Welcome to the official blog and media hub for The HANGAR | Gallery & Arts Initiative. Located in the Wynwood Arts District, The Hangar is dedicated to the collective movement of creative exhibition and seeks to open the lines of communication between artist, patron and community. www.hangargallery.com
Before this month’s Art Walk, THE HANGAR sat down with artist Stephanie Tuorto to ask a couple of questions about her mystical watercolor illustrations in her first complete work, “A Series of Faces.”
Karina Tellez – THE HANGAR (TH): Tell us about yourself! Where are you from, what are some of your ambitions?
Stephanie Tuorto (ST): I was born in Tomsriver, New Jersey. As a child, at the age of 5 years, I moved to Florida and I’ve been living here (Miami) ever since I moved from Boca Raton. What my ambitions are – you know, when I was young I was creative. Always drawing, making crafts, so from an early age it was something that was part of my personality. I never thought I would put a professional take into creating my art, or give it direction. I would just make pieces here and there for my own enjoyment. So the collection I finished working on is the most complete piece I have made.
TH: So Stephanie, how long have you been making art professionally?
ST: I’ve been completing this collection for the over past year. It’s called a Series of Faces. It’s composed of very soft, ethereal, whimsical looking faces; it incorporates some nature elements, and is very emotional. The women’s faces, all of their eyes are closed, to not distract from what is going on around them.
TH: What made you choose watercolor? What other mediums do you work with?
ST: This is the first time I have ever used watercolor. A few years ago I used acrylic, which quickly became very stale, too final and bold. I wanted to use something more fluid, soft, and organic. You can get a lot of color variation with watercolor, so I really fell in love with it. I hope to continue to use watercolor because of that. It’s more emotional, and I’m all about showing inner emotions, so the medium works well with what I am trying to create.
TH: How do you start your drawings? What are your subjects, themes, or motifs?
ST: Drawing first before painting is something I prefer because I am an extremely detail-oriented person and you cannot recreate that exact detail on a large scale and see all the details without paint distracting you. Initially, all my artwork starts off in pencil, to get the detail I need. I draw on a smaller scale to obtain those small details and then have it blown up to be retraced in ink pen, and then add watercolor to complete the piece. In terms of style, something I’ve noticed even when I was younger is that the lines I draw are always curved, organic, swirly, and soft. I don’t know exactly what it is about it; it is something that has always been attractive to me. It’s not something that is so hard-edged and bold –I love bold, but I like bold in a softer way, something that flows naturally. Using those types of lines, I like to draw things that are surreal, not so much things from the world as we see it. I like to put a twist in a fantastical way, things that are whimsical and ethereal, which is exactly what the faces and lines in my pieces reflect. It is something I like to bring out, and that is where my imagination lays.
TH: What do you like about working in Miami?
ST: Being born outside of Miami, when I came here I automatically felt excited, like there are so many possibilities. It has an aura of vivacious energy, interesting things going on, and it is inspiring.
TH: What made you bring your art to THE HANGAR?
ST: What I found different about THE HANGAR compared to other galleries is that its approach is more community-based. It cares about artists that have not yet been discovered in the world of fine art. People who are equally talented, who put a lot of time and hard work into their artwork, who want to have it shown and have someone see it, discover it because that’s what it deserves. A lot of galleries, in my experience in trying to get my work in somewhere, it is a lot more political. Unless you have been discovered long ago and people really know who you are it is difficult. THE HANGAR is more so about supporting artists in the community, providing a platform to show their artwork. It is truly original and I haven’t seen another gallery in the area do the same. It’s fantastic, and I’m thankful for it.
Check out “A Series of Faces” now at THE HANGAR! Open 12-5pm Monday through Saturday.