Local Artist Christina Chang
I’m so excited to share this post with you today. A few weeks ago I had a wonderful chat with local artist Christina Chang. She is such an inspiring woman! You know the kind of person that you meet for the first time, and then two hours later emerge from a conversation about art, education, parenthood, and life, and find it hard to believe that you were strangers only a few hours before? I found Christina to be funny and wise, and her art is just beautiful.
Christina grew up locally, but then moved to Texas for undergrad, looking for a shift in perspective. She studied art there, after having taken art classes as a teen to learn the classical foundations of drawing and painting. Growing up with a Chinese father and Italian mother, with architects, fashion designers, and an interior designer in the family, her childhood was infused with influences from abroad and an appreciation for the arts of all kinds. She then did a master’s degree in Arts in Teaching at Rhode Island School of Design to be able to share the joy of creating artwork with others.
Christina has worked as an art teacher in Burlington for many years, and is passionate about arts education. This job offered a great balance for life with her two children. Christina holds workshops for other art teachers (you can see her website with resources for art education here), and also brings alumni into the school to show students and teachers what kinds of careers people in the arts can find. Some of her students have gone on to such interesting careers! For example one of her former students is an architect and style blogger, and one is an ethical and sustainable fashion designer working in Cambodia (see this video on her zero-waste process). She has also had furniture designer Ben Uyeda and painter Arnie Casavant speak with students, among others. Bridging the gap to show students who have an interest in the arts the types of careers that are available is so great — all too often, we think of arts degrees as something of limited job value and that is not the case.
Connecting what the students do in the art room to the rest of their lives is an important part of Christina’s teaching. For example, she encouraged her students to express how they felt after grueling standardized tests, and the resulting artwork was featured on the Huffington Post. Art can be used not only to express yourself, but also to amplify your voice and encourage conversations.
While she paints in her own home studio consistently, it’s through travel that Christina can really delve into a topic — having a week with nothing to do but paint en plain air from nature allows her to come home with new inspiration to fuel her work the rest of the year. I absolutely love the paintings below, both from a trip to Cape Cod.
Recently Christina has delved into abstraction. Each of these oil paintings shift and change as she works on them — often there are 7-8 iterations under the finished piece. I love the unique color combinations. It is clear how much Christina loves paint as a medium, and finds pleasure in exploring color and texture.
Such a wonderful person and such beautiful work! Along with her oil paintings, Christina also offers fine art prints, and does commissions. Check out Christina’s website here, and follow her on Instagram for more inspiration! (And see more of our favorite local artists here.)
PS — Christina is exhibiting along with other female artists this Saturday from 2-8pm at the Boston Harbor Distillery. How fun!
Images courtesy of Christina Chang, family and studio shot by Lexi Photography.