The Road to the MFA: Elizabeth Belstraz Mixes Media & Experience for Memorial Day Event
May 24, 2016 15:52
This Memorial Day, four ArtLifting artists will be presenting original artwork at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Their pieces are creative responses to the current Megacities: Asia exhibit, which is on display throughout the museum until July 17th.
Having faced adversity in one of America’s oldest cities, this ArtLifting quartet is more than ready to share their unique perspectives with the world. As a primer for next week’s event, we’ll be featuring multiple pieces about the artists so that you can learn more about their stories, their process, and the road that led them to the MFA.
Elizabeth Belstraz is a lifelong artist and—perhaps not so coincidentally—a graduate of The School of The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. She explains her process for creating artwork in response to the Megacities: Asia exhibit.
“The process is planned out: I look at the exhibit that’s already there. I do research. I’m choosing themes. It’s a lot of research—a lot of thinking, writing, drawing, planning, and distilling the most basic elements within those themes.”
Salem Willows Park
Elizabeth works heavily with mixed media, sculpture, and collage. She incorporated experiences from her past travels, finding themes and distilling them down to their foundational elements for the feature at the MFA.
“I think about my history in Boston. All the different apartments I’ve lived in, cities I’ve lived in, people I’ve lived with, and then all my experiences with the environment. What does Boston represent to me? I just have to get it down to the most simple symbols and concepts.”
Creating artwork in response to an exhibit at the MFA is certainly a challenge, but it’s within these challenges that Elizabeth finds one of her biggest strengths.
“Figuring out how I can solve a problem, whether it’s a design problem or a limitation with my health, I challenge myself to find a creative solution, and sometimes it’s hard and sometimes it’s exciting and fun to do that. Because I think, ‘Oh—can I make myself creative enough to do that?’”
“Surviving challenges, including those in the areas of health and housing, has led me on a transformational journey through the arts.”
Venus and the Sun
Elizabeth’s journey and ingenuity is on display on Memorial Day, May 30th at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. ArtLifting Spotlight Talks begin at 11:00 AM, and admission is free for the Open House.
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Photos by Ali Campbell