February Artist of the Month Joan Bevelaqua


"My drawings and paintings are based on observation. I have always enjoyed looking carefully and challenging myself to create an illusion of the real. I also employ images that explore the psychological and subconscious nature of reality. My artwork in watercolor and oil frequently involves paintings of vintage dresses. My MFA thesis exhibit was based on the theme of women’s dresses as a metaphor for a life. The first painting in that series was of my grandmother’s christening dress, which I also wore. More than twenty years since that exhibit I am still using dresses in my paintings. 

The Green Dress series, of which two are in this exhibit, was inspired by a vintage ball gown a friend gave me. I used, at least, six different color greens to capture this luminous fabric. The green was also inspired by the Green Wave or Tide movement in many countries in the Americas that have collectively adopted the color green as a symbol for the pro-choice movement. Recently I purchased a collection of handmade women’s dresses. The dresses seemed to span the woman’s life ( who lived to be 103 ). The painting, “Three Graces” used some of these colorful dresses as reference. Through my work I attempt to search for personal themes that have universal and archetypal meanings. Many of the dress paintings have personal references but I hope that all can find a personal meaning in them."

-Joan Bevelaqua

To view Joan's collection CLICK HERE