Maddie Corsaro

Updated: Jun 7


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...) but I recently found the Pentel Graphgear 1000, which is a mechanical pencil that I really like. The brand really has nothing to do with why I like it though, I just love that I always have a sharp point to draw with!


How important are titles to your art?

When I pick a title, I try to find something that resonates with whatever meaning I have found in the process of making the work. However, since my favorite part about sharing art is allowing others to gather their own meaning, I like to keep the titles rather vague at the same time. So, in a sense they can be important to me, but they aren't important for grasping any kind of meaning.


What are the hardest and best parts of creating art?

The hardest part, I've found, is overcoming whatever mental limitation you have set for yourself. There are a lot of things that should probably take some priority, like eating well, paying your bills, sleeping...but really when it comes down to it, I think we set the limits for what we can do in our mind. Especially for people who feel they are not creative at all - usually they are! Just not in the ways society deems as creative. The best part is tricky... because I think if I'm being honest with myself - sharing my work is what *feels* like the best part. However, the best part really has to be the hard work itself, or that moment when you've gotten into working on something and it just flows.


Do you listen to music or podcasts when you create?

What type and is it inspiring? I absolutely love music, in fact, sometimes I feel quite jealous that music seems to touch people's hearts so much more easily than the visual arts. I've gone through a lot of changes in taste, from my earliest interest in classic rock and pop, to last year I listened to pretty much just Norah Jones and soul, to now I can listen to just about anything (50's, 80's, folk, techno, jazz, indie pop, instrumental, even country and rap which I used to dislike.) Once I finally gave in to paying for Spotify, I never went back. So while I work, the music I listen to really depends on the day, and quite often I actually just need silence or else I get swept away in humming melodies or dissecting lyrics.


Do you accept commissions?

Yes! I've done a multitude of different projects (logos, painted toys, to name a few..) so I'm open to any artistic idea someone might have so long as I'm confident in meeting what they're looking for, of course.


Do you have a piece of artwork that you’re most proud of? Why?

I don't have a particular piece that I'm most proud of, but I was quite proud of how my BFA Thesis work turned out in general. I actually had decided to graduate a semester early and so most of the 30-something pieces I completed for my thesis were done in just that last semester.


Professionally, what’s your goal?

I would like to continue to create work that I am happy with, and I would like to think of some creative ways to share that with people such that it feels more intimate. The gallery setting sometimes feels a little too stuffy to me, and online, it not only loses a huge amount of intimacy, but there is a never-ending barrage of visual imagery on there. I've also been working at The Cheshire Union for a number of years, and would really like to see the place thrive as an arts community for people!


Do you have a dream project that you'd like to create?

For right now - A large painting. I've been trying to figure out the specifics a little too much, but I have some large canvases that I would just like to fill!


Where can people go to see your art? Do you have a website or Facebook page for your work?

My website: www.madelinecorsaro.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/madelinecorsaroart

Instagram: www.instagram.com/madelinecorsaro

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