Cynthia Consentino has always been interested in what forms our perceptions and values regarding gender, social roles, and art. In her words: "My work utilizes the figure along with references to familiar literary and visual symbols to delve into our collective experience and explore influences. We are constantly ingesting stories and images. Embedded within these are value systems and designations of what is normal and abnormal, good and bad.
I am interested in stripping things down and reassembling parts from different worlds. By taking what is familiar and making it unfamiliar, exaggerated, or inverted I am able to look more clearly and reconsider the messages that are part of both the original and altered states. I am better able to see incongruities and hidden messages.
I focus on topics and imagery that are somehow compelling to me and not easily understood or defined. By making such things the focus of an artwork, the indefinable is brought into a structured arena for exploration and play.
My work started with exploring my own family’s ideas of gender and role, and expanded to look at common fairy tales and mythology. More recently I have focused on the knickknack and religious figurine and searched for and incorporated visual symbols and ideas that illustrate western values of not only gender, but art. At times our ideas and language regarding beauty, function, and worth directly parallel ideas we have of gender."
Cynthia Consentino lives and works in Buckland, Massachusetts. She received a MFA from University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and a BFA from The Cooper Union College of Arts and Sciences, New York, NY. She currently teaches at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and Holyoke Community College.
A recipient of the Massachusetts Cultural Council, American Craft Council, The Society of Arts and Crafts, Berkshire Taconic and The Blanche E. Colman Artist Awards, Consentino has exhibited widely. She shows work on a regular basis at Harmon Gallery in Wellfleet, MA. She has also been a resident artist at the John Michael Kohler Arts/Industry Program, Oregon College of Arts and Crafts, La Napoule Foundation, France, and Shigaraki Ceramic Cultural Park, Japan. In 2005 Cynthia completed a tile commission for the John M. Kohler Art Center in Wisconsin. Her artist designed washroom has over 2000 relief and hand painted tile. Cynthia's art will be included in a group exhibition with Marilyn Andrews and Claudia Olds Goldie: "The Figure Speaks", reception: September 9, 4-6pm at Salmon Falls Gallery. See more at Cynthia's website.
"When Many Act as One," an installation of 100 felted Pinch Pots