The Artist-in-Residence Series exhibit “This Body of Work: Portraits from the Inside Out” by Brett S. Poza, MFA, is currently on display at the Lamar Soutter Library through June 30.
Poza creates her pieces with pyrography, from the Greek “pur” (fire) and “graphos” (writing), a technique in which designs are burned into materials with a heated instrument and then colored with other materials.
“Drawn and burnt in maple, birch or Shina plywood, these portraits were created from medical images – MRIs, X-rays. CT scans, ultrasound technologies generally used to diagnose and interventions for healing to create,” said Poza. “Using the technique of traditional pyrography, hot air guns and small torches, colored with watercolors and natural dyes, I have tried to portray each shape as slightly less intimidating and perhaps even beautiful.
“The source material is not anonymous, it was given to me by people I am close to, both family and many friends. Some indicate illness, others have eventually become completely normal. They represent people of different ages, ethnicities and races and reveal everything and nothing – photos of people from the inside out.”
Poza holds a BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design, an MA in Expressive Therapies from Lesley University, and an MFA from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design. She worked for many years as an art therapist for the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health. Her work can be seen at the Viridian Artists Gallery in New York City and the Kingston Gallery in Boston.
Launched by the library in 2006, the Artist in Residence series is presented to enhance and enrich the cultural environment for the entire medical school community and showcase the artistic talent of members and associates of the UMass Chan community.
Poza’s husband, Ricardo Poza, MEd, is assistant dean of curriculum innovation for the Tan Chingfen Graduate School of Nursing, and their son, Samuel Poza, is a technical support specialist at UMass Chan Medical School.
Artists wishing to exhibit their work are encouraged to contact Becky Baltich Nelson at the library.
Related UMass Chan news story:
‘Burnt Stories’ is Artist in Residence’s latest exhibition