Artist Claudia Bernardi featured at the Beverley Street Studio School beginning June 4
The exhibit, featuring the works of artist Claudia Bernardi, embodies her deeply felt experiences of living in Argentina during the early years of the “Dirty War,” when the military junta pursued a program of torture and mass murder on its citizenry, and later as a member of the Argentine Forensic Anthropology Team investigating human rights violations in countries such as El Salvador, Guatemala, Argentina and Ethiopia.
The exhumations of mass graves, mapped and recorded by Bernardi, had a lasting affect on her art practice.
In the works exhibited at BSSS, Bernardi combines the techniques of fresco and printmaking to produce intensely pigmented images that elude, in her words, to the fragility yet perseverance of both the materials and “the elusiveness of life and the never-ending determination of hope.”
Also in this exhibit, Bernardi presents a limited edition of 12 books of images and corresponding poems inspired by her experience working in Mexico with victims of violence and surviving family members of murdered women in the Ciudad Juarez region.
In 2005, Bernardi opened the School of Art and Open Studio in Perquin, El Salvador. The school is dedicated to the mission of using art to bridge ideologies polarized after that country’s decade-long civil war. Participants explore the narratives of their recent history and produce a visual testimony in mural form. Bernardi has taken this model, known as “Walls of Hope,” to communities around the world and beginning in 2006, to Staunton, Virginia. Bernardi notes that this approach “expands from creativity toward diplomacy, judicial concern, and respect for human rights.”
In addition to her work with Walls of Hope, Bernardi is also a teacher and studio artist. Her most recent academic positions have been as Professor of Community Arts, Diversity Studies and Critical Studies at California College of the Arts and Spencer Center Artist in Residence at Mary Baldwin University.
Bernardi received an MFA from the National Institute of Fine Arts, Buenos Aires, and an MA and second MFA from the University of California at Berkeley. In 2004 she was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts by the college of Wooster, Wooster, Ohio.
Bernadi has exhibited her work in over 40 solo exhibitions including: The International World Peace Center in Hiroshima; The Center for Building Peace, Donegal, Northern Ireland; DAH Theater in Belgrade, Serbia; The Tucson Museum of Art, Tucson, Arizona; The Carl Gorman Museum at U.C. Davis among others.
The exhibition will close on Aug. 1.