Art Maker: Pasqualina Azzarello, painter and muralist

  • One of the 300-plus paintings Azzarello has created in the last few years for her series “Sender/Receiver.” STAFF PHOTO/CAROL LOLLIS

  • Pasqualina Azzarello — painter, muralist, arts educator — is seen here in her studio at her home in Easthampton. STAFF PHOTO/CAROL LOLLIS

  • PasqualinaAzzarello — painter, muralist, arts educator — is seen here in her studio at her home in Easthampton. STAFF PHOTO/CAROL LOLLIS

  • One of the 300-plus paintings Azzarello has created in the last few years for her series “Sender/Receiver.” Some of that work is now on exhibt at Northampton’s A.P.E. Gallery. STAFF PHOTO/CAROL LOLLIS

  • PasqualinaAzzarello — painter, muralist, arts educator — is seen here in her studio at her home in Easthampton. STAFF PHOTO/CAROL LOLLIS

  • Azzarello says her new paintings are based on human forms that represent the intersection of “psychological and physiological healing.” STAFF PHOTO/CAROL LOLLIS

  • PasqualinaAzzarello — painter, muralist, arts educator — is seen here in her studio at her home in Easthampton. —STAFF PHOTO/CAROL LOLLIS

  • One of the 300-plus paintings Azzarello has created in the last few years for her series “Sender/Receiver.” Some of that work is now on exhibt at Northampton’s A.P.E. Gallery. STAFF PHOTO/CAROL LOLLIS

Published: 6/14/2019 9:37:16 AM

Pasqualina Azzarello, the city arts coordinator for Easthampton, keeps a pretty busy — and varied — schedule. Aside from overseeing a range of arts activities and planning in the city, such as the recent Cultural Chaos festival, Azzarello, who formerly lived in New York City, is a painter, muralist and arts educator. “I make few distinctions between my work inside and outside the studio,” she says.

In addition to showing some of her paintings in a new exhibit at Northampton’s A.P.E. Gallery, Azzarello has other projects on tap. “I’m developing a sound installation for the Art in the Orchard biennial that’s been years in the making, where a lullaby composed by local high school students will be amplified throughout the orchard each time a baby is born at a nearby hospital,” she says. She’s also helping Easthampton High School students design a mural, and in the fall she’ll teach an Integrative Studio course at Parsons/The New School in New York. Whew!

Hampshire Life: Talk about the work you're currently doing. What does it involve, and what are you trying to achieve?

Pasqualina Azzarello: For the past two years, I’ve been working on a series of paintings called Sender/Receiver. It consists of more than 300 paintings to date, all of which utilize direct and reflective mark-making to create human forms that represent, embody, and inhabit the interface of psychological and physiological healing. Conceptually, they address radical self-acceptance and transformative change.

As a public muralist, I am currently preparing for a trip to New York, where I’ll be the inaugural Artist in Residence at the Queens Botanical Garden; I’ll be working with youth to create a mural of flowers that are so gigantic in scale, all the passersby will essentially be “bug-sized.” 

HL: What do you draw inspiration from? 

PA:  I am deeply committed to the practice and to the doing. As the socio-political landscape shifts quickly and daily, with impacts and reverberations that deeply affect individuals, communities, cultures, and environments — both locally and throughout the world — I am driven to work directly and collaboratively with others. I want to create new models for meaningful engagement that in and of themselves can generate new opportunities, futures, and possibilities for all involved.

HL: Are there any recent exhibitions that you've attended and enjoyed?

PA: Oddly enough, now that I no longer live in New York, I am able to visit so many more of its art exhibits than before. Highlights have been the Hilma af Klint show at the Guggenheim, David Wojnarowicz at The Whitney, Louise Bourgeois at MoMA, HumaBhabha at The Met and a number of others. I also enjoyed the Helen Frankenthaler exhibit at the Provincetown Art Association & Museum.

In addition, these are all artists whose work is located at the edges of sorts — socially, politically, interpersonally — and it’s been powerful to experience their work and its impact within the context of our contemporary social and political climate.

HL: What do you do when you're stuck?

PA: If the work isn’t happening, it’s best to respect it and let it be. When I was a younger artist and didn’t understand this yet, I’d struggle with frustration when I couldn’t access that internal sense of flow.

I’ve learned over time, however, that gestation is highly underrated. Being able to breathe into a space of not knowing what’s to come, and to trust that whatever is in development will someday be revealed, has given me a tremendous sense of freedom and surrender within the studio.

— Steve Pfarrer

Pasqualina Azzarello’s exhibit, “Sender/Receiver,” runs concurrently through June 29 at the A.P.E. Gallery in Northampton, 126 Main St., with “great expectations” by Terry Jenoure. A reception for both artists takes place tonight (Friday, June 14) from 5-8 p.m. as part of Northampton Arts Night Out.




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