Artist in Residence

This week, Beaver is pleased to host Alexander DeMaria as an artist in residence. Mr. DeMaria has spent the week meeting with classes, sharing his work and expertise with students, and preparing an exhibit in our Nancy Lincoln Gallery.

Prior to his arrival, art teacher Rebecca Roberts asked her 9th grade Art Principle class to look at Mr. DeMaria’s website, read his artist statement and resume, and choose their favorite piece of art. Then, students were to use their own art blogs to explain why they chose the piece they did and to develop a few questions for Mr. DeMaria.

Here are some of the students’ blog posts:

Collecting Honey (detail), by Alexander DeMaria


In Alex’s newer pieces found on the web, they are all found in black and white and involve intricate things that look like part of a fantasy world. I have always been a fan of the musical Suesical which involves the Horton Hears a Who bit. That has a speck of dust in it on which a complex society resides. This picture, involving a bunch of houses on this floating knoll reminded me a lot of the speck of dust in Suesical. The picture has a bit of white space but it adds to the effect of the intricate drawings shown. It struck me as part comical that the knoll was floating there on the branch of a tree. Since this reminded me of Horton Hears a Who, it really stuck to me.

A question I have for Mr. DeMaria is where he makes his work, what materials he uses, and where he gets his inspiration from.

Dreams Conjured on the Pike Bone Cantele, by Alexander DeMaria


This piece is by far my favorite. I love how the artist has the ability to take many different images and subjects and combine them perfectly to make something new. The way the birds’ heads become almost a billowing chimney to the house is very interesting, it takes a really interesting metaphor and expands it into an intriguing image. I marvel at the ornate detail and how each line seems to be so deliberate. While looking at each piece I definitely wanted to ask the artist how long he takes on each picture?

Collecting Honey, by Alexander DeMaria


I chose to pick one of Alexander’s newer art piece’s called “Collecting Honey.” Immediately¬†when I saw this drawing it reminded me of a picture in a children’s picture book. All kinds of crazy ideas came to mind. For instance, if this picture were in a book, the story could be about a fox in a lonely desert and going to collect honey for him and his family. When I look at artwork I love to think of how the artist came up with this type of drawing and it leaves me pondering. This type of artwork fits in with his other newer pieces because many of them look like he was trying to draw his own utopia. However, this type of drawing does not fit in with the others as much since they are very complicated and “busy” within the painting. In “Collecting Honey” Alexander chose to draw a very basic drawing, but also have a very clever story line with it. If I have the opportunity to ask him a question I will either ask Mr. DeMaria what he was thinking at the time he drew “Collecting Honey,” or why are many more of his older drawings in color, while most of his newer sketches are in black and white. I am very eager to hear the answers of DeMaria and what he has to say.

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