I am compelled to paint by questions. Does Being mean being perceived? Am I all of the things I am perceived to be? Which has more truth, that which I perceive of myself or that which is believed about me? I find myself, a mother, a daughter, a teacher, a student, a wife, a loner, a smiling-sad-anxious-comforting-confident-self-critic who knows only that whatever I know for certain will certainly change– a chimera of fading potential and seasoned experience; a fantasy of limitlessness.
And I wonder about legacy, about how I might be a heap of all of the pains and joys and hopes and failures of the people that loved me into existence – a heap to arrange and disassemble in various configurations but always limited to the same pieces. Can I change what I remember? Will that change who I am? In Come Be My Light, a compilation of Mother Teresa of Calcutta’s private letters, a letter from 1961 reveals her thoughts “the place of God in my soul is blank. —There is no God in me … —Heaven—souls—why these are just words—which mean nothing to me. —My very life seems so contradictory.” And here, I find myself – my life seems so contradictory. Perhaps each of these pieces tells me a little about who I am – and the wonder and appetite for knowing, “who am I?” This compels me to keep creating.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Szandra None (b.1983) is an American interdisciplinary artist, devoted mother and artist-teacher driven by relentless personal inquiry. Her M.F.A. work was completed at Savannah College of Art and Design (2022) though it was hundreds of miles away where None began her higher education at SUNY Cortland, earning a B.A. (2005) in Fiber Art. As a T.A. in the Fiber’s Department at SUNY Cortland, None’s interest and passion for teaching became evident and her first degree was followed shortly by a B.S. (2009) from SUNY New Paltz in Art Education and then her M.A. (2013) in Artist-Teaching from Boston University. None has extensive experience as a visual-arts teacher, working currently an AP Studio teacher for one of the largest high schools in the northeast. She is driven by the resounding sense of legitimacy, connectedness, and growth – technical, intellectual, emotional and spiritual- that arises from mentoring passionate emerging artists. None often tells her students, and unflinchingly believes that the teacher-student relationship is reciprocal and that inspiring excellence and exceptionality in her students means striving for it herself.
© Szandra None