|Paula Santos Dias:
A diverse artist, Paula Santos Dias uses the camera to extend her perception to the eye of the viewer. A passion for Portugal, the sea, and its vessels permeates her work. A strong sense of design and bold color infuse her imagery with the life she perceives and impacts the emotion and atmosphere of a moment, past or present, caught in time.
Born in New Jersey to Portuguese parents, growing up in the Ironbound, she is proud of her roots. Spending summers in Portugal she observed a romantic way of life that still finds its way into her painting and photography. She travels to Portugal each year documenting a way of life that is rapidly changing and disappearing. Her love of boats and ships takes her to explore the shores of Portugal to photograph the remnant fishing boats which are particular to each area according to the region's surf and its function.
Mostly shown in this collection is the Meia Lua, the Half Moon, so called for its crescent shape important when entering the strong sea to cut the waves and not overturn. When the artist was young, oxen were used to bring the colorful fishing boats in and out of the sea, but now the work is done by tractors. These boats drag nets to collect sardines and carapau. She spends hours documenting each boat in all its layers of painted aged glory knowing that soon this way of life, and the boats will disappear.
The artist feels honored and privileged when the fishermen invite her to go out to sea with them.
A graduate of Parsons School of Design in NYC, the artist further studied with David Passalacqua in NYC and Florida. She has worked closely with internationally known artists in New York. Her exhibits include NYC, NJ, New England, Maui, Portugal. Her work is in private and public collections including three maritime themed murals for Royal Caribbean Cruiseline's ship Splendor of the Seas. Besides exhibiting, Paula has art directed, illustrated for book covers and magazines, taught at universities in New Jersey and guest lectured at Parsons. She continues to travel to Portugal and other places to fuel her spirit.
© 2008 Newark Arts Council