Sculptor Deborah Baldizar is one of eight artists featured in “8 Visions,” an exhibition taking place from August 1 through 31 at Attleboro Arts Center in Attleboro, Massachusetts; the show is previewed by Brian Goslow in Artscope’s July/August 2018 issue. Baldizar, an assistant professor of art at Lasell College, was unavailable when interviews for the story were conducted. Goslow caught up with her in late July as the show’s opening date neared to learn more about her work and an exciting group exhibition that she’ll be participating in at year’s end.
TELL ME ABOUT THE WORK THAT YOU’LL BE EXHIBITING IN ATTLEBORO; IS THERE A THEME THAT RUNS THROUGH ALL THE PIECES?
My work in “8 Visions” is a group of eight ceramic portraits inspired by a trip to Ellis Island. While there, I stood under a sea of larger than life size photos of immigrants taken between 1905-1920, when they were waiting to find out if they could enter the U.S. I was both awed and inspired by the grit and honesty in the photos. My pieces aim to honor and represent individuals who took a risk and left “home” a familiar place, culture and family, for a chance at a better life. My work highlights the importance of honoring the bravery inherent in the immigrant experience and celebrating diversity.
CAN YOU GIVE ME A SHORT BACKGROUND OF YOURSELF TO SERVE AS AN INTRODUCTION FOR PEOPLE WHO HAVEN’T SEEN YOUR WORK IN THE PAST?
I’m a figurative sculptor and an art professor at Lasell College. I live in Seekonk, Massachusetts. My work is about conveying subtle gestures and obscure details that reveal hidden emotions and hint at an internal dialogue. I believe there is so much to learn by noticing the silent cues, reading body language and being open and curious about people from different backgrounds. I have done paper casting to create my figures and am currently working in ceramic clay.
WHAT PROCESSES DO YOU USE IN CREATING YOUR WORK AND HOW DO YOU LIKE TO HAVE IT DESCRIBED?
With my current body of work, I sculpt low-fire earthenware clay and treat the surface with mason stains and paint to arrive at the finished piece. I build the work solid and hollow it before firing.
WHAT ELSE HAVE YOU BEEN WORKING ON THIS SUMMER AND DO YOU HAVE ANY SHOWS COMING UP IN THE FALL?
In the fall, I will be showing my cast paper sculpture as part of a group show with folks who are also in the book, “CAST: Art and Objects Made Using Humanity’s Most Transformational Process” by Jen Townsend and Renée Zettle-Sterling (Schiffer Publishing, 2017). The show by the same name will be at the Wayne Art Center in Wayne, Pennsylvania from December 7 through January 26, 2019.
(“8 Visions: Work from Eight Juried Artists” runs from August 1 through 31 at Attleboro Arts Museum, 86 Park St., Attleboro, Massachusetts; summer museum hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. For more information, call (508) 222-2644. To learn more are Deborah Baldizar’s work, visit http://www.deborahbaldizar.com.)