Artist + Rebecca Birtel Madura
Rebecca studied studio art at Newcomb College and the University of Texas at Austin where she earned a B.A. in Fine Art (Studio), a B.A. in Liberal Arts (French), and recently, a Certificate in Non-Profit Management. After retiring from nearly 30 years of full-time teaching, she completed a Master’s of Liberal Arts at Tulane University.
At the present, she serves on the Executive Board of the Board of Directors for YAYA, Inc. and is also a guest artist and instructor at YAYA. She is the President of the Board of Directors of New Orleans Green Light, where she also creates original artwork on barrels for GLNO’s rain barrel program.
In addition to pursuing her own art and exhibiting locally, and her many years as a visual arts educator, Rebecca had been involved with many community arts projects. She continues to volunteer time and talents to promoting the vibrant spirit and atmosphere of the arts especially with the youth of New Orleans. Her work is included in the collections at Tulane University, A.B. Freeman School of Business; Jung Hotel New Orleans; Ochsner Elmwood Sports Medicine Center; Provenance Hotels, Portland,OR; Global Business Center, New Orleans; and various local and national private collections.
Describe your art in three words. Abstract, organic, colorful
What do you love the most about creating art in New Orleans? What particular part of your immediate environment, in your neighborhood specifically influences your work? My paintings reflect my continuing exploration of the relationship between representation and imagination through our often detached relationship with nature. Living is a vibrant, historical urban neighborhood provides many sources for creative exploration.
Describe your creative process. Are there any rituals or rites of passage you exercise before you begin a new piece? I often refer to my sketches, which sometimes have grow out of "doodles". I take pictures of anything that I find interesting from a plant to a pile of debris on the side of the road. Usually it is just a small portion of a drawing or image the draws me in and seems to demand that I explore it.
Where do you draw inspiration? My inspiration comes from my surroundings. I find inspiration in unexpected places-- especially in the mundane, debris and decay, and the unintentional.
Who are your artistic influences or gurus? Richard Diebenkorn, the abstract expressionist associated with the Bay Area Figurative Movement of the mid-20th century ,is my favorite painter. I find inspiration in the beauty of how he uses line and approaches the edges or the spaces between things.
Where can we find you when you are not creating art? When not in my studio or teaching art classes, I can be found at home - working in my garden, cooking, sewing and spending time with my family and when the weather is nice- enjoying my porches.
What is your favorite time of day/day of the week/month of the year? I love late afternoons in March and early mornings in October. That's usually when New Orleans weather is ideal. I also love anytime it's raining.
All works listed online are available to be viewed at Where Y'Art Satellite Gallery at the Old No. 77 Hotel & Chandlery by appointment.
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