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ARTIST BIO + ARTIST STATEMENT

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Artist Bio(graphy)

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Maria DiFranco earned her Bachelors of Fine Arts in Printmaking from the Rhode Island School of Design, and her Master of Fine Arts in Painting and Drawing from The Ohio State University.  Maria’s multidisciplinary artworks have been widely exhibited; including Purdue University in Indiana, Wheaton College in Massachusetts, New Bedford Art Museum in Massachusetts, Red Line Gallery in Colorado, The H Gallery in California, Providence Art Club in Rhode Island, and The University of Akron in Ohio among others. In 2013 Maria was awarded an individual artist grant from the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts for her project “Conserving the Cultural Heritage of Providence, Rhode Island.” In 2014 her project “On the Female Experience of Cancer” received funding from the Coca Cola Critical Difference for Women Grant, and The Ohio State University’s Alumni Grant for Graduate Research and Scholarship. While a graduate student at The Ohio State University, Maria DiFranco was named a Fergus Scholar and exhibited her piece “My Dress” at Urban Art Space in Columbus, Ohio. Currently Maria serves on the board for ROY G BIV Gallery in Columbus, Ohio.

In addition to her personal creative practice, Maria has created education projects for local youth at Transit Arts of Columbus, Ohio, the YMCA of Central Ohio, ROY G BIV Gallery, and the Wexner Center for the Arts. Her work as an educator has included teaching classes hosted by AS220 Community Printshop, The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio, Chang’an University in Xi’an, China, and Dalian Maritime University in Dalian, China.  Additionally, Maria has volunteered as an artist mentor to high school students at College Visions, a non-profit organization that provides low-income and first-generation college-bound youth the individual advising and resources needed to enroll in college, and New Urban Arts, a free interdisciplinary arts studio for inner-city youth in Providence, Rhode Island. Most recently Maria volunteered at The James Cancer Hospital, and created paintings with female patients at the Stephanie Spielman Comprehensive Breast Center.

Artist Statement

     In my studio, I create installations, paintings, performances, and participatory artwork, based on my research specialization, which examines the positive impact of artwork and art making on vulnerable communities. My primary objective is to share this research through my artwork, in public colloquiums and exhibitions, with the conviction that my implications and findings will be valuable to other researchers at Universities and the culture at large.

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To learn more contact    maria.k.difranco@gmail.com