Heart Strings, recent paintings by Tara DePorte

Thursday - April 29, 2010

Sponsored by Brooklyn Brewery

Heart Strings is a collection of works that document the relationships that bind, twist, and lift life.  Each piece expresses a key moment of the lives that come together to help mold an individual.  From letting go of past loves, to creating a life with another, to helping to end a life, DePorte's work uses bold colors and strong lines to entangle the audience in the disturbing beauty of her works.

Born and raised in the Washington, DC area, Tara has lived in Brooklyn for many years and considers New York City as her “base” for exploration.  She has also lived in Brazil, France, and the Netherlands, and traveled throughout the world.  No matter where she is, Tara strives to contribute to her community, believing whole-heartedly in “keeping one foot in the local and one foot in the global”.  Through both her environmental and social teaching and her artistic work, Tara balances local actions with broader-reaching work.

With a BA in Human Impacts on Ecosystems from the University of Virginia and a MA in Climate and Society from Columbia University, Tara’s formal education has focused on issues of sustainable development, society, and the environment. Professionally, her international experience includes work throughout Latin America, the Caribbean and Europe, working with colleagues throughout the world on creative community development, environmental education, social justice, policy and networking.

Tara has worked for many years as Program Director for a NYC non-profit, the Lower East Side Ecology Center, developing opportunities for inner-city youth to learn about, and develop responsibility for, their local environment. She has worked alongside countless local environmental and youth organizations, as well as local city government offices, in addition to her international work.

Her international accomplishments include the development and coordination of capacity building trainings for international women participating in United Nations-sanctioned environmental conferences, representing women’s environmental leadership at the United Nations, working with lead officials on gender and environmental international policy development, as well as, teaching at the University level in both the U.S. and the Netherlands. Often Tara serves the role of “facilitator”, where she helps with creating and maintaining dialogues between different groups, such as scientists and politicians, or the general public.

Tara has always felt a strong relationship between her role as a woman and an environmental/social activist and visual artist. In both the sciences and policy, she sees gender equity as a personal challenge, inspiring increased tenacity, leadership, openness and outspokenness.

As her environmental work reaches out to the surrounding world, Tara’s artistic work turns inwardly to direct expressions of self. Often interpreted as discomforting, yet intriguingly beautiful, her artistic works deal with womanhood, the many faces of the individual, and the complexities of social relationships.

With formal training from the University of Virginia, NYC School of Visual Arts, SPÉOS Photographic Institute, and numerous Parisian artist studios, Tara has focused personal expression through the visual arts her entire life.  She was chosen as a copyist at the Louvre, Paris, while studying techniques of European Masters. Furthermore, in 2007 she helped to form the Grand Street Artist’s Collective, a studio and exhibition space for herself and seven other emerging, international artists.  Her work has been exhibited extensively in solo and groups shows, including galleries in NYC  (Manhattan, Williamsburg, DUMBO, Bushwick), Virginia, Berlin, Vienna, and Paris. 

As an artist who pursues mixed-media work in painting, sculpture, photography, and installations, Tara pulls simultaneously from the narrative and the abstract.   Her works include items like found objects, paints, plaster gauze, and human hair, creating a combination of vibrant colors, disjointed brushstrokes, strong lines drawing and collage.  Tara’s works often fulfill a desire to “leap” off of the canvas, literally and figuratively.  In the past few years, Tara has also been exploring performance, video and public art.

Tara has two sisters, Kelsey and Haley, her partner, Lee, and her parents and friends whose life-love and examples are continuous inspirations to her work and her life.