Michelle is originally from San Jose, Costa Rica and currently lives and works in Toronto, Canada. Michelle holds a Bachelor of Design from the Ontario College of Art and Design University and a Diploma in Gerontology from George Brown College. Michelle is active in her community and has taught art and craft classes and workshops in colleges, primary schools, not for profit organizations and long-term care homes including the New Brunswick College of Craft & Design, Seneca College, Voice Integrative School and The Rekai Centres. Michelle’s work has been exhibited internationally and in Canada in galleries and art fairs such as the Steve Wilson Studios & The Gallery (Niagara), The Artist Project (Toronto), and Sophia Wanamaker Galerias (Costa Rica). Michelle was selected as a Toronto Outdoor Art Fair 60th Anniversary Juror's Pick and is the recipient of an Explore And Create Professional Development Grant through Canada Council for the Arts. Michelle holds memberships with both Colour and Form Society and Artist's Network.
Through my work, I honour the people in my life. My subjects are my community members, often living and working in healthcare settings. Sometimes I make their portraits, but more often I use still-life and landscape compositions as a stand-in for a person or a group of people whose challenging stories weigh heavily on my mind.
After graduating from the Ontario College of Art and Design University (OCAD U) in 2016, I went back to school to complete a diploma in Gerontology at George Brown College (GBC). At OCAD U, I received the technical training I needed to become a craftsperson and artist. At GBC, I found my subject matter. Though these fields may seem disconnected, it is the synergy of the two that has given my art voice.
My artistic inspiration is primarily drawn from the observations I have made as a healthcare worker in the long-term care home sector. The blossoming and decaying floral bouquets in my still-life compositions speak to the fragility of life, so evident in palliative and end of life care.
I explore contemporary mark making through traditional embroidery, painting and drawing techniques. I hand sew, paint and draw with yarn, fabric, acrylic paint, watercolour paint and colour pencil on linen canvas. My process involves many layers of different media that contrast with one another texturally. Working with mixed media challenges me and helps me grow in my art practice.