Teresa Mandala

Teresa Mandala is an artist whose work embraces the divine feminine through a dance of color, visual movement, and unique textures. She grew up in Rockford, Illinois and migrated to Kansas City where she received a BFA from the Kansas City Art Institute. She currently resides in St. Petersburg, Florida, where she runs a virtual advertising studio, is an active studio artist, and an art instructor.

 

Mandala works mostly in porcelain but enjoys exploring new materials including wood, metal, glass, watercolor, acrylic, and oil paints to find unconventional ways to express complex concepts. Her concepts and themes are inspired by personal experiences, in which struggles, triumphs and failures are translated into universal truths. 

 

Artist Statement

As far back as I can remember I’ve found solace in the arms of nature and the deep dark crevices of my mind. In both places, I have found peace and a deep connection to life beyond what reality presents. These two realms both inform and influence my work. Landscapes often remind me of a feeling or a memory and I’m drawn to create the connection I feel visually through my work.

Some of the artists that continue to influence my work are Vincent Van Gogh, Salvador Dali, and Frida Kahlo. Similar to Van Gogh’s work, the movement of textures and color in my work reflects universal life energy. Dali and Kahlo’s ability to visually represent personal experiences, philosophical ideations, and quantum physics has given me permission to approach my work in the same way – to create dream-like landscapes that reimagine personal and societal challenges in a visceral way.

My creative work includes graphic design, painting, sculpture, and ceramics. I believe in a cross-disciplinary approach to art; one discipline always informs and elevates the work in another. For example, the images I paint in ceramics flow and work in unison with the curves of the three-dimensional forms adding another perspective to the image. I think of my ceramic pieces as three-dimensional paintings. Graphic design also has a profound influence on my visual art work, where I often incorporate patterns and repeated textures to draw the eye into the composition where metaphoric expressions reside, creating a sense of balance in emotional tension.

I use contrasts in light, texture, and form to investigate the unity in their existence. Light does not exist without the dark, it is in revealing the contrasts that the whole is revealed. In my figurative work, dark silhouettes take the shape of human forms to remove personal biases and instead reflect the unity in our humanity. Textures and repeated patterns represent the link to our ancestors and the history of our world.

My ultimate goal as an artist is to change the way the viewer sees themselves in this world. To dislodge me and the viewer from a limited view of separateness to others and nature, but rather awaken into a new way of seeing the connection in LIFE.