I often ask myself whether I'm a physical scientist who also paints, or a painter who has studied a bit too much physics and chemistry. Physics and Chemistry have become a big part of how I model and understand the world. I approach paint texture in terms of it's viscoelastic properties, and color in terms of pigments and their spectra. If you take a cadmium inorganic red and it's organic substitute, gently tweak them so they look almost identical in indirect daylight, will they behave differently in incandescent light? Sunlight? Late afternoon light? (controlled lab light?)
Unlike people, fruit, landscapes and other traditional painting subjects, technical ideas and objects don't have an “appearance” in any normal sense of imagery. They're imagined and depicted as visual ideas that guide us through complex phenomena. For example what do like bonds in molecules really look like? Or the quantum not-quite-existence of high vacuum-spawned subatomic particles? The softly dancing dynamic structures in complex fluids? What about "things" that are too small and too delicate for even the best electron microscopes (TEM - SEMs are toys)? I've found that many images scientists create serve as visual similes to data and hypotheses, and as visual metaphors for complex and often highly abstract concepts. These metaphors and their stylized interpretation inspire and guide my "abstract" work.
A Physicist by training, with over 30 peer-reviewed publications, Dr. Valluzzi incorporates the experiential aspects of her scientific research experience into her work. Many of her paintings and drawings feature abstractions and impressions molecular or condensed matter phenomena and behavior, or rhythmic patterns reminiscent and inspired by theoretical concepts in condensed matter physics. Other themes are deeply felt depictions of the natural world, as experienced after emerging from long hours of focused activity in a lab.
The equipment and observations that create the backdrop of daily life for an experimental scientist also provide a rather different experience of the world. This atypical experience in turn has certainly influenced Dr. Valluzzi's ideas about abstraction versus realism in painting, as well as providing subjects and visual inspiration.
Dr. Valluzzi holds BS's in Materials Science and in Humanities with a minor in Visual Studies from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and a PhD in Polymer Science from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
A number of her original pieces have been sold into private collections (email for a listing).
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Exhibition Highlights, 2011 and 2012
(juried, curated, competitive)
2012 Bridges Mathematical Art exhibit at the Joint Mathematics Meeting, Boston, MA (juried, international)
2012 "Glitz" National Group show, Annmarie Museum and Sculpture Garden, Solomons, MD
2012 Solo Shows at Crema in Harvard Square, Cambridge and Mullen, Boston
2012 Exhibited in "With the Other Eye", Portsmouth NH
2012 WGBH Winter Art Auction (juried)
2012 Solo Show, Curated by John Quatrale, Athan's Bakery, Brighton, MA
2011 "9x12" juried international group show, Ferencvarosi Pince Gallery, Budapest, curated by Beata Szechy
2011 "Identity", group exhibit, Brighton Allston Heritage Museum, curated by John Quatrale
"Appearances", Provincetown Green Arts festival, curated by Dorothy Palanza
2011 Still Point 3, juried international show, Still Point online Art Gallery
2011 “Artists in the Arboretum” group show, Harvard University's Arnold Arboretum, Jamaica Plain, MA (juried, regional)
2011 Paperworks Winners Show, juried international show, bjspoke gallery, Huntington, NY
2011 "Red", juried show, Inside Out Gallery Somerville, MA
2011 "Rising Above"Invitational group show at the West Side Arts Coalition NYC, NY
2011 SMART Science math and Art Festival, Los Alamos, NM (juried, international, Honorable mention)
2011 “Early Winter Show”, the Gallery at 100 Market Street, Portsmouth, NH (juried, regional)
2011 “Regeneration”, regional juried show, Arlington, MA
Publications, Recognition 2011 & 2012
Diagram, Oddball, The Quotable, Palooka (portfolio Feature), Black Fox Review, Prick of the Spindle (Portfolio Feature and cover), cover of "Communitas", Featured in “Focus” the news magazine of the Mathematical Association of America
Honorable Mention at the Next Big Idea Science and Art Festival 2011, 2 Special Recognition awards in juried shows hosted by Light Space and Time 2011, ArtSlant Showcase winner 2011, Juror's Choice Attleboro art museum member's show 2012
Original Artwork in Private Collections
New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Michigan, Texas, Washington, Malta, Germany, Switzerland, Bulgaria, Japan, UK, Netherlands, Canada
Nano Science and Technology Institutes Early Stage Company Award, 2005
2006 Mass High Tech “10 Women to Watch”; GANN Fellowship, 1992
1992-1997 Ph.D. (1998)
University of Massachusetts at Amherst Department of Polymer Science
Advisor S. P. Gido polymer physics concentration
1984-1989 B.S., B.S. (1989)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology Materials Science (3); Humanities (21.6)