August 2017 - Michelle Irizarry

Michelle Irizarry was born in Puerto Rico, a Caribbean island full of color, history and inspiration. She is the daughter of an architect and during her childhood her parents owned an art gallery in the city of Mayaguez, Puerto Rico. Inspiration was abundant and art materials were always at hand throughout her childhood. Starting at a young age, Michelle took art lessons in a variety of media.

Even with hiatuses along the way, Michelle pursued art throughout her life as a therapeutic and healing endeavor. Her work has evolved over the years and has included many different media such as oils, acrylics, watercolors, oil pastels and mixed media. In recent years she has developed a fascination with the human figure and face. Her own children have become the subject of many of her paintings. Michelle has a Master of Science in Civil and Environmental Engineering from MIT and has specialized in Hydrology and Climate Modeling during her career. She is especially sensitive to environmental causes and water is a common theme in a lot of her artwork. Her work has been described as colorful, introspective, profound and thought-provoking.

Michelle’s work has been displayed at various galleries throughout Central Florida including Winter Garden’s SOBO Gallery, Osceola Arts in Kissimmee and City Arts Factory in Orlando. She is a member of the Central Florida Watercolor Society and the Florida Watercolor Society. To see more of Michelle’s work, click here.

Awards

  • Capilla del Cristo II - First place “Fine Art Under Glass” category, Wellington Art Society Annual Juried Spring Exhibition (2007)
  • Accordion Player - First place, Martin F./Weber Summer Facebook Art Contest (2013)
  • Mangoes - First place “Associate” category, Oil Pastel Society Online Art Show “Journey 2013” (2013)
  • Lost - Second place, 2nd Annual Lifestyle Magazine Art Contest (2016)
  • Drowning Thoughts - Honorable Mention, Women in the Arts Competition, Orlando, FL (2017)
  • Honorable Mentions at various online art competitions hosted by Jerry’s Artarama

Publications

  • Featured artist in the 2014 Fredrix catalog
  • Serene - cover of Jerry’s Artarama Summer (June 2016) catalog

Collections

  • Private collectors in United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, Europe and New Zealand

Artist Statement: My work has significantly evolved over time, the most significant changes occurring in the past five years. After abandoning my artistic passion for years, due to building a career and balancing motherhood, I re-discovered art as a therapeutic and healing endeavor while battling the consequences of an iatrogenic illness. The effects of iatrogenic illness resulted in many years of disability and art helped keep my mind from concentrating on the myriad of symptoms I was experiencing. As time went by and symptoms lessened in severity, I have been able to take my artistic expression in different directions.

Over the years I have dabbled with many different media including oils, acrylics, watercolors, oil pastels and mixed media. In time, I developed a fascination with the human figure and face, especially as they relate to themes of suffering, healing and strength in spite of adversity. My career as a Hydrologist-Civil Engineer has enabled me to be especially sensitive to environmental causes. Water has become a common theme in my artwork. The collection of paintings, “Lies, Hope and Healing” joins these two themes into a cohesive body of allegorical work which has served as an outlet to express my emotions and frustrations. Combined with my activism work, the work has given me a means to process some of the trauma and losses associated with iatrogenic disability.