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Arts in Milwaukee

A Public Service Of Milwaukee Artist Resource Network

Paula DeStefanis

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artist bio

Paula graduated in Illustration and Graphic Design at MIAD with graduate course work with the Museum School in Boston. Since completing college she has held almost every career in the arts. She has taught as the Milwaukee Art Museum, West Bend Art Museum, MIAD and the Wustum Art Museum. She has held many artistic positions such as gallery director, window designer, muralist and graphic designer.

Paula exhibits regularly at galleries nationally and internationally. Her art is inspired by color, texture and travel. She find endless sources of inspiration through travel. She reflects on the various themes and concepts explored during travels as an artist. She has always subscribed to the theory of “paint for paint’s sake” by celebrating the physical qualities of the medium while including the images or textures that move me. Her goal is to create stunning pieces of art that will engage the viewer and foster a dialogue that is invigorating, educational and rewarding. In 2012 she was the recipient of a Mary Nohl Suitcase Award. With those funds she was able to travel to New York and exhibit her art at the international art show, Parallax in SOHO. In 2012 she exhibited in London, fulfilling a lifetime dream to bring her art abroad. She has her own studio called Paula’s Palette where she works on her mixed media paintings and wearable art. In 2010 she was elected to a 3-year appointment to the Village of Grafton Arts Board. She is the Program Director for North Shore Academy of the Arts and the Director of the Arts Mill. She has served on the MIAD Alumni Council since 2011. Paula envisions herself as an art advocate for artists of all degrees.

You can view her art at: www.paulaspalette.me

artist statement

Art has always been a part of my life. Never have I lived without it. I have created my entire life and continue to do so daily. I have entered a new chapter in my artistic career. I am now focusing on abstraction. I work in both acrylic and oils.

In acrylics my design background shows the most. My canvases almost always begins with a line, I adore the line. This is where my graphic training shines through.

In oils the paintings show a sense of struggle and discovery. There is a pull which is being explored throughout. I love the physical process of applying paint to canvas. There is a real sense of freedom in allowing a spontaneous application of color and line to the prepared surface. There is energy in my painting that works towards connecting my spiritual as well as my emotional being. Next many applications or layers of color are applied. I often take away layers as well to create interesting textures. I plan to continue with the exploration of abstraction and see where the journey takes me.

I have always subscribed to the theory of “paint for paint’s sake” by celebrating the physical qualities of the medium while including the images or textures that move me. My goal is to create stunning pieces of art that will engage the viewer and foster a dialogue that is invigorating, educational and rewarding.

Paula DeStefanis 2016

proficiencies