On Facebook: Mantra Art
I grew up in a small town mostly surrounded by water north of Boston. My family encouraged creative endeavors so early on I gravitated to making art, writing, dancing, and occasionally performing.
After a lot of confused meandering through various art schools I graduated from Tufts and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston with a B.S. in Art Education. I did enough public school teaching to know that wasnʼt my calling - the public school part. I continued making art as I stumbled upon my next phase.
Having always had an interest in alternative health, I ended up earning a doctorate in Naturopathic Medicine in Portland Oregon, and spent about 10 years practicing Homeopathy, a holistic paradigm of medicine. But when I was diagnosed with cancer in 2003 is when my life came to a distinct turning point.
At that time I reconnected with my creative instinct in a more serious way. My art suddenly became more charged. I began to produce retreats for my patients that brought together various healing processes and art-making; a kind of “art therapy.” Since moving to Minneapolis the retreats and workshops have developed into a business and Iʼm starting to bring the work into clinical settings for people in the healing arts. I enjoy bringing together many disciplines that Iʼve practiced for years into a shared experiential event.
What are you currently working on? How is this different from past projects?
Iʼm working on a series employing the sacred geometric symbol known as the
Seed of Life; stencils, acrylic, and oil paint. Iʼm combining more precise, con-
trolled marks and pattern with more spontaneous techniques. Last year was all
about layering acrylic and oils together, 2009 was more controlled and ﬁgurative,
this year Iʼm bringing it together. In the past Iʼve stitched on the canvas; this year
Iʼll be doing it in a different way. I work intuitively. The blending of sensuality and
spirituality and the ways we experience being in a body as a spirit are ongoing subjects.
Why did you become an artist?
Itʼs in my blood. My whole family is artistic: my sister does web design, dad loves wood working, and mom paints and was a potter for 35 years.
What was the best advice given to you as an artist?
“Look at the negative space” was formative. To be honest, Iʼve tried to forget most of what teachers have said.
Tell me about your working space and your creative process?
I work in my studio at the Casket Arts Building. My process involves creating an
altered state through music, yoga, or dance that allows my thinking mind to step out of the way and I can become a channel. I deliberately work with chance by using techniques over which I have only partial control. Iʼm interested in the intersection of head and heart, that familiar human struggle; but itʼs only after the
work is complete that I start to recognize what itʼs about. Sometimes that produces darker work, sometimes lighter, depending on whatʼs happening in my life.
Which Minnesota artists do you enjoy?
Joseph Naughton http://www.josephnaughton.com/Site/start.html
Doug Beasley http://www.douglasbeasley.com/index.html
Laura Stack http://www.laurastackart.com/
Josie Lewis http://www.josielewis.com/
Tara Costello http://rosaluxgallery.com/artists/tara-costello.html
Jennifer Davis http://www.jenniferdavisart.com/info.html
Nicholas Harper of Rogue Buddha
Caitlin Karolczak http://studiosilenti.com/
Iʼm still pretty new to MSP so thatʼs a partial list.
If I were to follow you around on an “art day” in Minnesota, which places would we go?
What would we see?
Iʼd start with the Asian arts collection at the MIA. I canʼt go there without looking
at the buddhas, scholarʼs rocks, and landscape paintings. I most appreciate art that
makes me feel transported, emotionally touched. I also enjoy whatever is new at the
Walker; even though my work is not conceptual I ﬁnd inspiration from a wide range of
work. For galleries, Rosalux and Rogue Buddha are my favorite.
Where do you go online for good art resources, whether to ﬁnd a new artist, or to see
what is going on in the art world locally and otherwise?
There is not one single source. It ranges from random googling, to Mplsart.com, friends
and Facebook. When I travel I let my nose lead me.
Do you have any exhibits or any interesting things going on in your life
or coming up in the near future?
I have about 10 pieces hanging at The Om Collective on 34th and Lyndale in up-
town. My work seems natural in an environment designed for spiritual and yoga prac-
tices. Iʼve just been invited to show work at One Yoga March 27- May 1, 2011. Iʼm working on
getting my art into a gallery space in the Twin Cities.
It was great to read your interview and see some of your art here. I am very attracted to your art. i can see why it goes well in healing places!
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