Actually it was a themed residency– the 9/11 Respite Program. Bio: Born and raised in Northern Vermont, Mariella Bisson earned a BFA in Drawing from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY in 1978. Her work has won many awards including three years of support from the Pollock Krasner Foundation (1990 and 2014/15) and a 2013 NYFA (New York Foundation for the Arts) Fellowship in Painting. Her paintings deal with universal themes of rock and water, form and time. Her works are in museum and private collections in America and Europe. She draws and paints on site as a means of gather visual information and cherishing the actual experience of place. Her travels have included more than 25 residencies. Among them are Byrdcliife, Ragdale, The Hambidge Center, The Banff Centre, The Vermont Studio Center, and The Santa Fe Art Institute. Her paintings can be found in corporate collections including that of the Richemont Corporation, Philip Morris, Pfizer, White & Case LLP, Perkins & Cooie LLP, Wedge Capital Management and many others. Her paintings are in several hospital collections including Memorial Sloan Kettering, The Mayo Clinic, The North Georgia Health Service and Fletcher Allen Hospital. Her work in handled by a national network of galleries and art consultants. Her studio is in Woodstock, NY.e.
I tell myself: Look at the world. Find the story. Draw it with focused determination. Respect its life force. Impart the energy of place, the weight of rock, Express texture, color, the temperature of the day. My body feels the place, recognizes something more than the place, the myth of it, the long slow narrative of its life and death. Water rushing, time passing, forms slowly dissolving in water, everything wanting to live forever in nature. Form, light and shadow live forever in art.
I was so freaked out by 9/11 that this residency was a life line. I can thank a groundhog hole for nearly breaking my ankle on Sept. 10, preventing me from going to work in NYC on that fateful next day. My life as I knew it was upended that week. The residency was deep. I had never visited the southwest and was thunderstruck by the color and rock formations. I made work in drawing, collage and painting. New friends appeared in my life– and have stayed. I recall taking a carload of artists to Ghost Ranch on a bright morning. As we drove up the incline and saw the mesas rising to meet our eyes, we all burst into tears. I parked a car of sobbing artists in the shade of tree. We were healing., falling apart and making art to make ourselves whole again. Thank you SFAI.