Saturday, November 14, 2009

Featured Artist: Marcella Stasa


First of all, would you please introduce yourself to our readers that might not be familiar with you and your work?

Marcella Stasa, the artist. Photo by Sand T

My name is Marcella Stasa. I am an artist currently based in Upton, MA. I grew up in Cambridge, MA, which, at least at the time, was a great place to be a creative kid. That was when there were still lots of art programs in the schools and many of the after school classes were free. I remember free art lessons at the Museum of Fine Arts where we would go into the galleries to explore a particular theme and then go into the studio to make art after all that inspiration sunk in; that was elementary school.

In High School I would spend any free time (and a few cut classes) in the art room. The teacher there was very accommodating to any students who showed a commitment to their work and she pretty much let us free range in that basement art room hideaway.

Massachusetts College of Art, where I graduated from in 1983, was great too (and the open minded instructors in the Ceramics Department made all the difference), but I think I got most of my art grounding by my 17th birthday.

What type of job(s) have you had in the past?

I worked at chopping vegetables for a salad bar at Stop and Shop for three months and as an office temp for a few years. That's it for the real world.

I worked at Project Art Center in the Ceramics Department until it folded, and then got my own studio and went into production making ceramic animal figures, among other things.

Sandy Feet, doll 12"high, Mixed media, 2005. Photo by David Caras

For 25 years I made work for the Miniature Art of the Month Club. Every month I made a series of miniature sculptures and sent them out to subscribers.

In Iceland, each piece is 4" high, mixed media, 2005. Photo by David Caras

Please tell us a bit about your work in general. How would you describe your work to first time viewers?

My current work brings together natural materials and photos. For years I have been using found materials such as bones, plant materials and discards and bringing them together in sculptures, wall pieces and installations.

Bird, Mixed media sculpture. Photo by David Caras

Detail shot of a mixed media wall installation. Photo by Sand T

Detail shot of a mixed media wall installation. Photo by Sand T

Collection of Beloved, 8'x8'x8', mixed media wall installation, 2008.
Photo by Marcella Stasa

Post 3, 10"x6", mixed media, 2008. Photo by Marcella Stasa

What are the thoughts and inspirations behind the creation of your work? What is the specific message you strive to convey to your viewers?

The natural world plays a big role in my work. I like to encourage an appreciation for things not human. Sometimes there's a story to tell, other times the story emerges as the piece(s) develop. Sometimes there is no story at all, just an object I am pleased for having made. I also like for there to be a sense of discovery, either within the piece itself, or for there to be something about the work that an individual can go away with and start seeing the world differently.

Sand #8, 4"x4", mixed media, 2008. Photo by Marcella Stasa

Sand #5, 4"x4", mixed media, 2008. Photo by Marcella Stasa

Could you discuss your creative process? How does it all start, what techniques and materials do you use?

I'm not sure there is a process or a beginning, it's more of a constant and necessary presence, like air. I use the materials at hand, what seems right, and work them together. I arrange, re-arrange, and objects emerge. I surround myself with things I love and a vast collection of materials. I think of my studio as my resource, my sanctuary and my brain, and generally don't bring visitors in-that's just too personal. I try not to analyze too much, I'd rather not know where this comes from. If I knew, it could spoil the process. This all makes sense in my little world view.

The Rise, The Fall, 10"x12", mixed media, 2008. Photo by Marcella Stasa

What is the most interesting comment about your work you have heard from a viewer?

"What is that?"

Uncertain, mixed media object: rusted stovepipe, rabbits head found while taking a walk in Indiana, wool, feathers from a vet, 10"x10"x10", 2003. Photo by David Caras

Are you currently showing your work? What can the viewers expect to see in this exhibit?

Currently I am having a solo exhibition entitled Sticks and Bones at the Newton Free Library in Newton Center. This exhibit is on view in the Main Hall through November 29th. It's an exhibit featuring some of my smaller framed works; most of them incorporate photographs, bones or other natural materials.

Snakerib (front), 4"x4", mixed media, 2008. Photo by Marcella Stasa

Snakerib (back), 4"x4", mixed media, 2008. Photo by Marcella Stasa

I generally resist framing my pieces, placing a piece of glass between the art and the viewer seems odd. But these pieces are small and really lend themselves to framing. Somehow it makes people look closer at the work.

Are you planning any exhibitions of your work in the near future?

I'll be having a solo show at the Phoenix Gallery in New York in November of 2010.

BAC Book 16, 4"x 6", mixed media, 2007. Photo by Marcella Stasa

Are you available for commissioned works? Representing gallery if any?

Generally I don't take commissions. I am represented by Phoenix Gallery in New York and The Copley Society in Boston.

Then, Now, Forever, 9"x6", mixed media, 2008.
Photo by Marcella Stasa

Please tell us about the awards and recognitions you received in the past years.

I have received grants and awards listed below in the past years:

Deer Book, view 2, 4"x 6", mixed media, 2006. Photo by Marcella Stasa

Deer Book, view 1, 4"x 6", mixed media, 2006. Photo by Marcella Stasa

What advice would you give to an artist just starting out?

Be true to yourself but don't expect to make a living by doing so.

Under Winter, 2"x3", mixed media, 2008. Photo by Marcella Stasa

Would you like to share your contact info with our readers? Do you have website(s) for interested readers to learn more about your work?

Your readers may contact me at
My website is
I have two blogs, and

Finally, is there anything else you would like to say about your work?

Creating is like breathing. I make things, I can't help myself.