Posts Tagged ‘women artists’

Adriana is one of the most inspiring artists I know whose passion around the climate crisis really does invite one to stop and think creatively about how to make a difference individually as well as collectively. Learn more and be inspired through her own words and images shared in this guest post.

Adriana Prat stands next to her work, Breaking Free.

I am so thrilled and honored to write in Cynthia’s blog! I first met Cynthia years ago at the Riverside Gallery during one of our group exhibitions and since then I have always admired the poetry and poignancy of her blog posts, her empathy and humbleness, and the beauty and sensitivity of her photographs. I am delighted to have more opportunities to interact with Cynthia and her beautiful art lately through the i3C Artists Group we both belong to, and that I will talk about further here.

Pollution and the Gold

I am a non-representational artist who intuitively creates mixed media paintings, while mostly meditating on the urgency of the environmental crisis, its impact, and the adaptation all ecosystems must go through to survive. I work driven by my emotions and by the physicality of the art materials, open to happy accidents and chance, and with a strong thirst for color and texture.  

Exploiting Beauty

During my early days in Argentina, I spent hours drawing or building craft projects. My father, an environmentalist ahead of his time, influenced me into value nature and the other species, and to be curious about the world that surrounds us. This early life experience impacted my decision to study science. After I moved to US, a more introspective life reconnected me with my old love for artmaking and I became an artist who worked part-time but with passion and determination, even while working full-time in science and raising a family that was always supportive of my life choices.

Topographies of the Exploitation of Our Land II

Because I lived much of my early life under a military dictatorship in Argentina and later as an immigrant in the US who could not vote, it was not until I became a full-time artist and a US citizen that I was able to speak up through my art. I am focused in using my art to bring awareness and action for the urgent environmental crisis.

Change is on its Way

Like in other aspects of life, I face a dilemma of what materials to use in my art practice that are better for the environment. In the spirit of refusing, reducing, reusing, repurposing and/or recycling, I paint mainly on corrugated cardboards from packaging materials, or on rejected, found surfaces, like canvases I find on the curb, or I thrift, and I push myself to consume only a small amount of new art materials. I believe the climate crisis resolution is an ethical and moral obligation we have for our future generations and for the other species that share our beloved planet Earth. By finding more sustainable ways to produce my art, I feel I move in the direction of halting my environmental impact in the world.

Your Brain on Climate Crisis News

Informed by my science background, my abstract work frequently resembles topographies that can be imagined either on a microscopic or a macroscopic scale. At a microscopic level, they are evocative of the cells of organisms I have studied and manipulated during my scientific research days, and of the metabolic paths and intracellular structures I have analyzed and investigated.

Andriana standing next to various works.

At the same time, while I paint, I find myself exploring these forms or topographies at a macroscopic level and they seem reminiscent of maps, geographies, or even our planet, in its constant struggle to survive due to the constant human-induced exploitation. Some of my works evoke the explorations found on vintage maps, much like itineraries of digging expeditions set to exploit the vital and finite natural resources (water, fossil fuels, gemstones, etc) found underground. In some of my paintings, the textures and marks I introduce delineate approximate concentric maps that evoke how some of the land’s ecosystems, the coastlines, for example, are changing due to ocean water raising. As global warming continues with the consequent water rising, some islands, lands are doomed to disappear…  

Treasure Island

You can see more of my work on my website www.agprat.com or my Instagram account @agprat.art.

As part of my curatorial activities, I am actively curating the i3C (inspiring Change for the Climate Crisis) Artists Group and its exhibits. The i3C Artists Group has currently over 20 multidisciplinary artists (and counting…) from New England, New York, Pennsylvania, and Canada. The i3C artists’ diverse backgrounds and art practices enhance our shared commitment to the topic of the environmental crisis and our mission to inspire action to help resolve the environmental crisis. The group’s exhibits are conceived as an evolving and ongoing project, with iterations in different venues to continue spreading the i3C artists group’s mission. The group’s art processes and visions vary: some artists explore the impact of consumerism by reinventing reclaimed materials, or by creating a dialog with humanity’s waste and pollution; some celebrate the natural beings and their interconnection, pointing to their unique beauty or vulnerabilities; and some address the effects of climate change in our communities or global ecosystems.

You can check out the i3C Artists Group’s website (www.i3CArtists.com) or our Instagram account @i3cartists to get inspired and to know more about the group’s events in art centers, gallery spaces, and other venues.

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The amazing work of artist Karen LaMonte on display at the Boston Museum of Fine Art. https://www.karenlamonte.com/

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Detail from stained glass window by Margaret Redmond (1867-1948). Located at Trinity Church in the City of Boston and dedicated to her friend and fellow painter Susan Hinckley Bradley (1851-1929). You can read more about Redmond and Bradley here:



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A plain black gown emphasized her type, which is fine, clean cut and deceptively simple.  Her eyes are dark and bright, her hair spun silver and the modulations of her low pitched voice are peculiarly musical. Denying herself color, she is a master of color.

