Christina Massey, artist, curator and champion of artists

Christina Massey
Christina Massey

Christina Massey creates intricate and colorful artworks labeled by herself as “somewhere in the middle of painting and sculpture, craft and fine art, masculine and feminine, even abstract and representational”. Beyond their aesthetics qualities, the artworks carry an environmental message since they are made of recycled objects and materials such as repurpose craft beer cans, combined with paper, canvas and fabrics.

” In a world that wants quick sound bites, these works are complicated. They have multiple layers not only in their process, but in their topics of conversation and conceptual ideas.”

These several layers reveal the rich personnality of Christina who on top of being an artist, is an art curator and blogger, championing women artist on her platform WoArt.

Inspired by our current times she created The USPS Art Project : a mail art artist collaboration project, free and open for anyone who wants to participate, so artists can connect during a time of isolation and support USPS as a bonus.

It is a pleasure to feature her work and initiatives to support other artists. Thanks Christina!

You have multiple hats being an artist and curator. How do these different roles complete each other?

Curating has taught me so much about how to be a better artist. I learn from every artist that I work with about how to be more professional, respectful and memorable as an Artist myself. It has helped me to see the other side of how things work, and to take it less personally when my own work is excluded from something because I now understand the complexities from the other point of view.

Curating teaches me how to think on a larger scale, beyond just the piece or series, but my work relates to other artists, current events and more.  

Christina Massey

What is the message you aim to convey with your art? and how much of yourself is revealed through your artworks?

There’s a complexity in the work that people notice, I used to say my work was like the “it’s complicated” relationship status. There’s an indefinable quality to my work that is in a sense very autobiographical. Like me, my work sometimes takes a little getting to know. There are surface things that one identifies with, but when you go deeper, there’s a lot more to them than first meets the eye.

My work be that large scale paintings to mixed media sculptures or works on paper is always not just one thing, but a combination of many. It’s painting and sculpture and fiber art mixed into one, printmaking, collage and painting combined, abstract yet hints of representation, process based yet conceptual. I like to combine aspects of environmentalism, consumerism, gender roles and stereotypes and economic class which can be found in symbolism in the materials, color choices and techniques used. 

What memorable responses have you had to your work?

I once did a studio visit with a non-profit organization that’s goal was to help new immigrants assimilate into the community and be unafraid to go into English speaking spaces and interact with the local community. Translators came to help, but what is so fun about Art is that it’s a visual language. Seeing their faces light up and body language change when they entered my studio was all I needed to understand, and it was incredibly rewarding. 

But most commonly, whatever the person’s language might be, there is a smile when they realize or learn that much of the material is made from craft beer cans, that is the best, I love that smile. 

Instagram is now key for artists and you have built a great community through your blog WoArt. Why did you start your blog? What do you love most about Instagram and blogging?

I started the WoArtBlog after Trump was elected as I felt I needed to do something more to help our community of women artists. It began with a series of interviews, but I eventually in 2018 decided to move it to Instagram as more of a visual blog, each post featuring a female artist that I felt deserved some attention, but that would also be capturing what I personally was experiencing and/or socially what was happening. 

What I’ve loved about it is learning how crucial and important the act of sharing is. There have been so many moments that an artist has reached out to me after I posted their work and told me stories about how they had been going through some really difficult times and that post just reinvigorated them.

Something so simple as sharing an artwork of someone can actually make a difference.

Christina Massey
Christina Massey WOART Blog

Tell us about the Uspsartproject. Where did you get the inspiration from? how does it work ? Tell us about the upcoming exhibitions, can artists still apply? 

The USPS Art Project started in April after having seen posts on social media pleading for people to buy stamps and save the post office. It was at the height of COVID cases here in NYC, I personally was feeling very down and isolated and a strong desire to want to do something to help. The concept for the project came quite quickly, and then caught on quite quickly, with now over 600 artworks having been made as a part of the project! 

Collaborative artwork begun by Johanna Carlisle @greenhummingbirddesign and finished by Sharon Nullmeyer @nullsie 

The idea is quite simple, two artists agree to be partners, each start an artwork and mail it to the other to finish. I created the Instagram @uspsartproject to share the finished collaborations, and it has now become a hybrid traveling / thematic exhibition. Artists have done paintings, sculptures, mini quilts, mobiles, even a video and some tiny ceramic pots, all made together via the mail! The first show is on exhibition now at the Pelham Art Center which will be on view both in person and online until August 31st. Artists can submit their finished collaborations for any of the three upcoming shows too which are as follows: 

Ely Center of Contemporary Art (New Haven, CT) : Exhibition Dates: Sept 13th – Nov 1st

Submissions are being accepted now, artworks must be shipped to arrive by September 3rd.  Artworks in the Pelham Art Center show will travel to this location, AND new works will also be included.

Sunset Art Studios (Dallas, TX) : Exhibition Dates: Oct 1 – 31st

Submissions are being accepted now, artworks must be shipped to arrive by September 15th. Works for this location must be 12” and under in size.

Art Gym Denver, CO : Exhibition Dates: Nov 5 – 15th

Submission will be live on September 15th ; Works for this location must be 12” and under in size.  Artworks in the Sunset Art Studios exhibition will travel to this location, AND new works will also be included. 

As the project grows, more shows may still be added. It’s an evolving and growing project, free and open for everyone to join in. More information is available here:  http://www.cmasseyart.com/news/2020/4/24/the-usps-art-project

To know more and follow:

www.cmasseyart.com/ and on Instagram @cmasseyart

woartblog.com and on Instagram @woartblog

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