White Oak Craft artist breathes new life into found objects
MURFREESBORO – From small sculptures to art paintings, the faces seem to peer from various nooks and perches in the studio of local artist Dawna Magliacano. Faces, whether painted or sculpted, all have a story to tell.
For 20 years, Magliacano traveled as an actress on weekends when not working as a probationary paralegal.
“The arts… it’s always another way of telling a story. That’s what I loved about comedy, ”said Magliacano, who is one of the artists exhibiting at the annual White Oak Craft Fair September 12-13 at the Arts Center of Cannon County, 1424 John Bragg Highway in Woodbury .
Her love of art and storytelling began long before she took the stage. Her sisters, both accomplished artisans, very early on taught their little sister to work with fiber. She learned a love of texture and color that carried over to her work later in life.
As a single mom, she did “smart things” to further supplement her income.
After retiring from her professional career, Magliacano opened the Art Barn in Rockvale, which served as a studio and art gallery where she sold the works of others as well as her own. She came up with the idea of providing a platform for other artists while supporting an art studio where she could work.
“I didn’t have time to make my own art after all,” Magliacano joked. So she closed the gallery and focused on her work.
She honed her skills while studying at the Scottsdale Artists’ School in Arizona. And in 2013, she was doing art full time.
His background has allowed him to explore a variety of mediums, colors, textures and styles. For the most part, she would agree if her art leans on the whimsical side.
“It always seems to me that I come back to silly and illustrated stuff,” she said. Many of his later works of art are done in the style of Modigliani, an Italian artist in the early 1900s who focused on elongated faces and necks in his sculptures and paintings.
A keen sense of transforming found objects into art led her to create character collections.
“I like to recycle and give things a new purpose,” she said. “It’s like I’m an accumulator to some extent. But if I can breathe new life into something, I will. … I am the one of the garage sales digging in the toy box under the table.
Her “Tubers,” as she calls them, are clay sculpted around discarded toilet paper tubes, painted with distinct character traits. For other sculpted clay assemblage pieces, she uses discarded doll heads paired with mismatched objects and decorated with ornaments such as broken jewelry and toy parts.
“If I need a part and can’t find it, I just do it,” she said. “Sometimes it’s about engineering and how things stay (in place). “
Brush Folk are sculpted and painted clay faces, molded around discarded brushes of various sizes, and appear to be the best-selling items. She admitted that she enjoys having fun with her grandsons bringing the hand-held characters to life.
“I name a few. Some of them speak to me, but I’m not going to say how much, ”she jokes, adding that she animates them for her grandsons and tells them stories using the Brush Folk characters.
There also seems to be life in her fine art portraits, whether they are traditional portraits or what she calls “collage portraits”. The collages are of faces – some recognizable like Johnny Cash, Frida Kahlo (including her cat’s name) and Queen Elizabeth – juxtaposed in unique or out of place backgrounds. Other images take the realistic faces of the portraits and add unusual adornments to the canvas, such as antlers growing out of the subject’s head.
His colorful totem paintings are also popular, as are some of his favorite works. Some of the inspiration comes from her time in Alaska, where she was exposed to Native American totem poles, while other aspects are derived from her love of color and graffiti-style art paired with a southern vibe. -Where is. The often asymmetrical faces and bodies seem to move within the scene.
His work also continues to change.
“I got married in this totem and graffiti work and built it to get it to create these illustrative creatures that are whimsical and asymmetrical,” she said.
These characters slowly transform into characters from children’s books that she’s working on, both on her own and with another writer.
“I’m trying to find where I want to land. But I always migrate to the next bright and pretty thing, ”Magliacano said.
Contact Nancy De Gennaro at 615-278-5148 or [email protected], or follow her on Twitter @DNJMama
If you are going to
What: White Oak Crafts Fair
Or: Cannon County Center for the Arts, 1424 John Bragg Highway, Woodbury
When: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 12-13
Admission: Just free, small parking charge that will benefit the Woodbury Lions Club
Contact: 615-563-2787 or artscenterofcc.com