Remedy: How We Heal is a four-person group show of artists who are linked together by their interpretations of how art can be a healing force for the self as well as individual viewers, communities, and the planet.
The idea for this show started with artists Kristen Palana and Stacey Piwinski, two close friends (now living thousands of miles apart) who first met at Massachusetts College of Art in 1994. Over the years because of their similar high-energy personalities, they’ve jokingly referred to themselves as two halves of the same brain or, “the digital artist” and “the fine artist.” In recent years however, these labels have started to blur and shift.
Stacey Piwinski is an interdisciplinary artist based in the Boston area who speaks to painterly concerns using textiles and found materials to create intricate weavings that consider the passage of time, the tactility of the material, and interpersonal relationships. Through material and personal explorations of memory, she weaves together meaning to tell new stories. Weaving as a metaphor for bringing people together is a thread that runs through her work.
Kristen Palana is also an interdisciplinary artist originally from Swansea, MA. and now based in Malawi, Southern Africa. After decades as a digital artist and digital media professor on four continents, she’s reconnected with her fine art roots, thanks in part to a revelation she had when visiting Stacey’s studio in 2018. Stacey taught Kristen that day how to weave using a loom that required no electricity, software, or glowing screens which sparked the reawakening of her love of fine art after a twenty-year creative block. These days, her drawings and paintings are inspired by creative visualizations and the lofty mission statements and development goals used by the world’s top organizations. They can be used to imagine better outcomes for our lives, individually and collectively.
Another artist that Kristen has been following since their days in art class together at Joseph Case High School is Somerset artist, Rick Fonseca. Kristen was inspired by Rick’s eye-popping graphic design and punchy illustration work that he sold from his popular TeePublic shop. As with Stacey, Kristen felt that just witnessing Rick being an artist despite the obstacles gave her permission to go and do the same.
Rick writes, “I’m called upon by my clients to create iconography that represents their own personalities turned up 1000%. My main purpose is to create visuals that help inspire confidence in my client’s ability to tell a story to their audience.”
Meanwhile, Stacey suggested that fellow Boston-area artist, Bill Porter would make a strong addition to this show about the healing power of art.
Bill writes, “I was born with a progressive retinal disorder that is causing me to slowly lose my vision. As a legally blind visual artist I face unique obstacles, most notably ableist stereotypes that say I “can’t be an artist.” As a result, pursuing my passion for art is a platform for me to dispel misconceptions which is deeply therapeutic and empowering.”
Remedy: How We Heal is a show about making art that heals the artist as well art’s intrinsic properties as a vehicle for healing others.
Learn more about each artist:
(Image 2) Stacey Piwinski: Self Portrait
(Image 3) Rick Fonseca: Bad Larry
(Image 4) Bill A. Porter: Downpour
(Image 5) Kristen Palana: The Way. Gaia Protection Meditation