Denise Bellezzo 

Made in Italy
January 13 - February 24, 2010

2010 BellezzoArtist's Statement

Selected Sabbatical Work: Made in Italy/Made in Mexico is part of the body of work produced during my sabbatical, Spring Semester, 2009.   For the last two decades, I have taught Studio Art and Art History at Morton College while at the same time working as a professional artist, exhibiting my work in regional and national exhibitions.   My Sabbatical Project involved working with monoprints; a painterly form of printmaking that produces a print  made in a single version and incapable of being repeated, through workshops with monitored printshop time and personal studio time.  I attended two workshops on monoprinting, one in the Centro Historico de Mazatlan, Sinaloa, Mazatlan, Mexico at the studio of Elina Chauvet-Garcia and one in Florence, Italy on the “Left Bank” of the Arno River at Il Bisonte International School of Graphic Arts 

My work includes an exploration of shape, gestural movements, and color.  The process of monoprinting afforded me great freedom and spontaneity to explore graphic mark-making and textures that are inherent to printmaking.  My aesthetic sensibilities are centered on producing lively biomorphic shapes that  promote a sense of power, vitality and strength.  These shapes are chosen for their spiritedness and the primitive responses they can evoke.  The semicircular movements; the juxtaposition of straight lines; the unexpected twists and turns; the accidental marks and bleeds of the ink are all spontaneous and intuitive.  Editing is done by emphasizing shapes through stencils that are then printed again on the piece 

An organic emphasis is preferred while contrasting with the geometric boundaries imposed by the plexiglass plate.  Color, of which black and white are included, is used to reinforce the path of the large shapes as it settles on the surface to create its own liveliness.  The explosion of the organic shape is upbeat as it pulsates and bulges, oftentimes creating the appearance of multiple layers on the picture plane.  The life force of the forms draws one into the spatial awareness of the plane and the path that the form takes.

Source material for my work can come from abstractions of organic shapes from land patterns, plants, bulbs, and roots.  I have been intrigued by land patterns and maps and used the plan of the Boboli gardens in Florence as one of the stenciled shapes and river charts of the Mississippi to print on and to use as chine colle.  For the larger  monoprints, I incorporated dance pattern steps found in the fox trot and tango dances.

Throughout my sabbatical time, I allowed myself to be influenced by my surroundings of Italy and Mexico, whether it be by sunlight, color, shapes, textures, sounds, or flavors.  Both experiences of place have left me with a multitude of ideas and source material that continue to be incorporated into my work.

Denise Bellezzo

archive 2010

Please note that this website is still being constructed.  Not all past exhibits are represented and more will be added soon.