NJ DISCOVER SPECIAL COMING ATTRACTION: Artist Mia Savarese is “Finding the Music: Mixed Media Art & Multi-Sensory Experience” June 3rd 7-9PM by Calvin Schwartz
It’s not often these days of multitude event bombardment in central Jersey, that I take to basically urging folks to partake of a special event but here we go. We’ve got Mia (also known as Maria) Savarese, a single mother, passionate artist, jewelry creator and breast cancer survivor in an evening of her introspective earthy emotional art on display while simultaneously being infused with parallel universe music. And for added inducement, there’s a display of her imaginative jewelry (which is available to purchase). And this is a LOCAL show at nearby Academy of Music and Dance in Spotswood, New Jersey.
And why my exuberance with this evening of art and Mia Savarese? Perhaps read excerpts from my NJ Discover interview with Mia (Maria) from January, 2014. I’m about to light your fire as mine was a few years ago.
Calvin Schwartz May 23, 2017 11:11PM
JERSEY STRONG: MEET MARIA (MIA) SAVARESE: MOTHER, ARTIST, AND CANCER SURVIVOR. By Calvin Schwartz January 5, 2014
So where did I meet Maria Savarese? At a local college art museum or bookstore on Route 18 or at a trendy Wi-Fi equipped coffee shop a few miles away from the bookstore? Actually we met on Facebook through the synchronicity and exigencies of social media; we probably had some of the same friends or perhaps Facebook nudged or poked one of us to friend the other. Well it happened; we friended and discovered; I like using the word ‘discover’ after all I write for NJ Discover.
And there was Maria’s Facebook picture wall replete with her essence as a modern artist, young mother and breast cancer survivor. Maria Savarese is a perfect spotlight personality. In our early days of friendship, strictly digital and fortified by our posts on Facebook walls, I began to notice her unique aura and zest for life. Her art intrigued. Exact chronology escapes me but after months of absorbing her art, suddenly one morning, we were talking on the phone; a logical inevitable extension of the phenomenon of Facebook friending.
And more logical extensions; one morning Maria, Tara-Jean (my co-host at NJ Discover) and I were sitting at a diner in East Brunswick, coffee still steaming and eggs cooling, as our conversation took us deeply into Maria’s world of art and being a breast cancer survivor and how we could share her story; a perfect depiction of Jersey Strong.
Then a few months ago, I visited her studio just as an autumn chill was heralding Halloween. She mostly grew up in Old Bridge and lives in Spotswood now where her studio is located. Actually the studio is a converted detached garage. When she first saw the hundred-year-old property, weeds had overgrown everything but she sensed it was all perfect just as she heard a woman playing a guitar on the other side of bushes and vines; their young daughters would become friends.
Several times during our interview, she said, “a child is living inside me.” I understood that it was energy, spirit and exuberance (and a hint of innocence) reflected in her art which surrounded me. I reminded her about a Facebook picture of herself standing on a fallen tree perhaps 40 feet above a ravine and asked if she was scared. “Not at all; it was fun. It’s life.” Then she said, “to beat cancer is a gift. And I live my life now with that gift.”
She was originally from Flushing, Queens and took art lessons when she was eight and tried being a gymnast. “My hands always had to be busy so I made a lot of doll’s clothes. And I always see something inherent in things.” Then I said, “I can easily see this energy inside you.” She added, “I made my prom dress in high school after I took sewing. It’s still hanging in my closet.”
Cut to adult times. Maria got a job working at the Flemington Craft Festival. “They helped me make jewelry, work with clay and ceramics. When I was at Brookdale College, I also learned pottery. And this summer I finally got my kiln.” Her smile is magic and effusive as she pointed, “my grandmother’s chest of draws is over there.” I commented on the vast array of materials and props in her studio.
“Everything has a purpose. We should stop throwing things away. I’m like an environmental artist. I use things from the environment in my art which means I love to work in collages and mixed media.” Art drives her. She loves to bring families together, help children and make the world a better place. That certain smile persisted throughout our interview. Maria talks about her daughter with more than pride; with amazement as her daughter reads and writes incessantly. “Emma is growing up.”
Again her smile warmed the studio. I asked about her environmentalism. “I don’t use pesticides in my garden and love the Native American way of life.” Her work has appeared in an art exhibition in New Brunswick and in other galleries and has sold fast. A deep breath followed; a smile changed to introspection. “The main thing going forward for me is I’m looking for my art partner and looking for something different. And people are now finding me and my art.”
I asked Maria what inspires; “Teaching, communicating, being in the moment when something triggers an idea. Working with senior citizens and young children,” “And what about your art goals?” “I would love my art to be understood and appreciated and for it to be in more current shows. It’s not about money but about being who you are and not afraid.”
It was a good time to ask who her life’s heroes are. “Ellen Degeneres; she represents strength, inspiration, life and change for so many people. Then she makes you smile and laugh as well.” My thought process told me that’s exactly what Maria Savarese does to people in her world; provide strength and inspiration. Kind of like a complete circle and a good place to shut off my reporter’s microphone/recorder.
MIA CONTACT INFO: Facebook Event Page: https://www.facebook.com/events/228421484313059/
Maria Savarese (Mia) Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mariasavarese.miaart
Mia Art Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MiaArtOnlineStore/?pnref=story.unseen-section
NJ DISCOVER January 2014 article: http://bit.ly/19NM4l5
NJ DISCOVER LIVE TV SHOW “A NIGHT IN THE ART GALLERY” featuring Mia Savarese YOU TUBE LINK: http://bit.ly/2qU1C3j