Sunday, July 03, 2011
Jodi Colella: An artist who is never at a loss for new material.
By Doug Holder
While I was intensely reading a book at the Sherman Café in Union Square, Somerville artist Jodi Colella startled me when she simply stated,(behind my back) “Hello.” She laughed as she brings the same intensity and focus to her own work as I did to my book. And a big part of this work according to the Somerville artist's mission statement is to transform ordinary material into “unexpected expressions.”
Colella has moved to Somerville from Wellesley, Mass with her husband. She now has a studio at the Joy St. Studios situated in Somerville as well. She has a home in the Winter Hill neighborhood; so she has established firm roots in our burg. She said she feels right at home, “The city is vibrant, diverse and full of fresh ideas.” Colella also added that she is pleased with the support she has received from the Somerville Arts Council.
The artist, who has a degree in Biology from Boston University was originally a researcher at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, but did not feel the career was the right fit for her. She got a certificate in Graphic Design in 2000, and worked in the field for a while before she gave that up to pursue her own art. Colella describes herself as an intuitive artist, and trusts that intuition implicitly.
I joked with Collela that we would have plenty of material to write about. And indeed Colella has worked with everything from plastic newspaper sleeves, fleece, an assortment of textiles, and she is even considering using sausage casings.
One project that Colella told me about was based at the Fiber Arts Network at Eastern Michigan University and the Textile Center in Minneapolis. She worked with plastic newspaper delivery sleeves. Now—I was a paper boy at one time, slinging the old Long Island Press from door to suburban door, but I never thought of them as fodder for artistic projects. But Colella pulled the sleeves apart, shredded them, and spun them into plastic yarn—“plarn.” The sleeves took on various colors and other depths when they were stretched and compressed. So beauty is evidently in the banal.
In her project ‘Undercurrent” she uses fleece in the development of a window screen—the work she said deals with: “Barriers and duplicity."
Like many artists in our creative environs she wears many hats. She teaches at the deCordova museum in Lincoln, Mass, working with students with fiber art and sculptural jewelry. She loves teaching, although it can be exhausting, she related.
Colella left Sherman’s with a brisk gait, undoubtedly anxious to get a firm grip on her next batch of material.
For more information go to: http://jodicolella.com