To Present: Transformation and The Stars
In the fall of 2012, Teresa was invited to participate in an exhibition, curated by artist Shawn Dahlstrom, that was mounted in the spring of 2014 at Cape Cod Museum of Art in Dennis, MA. The exhibition included 49 woman artists from Cape Cod, who were grouped into seven groups of seven. Within the groups, each of the seven artists produced a work in a different medium. The name of the exhibition was All About sEVEn. With an emphasis on the female viewpoint, the groups were asked to collaborate on a theme of their choosing that was related to the number 7. The wonderful thing about this project was its complexity. The artists were given over a year to hold meetings and create their group collaboration for the exhibition.
Teresa was included in the group called The Pleiades: The Seven Sisters of The Sky, a theme based on the Greek myth of the seven daughters of Atlas who were being pursued by the giant hunter Orion. The sisters pleaded to their father to relieve them of their dilemma. Atlas consulted Zeus who then changed the maidens, first into a flock of doves, and then into stars, to take their place in the night sky in the form of The Pleiades star cluster. Characteristics of the stars and different interpretations of the myth from various cultures from around the world were tapped for ideas by the artists, as was the fact that The Pleiades is a constellation visible in winter in the Northern Hemisphere. The artists chose the color blue to be the one common thread that would connect each work of art, because the stars that comprise the Pleiades are Blue Giants, whose bright blue light reflects off the cosmic debris field that the Pleiades is moving through, creating a blue aura around each star. The Pleiades star cluster has always been one of Teresa's favorite winter sights, and the rich imagery associated with it was intensely inspiring. There was almost too much interesting imagery to work with making it hard to decide which direction to go in: winter skies, blue auras, cosmic debris, women being transformed into doves and stars, levitating to the heavens, mystery, confusion, and fear. At the same time, Teresa was experiencing a transformation of her own: there was a lifting of the care- taking responsibilities of her mother at home, giving her a feeling of more freedom. Changes were also in the works at Baksa Studio as Michael's jewelry began to take off in other markets beyond Cape Cod. Teresa decided to focus on the theme of transformation. The springboard of her idea came when a good friend serendipitously sent a short video of her daughter performing an ice skating spin. Teresa imagined one of the seven maidens as a skater, rotating on the same axis, simultaneously, as a star. She sprouted wings and became a dove along the way, spinning up into the sky to become one with the glowing blue star. The imagery became metaphor for the energy of life and stars: always in a state of movement and transformation. Each being alone, but together, composed of the same elements, but in rearrangement, traveling together, only separated by the idea of time.
A series of studies in charcoal and pastel were created, and then an oil was begun, which went through an extensive metamorphosis during its creation that embodied the feelings of freedom and change Teresa was experiencing at the time. With no clear idea of the outcome, Teresa let the image evolve with some influence in mind from her group's feedback, so that the piece would work as an integral part of the group's overall expression.
The Exhibition All About sEVEn opened at the Cape Cod Museum of Art, in February, 2014, with a reception that drew over 500 people. There were many gallery talks by the artists and other related musical and literary events during the exhibition which continued through March, Woman's History Month. For Teresa, this exhibition marked a turning point in her life with a feeling of more artistic freedom, a confidence to express female perspective, and excitement over new ideas to come.
Endings and Beginnings
Over the winter and spring of 2014, Michael's jewelry sales continued to be steady in the off-Cape markets, enough so, that the couple decided they needed the freedom to dedicate all of their energy to their art, without the demands and time restraints of owning a retail business. They closed Baksa Studio in September of 2014, after 25 years at the location in Dennis Village. Now they are able to work in their studios in a much more focused way. For Michael, the new markets have given him more freedom in his work and he is creating jewelry on a larger scale, and with more unusual gemstones. Teresa continues to accept some commission work, but most of her time is being spent on new work that is bringing together different aspects of her previous work with new ideas.
The focus of the new work is rooted in the idea of a yearning for a reconnection with Nature. Not a new concept at all, but a running theme through the art, of perhaps, all cultures around the world. To be human is to live as an outsider in our own world, ignorant of ourselves and our place in nature, and lacking the senses sophisticated enough to truly connect, while Nature carries on around us in clockwork perfection. Artists of all genres tap into this intuitive sense of perfection, and nature as the ultimate creator, and that in turn, is what inspires them to create. Teresa's recent work begins with A Pleiade Becoming A Star and it continues on in its yearning for reconnection.