Maddie, Corsaro, coordinator of OCAC rotating artists, has been a member since 2019!
Tell something about your family, where you grew up, went to school, etc.
I was born and raised in the Finger Lakes. I went to school in Bloomfield and have always lived and worked around the area, even though I've moved a lot. I've traveled in and outside the country quite a bit too, but each time I come back I feel so lucky to live in such a beautiful area!
What were your early childhood influences regarding art - family, teachers, etc.?
I was one of the lucky ones who had a consistent and quiet support from my family and school to be artistic. I was never told that I should be doing any one thing - which is so important because it's true! Interestingly, I think I've had more strangers tell me what I should be doing ("something that pays the bills...like business" of course) than people I am close to.
Did you go to college? Where? Major? Any mentors?
I commuted to Nazareth College for a BFA in Studio Art and ended up concentrating in Printmaking. I really fell in love with the various processes, especially monotypes - they are the perfect blend of the spontaneity and looseness of painting, and the analytical and precise process of printmaking. The art department there is rather small, but was great because I really got to know my art teachers there - especially my drawing teacher Maureen who really changed my entire perspective of art (literally and figuratively) and my printmaking teacher Ron, who introduced me to my favorite medium of course.
Which artists have you been most influenced by?
The artists that have influenced me the most are the ones I have met personally through working with them. There is such a broad variety of artists in this area - from the woman who just likes to knit, to Albert Paley, who has created huge public steel sculptures around the world. Seeing that breadth and depth of an artist's life has really shown me that the creative path is not linear or set in stone...or really there isn't any stone or line involved! That can be kind of intimidating because it's hard to know where to start... but I'm learning to just follow my curiosity and utilize what's already around me.
What type of art do you create? Has your style changed over time?
Since I went to school for printmaking, a lot of the work I am sharing lately is from when I was using those techniques. However since I don't have the same access as I've had in the past - I'm leaning towards going back to my "roots" which is drawing and painting. I have also always leaned into a more "dark" style - but I feel like I might be in the middle of shifting that as we speak. But I also don't think I could ever fully separate from "the dark style" - we shall see!
What inspires you to create art?
In the past, I would usually start with a memory or photograph or just a thought or image that pops up in my mind. My thesis was based around themes of memory, observation, change, and process. Once I get working though, I'm not as concerned about what I am trying to express. What's better, is if I can let my art teach me something instead of me teaching through my art. Evidently, of course, once I am done, something is now expressed on the page. But it's more of a spontaneous process than a deliberate plan. After that, whatever the viewer takes from it is up to them.
What is your most favorite artist tool?
I suppose I don't really have a favorite... but I know I couldn't go without a pencil. I am usually okay with just a wooden pencil (in varying lead types of course...)