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A Brief History of an Artist
Open Studio

by Kathleen Cammarata

I was born in 1949, the year Crayola Crayons released their 48 count crayon box. Three of my favorite colors in that box were Carmine Red, Burnt Sienna, and Prussian Blue. I had no idea the names of these colors were the same as the names of oil paints.

From fourth grade to eighth grade I practiced piano lessons daily sitting facing a reproduction of an eighteenth century painting of a chess game. I had no idea who the painter was or when it was painted. To me it was a story of a man leaning into the game, maybe winning, and across the board a woman leaning away from the game covering herself with an enormous fan. I now know the painter is Francesco Beda, an Italian, who finished the work in 1879. The curious question is why did my parents choose an image of an ornate interior while we lived in simple rooms of a blue collar family. I often wondered who was winning the chess game.

I am the oldest of four children, three of whom are artists. I am asked if either parent was an artist. Though the answer is no I do believe the creativity aligns with my mother’s side since I have several cousins who are artists, musicians, and chefs. I used to joke that some relative of mine was swimming in the same gene pool with Michelangelo.

I became an oil painter at age 35. Until then I attempted to be a children’s book illustrator in between teaching Montessori kindergarten and raising two kids. I illustrated three Native American stories, only one of which was published as part of an SRA whole language reading series numbering one hundred paperback books. Several other books are in various stages of completion stored in a big box.

In 1984 I met Clifford West, former department chair of painting at Cranbrook Academy of Art. I studied oil painting under his tutelage for three years while still teaching Montessori kindergarten. Years later I left the Montessori classroom and moved on to teaching at two museums and a university. But I was not teaching painting. I had taught myself printmaking and I became the printmaking professor. I then bought a press on a grant and began running bimonthly workshops in my studio.

Nine years ago I moved to San Miguel. I sold my press. I now pursue drawing and painting and mixed mediums.

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Kathleen opens her studio
for visits every Friday and Saturday afternoon 1-4pm.
Masks required. No more than four people. By appointment only.
Please email her katcammarata@gmail.com or message her on Facebook.
The studio is located at Alameda #6 (#5 if using your phone) Colonia San Antonio.

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Kathleen Cammarata, born in NY, has been an artist for 35 years. She taught in Montessori schools, two museums, UMass Lowell, and in her studio. She has had twenty four solo shows including the Copley Society of Art, MIT, and Belles Artes. She has participated in fifty juried shows including the Boston Printmakers Biennials,the Jewettt Art Center at Wellesley College and the Northeast Prize Show in Cambridge. She has received twenty four grants and awards including the Worcester Art Museum's Kinnicut Award. She had two residency fellowships at Vermont Studio Center. Her work was reviewed in the Boston Globe twice, Artscope Magazine and Art New England Magazine. She has been painting and drawing in San Miguel de Allende for nine years.

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copyright 2020
copyright 2020