Deborah Putnoi

Mixed media collage on paper, canvas & wood

274 Tremont St
Newton MA 02458

Artist Contact Info:
(617) 640-7176
Deborah Putnoi is a visual artist, educator and researcher. Putnoi has an M.Ed. from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, a 5th Year Graduate Degree from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts and a B.A./B.F.A. from Tufts University and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts (joint degree program). She has shown her work in numerous solo and group exhibitions nationally to critical acclaim and her work is included in many significant collections. Her work has been written about in books, magazines and newspapers. She has taught in a range of settings including elementary and secondary schools, universities, and community outreach organizations. Putnoi also worked for many years as a researcher with Howard Gardner at Project Zero at Harvard Graduate School of Education working on research projects focusing on community art centers, museums and school learning. Putnoi is the author of The Drawing Mind. She also installs her Drawing Lab installations at schools, museums, non profits, science laboratories, temples, libraries and other spaces.

Artist Statement
Art that makes the viewer experience the world in a more humane way is the most powerful kind of art experience. I am always asking, how can I create a piece of work that transcends mere paint on canvas to become an image that makes a broader impact? Can an object on the wall really change a society or is it the creative process— what happens while a piece is being created—that is life-altering? As an artist I am intrigued by the juxtaposition of seemingly separate worlds existing simultaneously, and within these worlds the even smaller microcosms. My work tries to capture our fragmented lives, the remnants and the sewn pieces that create our days, our unconscious and our memories. When I create a piece I think about other people’s stories the days and moments that make up their lives. In each piece there are elements from my own life but then I may pick up a magazine or walk by someone on a bustling Boston street and hear a snippet of conversation and incorporate that into the piece. Hidden heroes in our neighborhoods, the bakers that get up in the dark to make our morning bagels or the postal worker who delivers our mail even during a blizzard. My works hold multiple narratives and moments. The use of the grid structure within the pieces allows the viewer to experience images from a variety of sources within one context. I try to make the viewer an active participant in the creation of meaning through the use of narrative elements. Through this exchange, the viewer becomes an essential component of the creative process.
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