Margaret Redmond, circa 1927

Margaret Redmond, circa 1927

In 1927, artist Margaret Redmond (1867-1948) was interviewed in her studio at 45 Newbury Street, Boston.  The interviewer Helen Fitzgerald described the space as, “a veritable treasure trove to the art lover.  All about her color glows and flames.  On the walls are sketches of colorful places … and the light transmuted by the stained glass of her own making fills the room with rays of gold and ruby, emerald, violet and blue so intense that it stirs in the sensitive observer an emotion akin to ecstasy.

Detail from Evangelists Window, Trinity Church, 1927

Detail from Evangelists Window, Trinity Church, 1927

Detail from the Evangelists Window, Trinity Church, 1927

Detail from the Evangelists Window, Trinity Church, 1927

For the 1927 interview and in others, Redmond describes in detail her stained glass technique and why she chose to work with glass quite differently than contemporaries John La Farge or Louis Comfort Tiffany, whose works she admired.  As author Elinor Morgan summarized, La Farge and Tiffany designed with glass, whereas Redmond sought to use the glass as her canvas.

Detail from the Evangelists Window, Trinity Church, 1927

Detail from the Evangelists Window, Trinity Church, 1927

Born in Philadelphia, Redmond would study at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, travel abroad to study in Europe, before returning to the states. In that 1927 interview, Redmond shared, “I went to England and France, where I spent two years studying the old glass windows in cathedrals, churches and museums. … My studies led me to many old cities and their churches and cathedrals.

Detail from the Evangelists Window, Trinity Church, 1927

Detail from the Evangelists Window, Trinity Church, 1927

When I had completed my pilgrimage of the cathedrals, I studied with Simon and Mellard in Paris.  Returning to this country, I came to Boston and entered the studio of Connick, the famous maker of stained glass, where I made my first window.”

Charles Jay Connick

Charles Jay Connick

Redmond apprenticed with Connick between 1906 and 1910.  Prior to that she bought a farm in Nelson, New Hampshire in an area that would become a hub for artists and intellectuals with Pennsylvania roots.  Redmond would maintain a summer home and studio there. Examples of her painting and stained glass work can still be found in this community.

Though her medieval inspired style of glassmaking was not in vogue, Redmond received a wide range of commissions for work in churches as well as in private homes and businesses. She exhibited her work, including watercolors and oil paintings as well as stained glass items, at arts and craft shows across the nation.

The 1920s and 1930s is considered her most productive period and this is when, for approximately $12,800, she would produce a series of windows for Trinity Church in the City of Boston, from the Apostles to the Evangelists (pictured earlier in this post) to scenes from the life of David and Solomon.

Throughout her career, Redmond was an innovator, for instance, experimenting with different uses for stained glass in the home, including fire screens which were popular in the period.  Though respected as an artist, she like many women was too often ostracized in a male-dominated field.  But in her studios she worked with both men and women, making a special effort to train young women as assistants in the different phases of the work.  In 1931, Connick would ask Redmond to list some of her favorite creations.  She would include on the list the windows produced for Trinity Church.

Detail from Tree of Life Window, Trinity Church

Detail from Tree of Life Window, Trinity Church

I have been unable to find a book solely about Margaret Redmond, or a single listing of her creations, but her papers including contracts are housed in the Smithsonian Archives of American Art.  A research project for another day perhaps. 😉

Sources/Additional Reading

Creates Stained Glass Windows, Margaret Redmond Searches Europe for Secrets of her Chosen Art, September 11, 1927 article interview by Helen Fitzgerald, Sunday Eagle Magazine, September 11, 1927

History Written in Glass by Elizabeth B. Prudden, The Christian Science Monitor, June 30, 1931

A Woman in Stained Glass … Against the Odds by Elinor Morgan, Stained Glass Quarterly, 1990

Women Artists at Trinity: Sarah Wyman Whitman and Margaret Redmond, article by Erica E. Hirshler in Makers of Trinity ed. by James F. O’Gorman, 2004

Redmond Papers at the Archives of American Art

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When I saw these out of focus leaves — their form, shape, the melding of colors — I could not help but be reminded of the artwork of Tamara De Lempicka and her paintings, full of color, and the fall of light and shadows such that some things are revealed and the rest is left entirely to imagination.

As I was trying to learn more about the artist, I came across this website produced by family and friends. I especially enjoy the artwork page providing the opportunity to scroll through, by decades, her life story in words and images. Enjoy.

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