to feel fresh. It is a challenge I love. This location is near family I have who live near Nasketucket Bay, a quiet and sheltered inlet off of Buzzards Bay in the South Coast region of Massachusetts.

Once finished, this painting will be professionally photographed and presented as  giclée prints on fine art paper with archival inks in a limited edition of 50.

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