MSAC Individual Artist Award (IAA)2015
Artist StatementNot long ago, as I was travelling through the South and getting hopelessly lost, I came upon a rather shabby establishment with pristine lacy curtains on the windows that brought me to a complete halt. It was a beauty parlor. Its name was "Le Cut La Curl". The next day, armed with my camera, I drove around trying to find it again. I was irritated havind had a few "bad hair days" which I blamed on the local water. While I was busy getting thoroughly lost once more, images of teasing, straightening, cutting, braiding and curling kept floating in my mind and I began to think about how much Hair has always reflected historical Time and Place, has been a cultural signature, and shapes our self image as a measure of Beauty- particularly for women. My work relates to Identity and our own personal journey for self discovery. By often using materials commonly associated with women such as bobby pins and hair, I "draw" lines and patterns that at times bring to mind embroideries and weavings. I make no preliminary studies. I put a few lines in, walk away, see what is needed, add a few more, loving the immediacy, the surprise and the risk. In pieces like "Kentima", the process is slow like the handiwork I had been taught to do as a girl. What interests me is to uncover the poetry of the mundane objects I am so familiar with and to speak about what I know, what my relationship is to the world and, ultimately, about the human experience.
Maria Karametou is a mixed media artist whose exhibition record includes: The National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, D.C.; The Vorres Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens, Greece; The Ludwig Forum for International Art, Aachen, Germany; The North Dakota Museum; The Baltimore Museum; The Holter Museum, Montana; The Portsmouth Museum (VA); The Danville Museum (VA); The Corcoran Gallery, Washington, D.C; The John Elder Gallery, New York, N.Y.; Harper Collins Gallery, New York, N.Y.; Trito Mati Gallery, Athens, Greece; Elite Gallery, Moscow, Russia; Comus Gallery, Portland, Oregon; Selby Gallery, Sarasota, Florida; J. Scott Gallery, Johnson, Vermont; The C. Grimaldis Gallery, Baltimore, MD among numerous others. In the Washington DC area her work has been exhibited at the Ellipse Arts Center, the Arlington Arts Center, Flashpoint, Warehouse Gallery, Washington Square, the McLean Project for the Arts, the Washington Project for the Arts, Maryland Art Place, the Baltimore- Washington International Airport, School 33 Art Center, Gallery 10, The Grimaldis Gallery and in many other venues. She was represented by Gallery K from 1987 until its’ closing in 2003. Karametou’s work is in permanent collections worldwide such as the Vorres Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens, Greece, the Baltimore Museum of Art, and was included in the collection of His Excellency the U.S. Ambassador to Greece and Mrs. Thomas Miller during his tenure. It was also featured in the official 2006 desk diary, U.S. Dept of State, Vienna, Austria for use by all U.S. Embassies worldwide. Karametou is the recipient of many awards such as Individual Artist grants from the Maryland State Arts Council, and has participated in several Biennial Exhibitions including the ARTSITES ’96 Regional Biennial and the Maryland State Biennial, Baltimore Museum of Art, for which she was awarded the First Prize. She is also the recipient of a 2010 Senior Fulbright Research Award from the Council for the International Exchange of Scholars for work in Istanbul, Turkey. Other professional activities involve the International multi site project “Penelopeia” and being a visiting artist at the international symposium “Earth” at the Skopelos Foundation for the Arts in Skopelos Island, Greece. She sits on the Board of Directors of the Arlington Arts Center. Reviews of Karametou’s work include among others: The Washington Post; the Baltimore Sun; the New Art Examiner; Washington City Paper; Baltimore City Paper; The Evening Sun; To Vima; the Kathimerini; Epikera magazine; the Voice of America; The Alternative; Washington Review; Eikastika Magazine; National Herald; Hellenic News; VOGUE magazine (Greek Edition) and an “Antenna” Greek National Television interview (2004). Her work is also included in the book “The Power Of Visual Logos” (ICAN 2003). Karametou studied Painting and Drawing in her native Greece with T. Drosos before immigrating to the U.S. She holds a BA (cum laude) from the University of Maryland and the MFA from the Maryland Institute of Art, Hoffberger School of Painting, in Baltimore, Maryland where she studied with renowned painter Grace Hartigan. She has taught among other institutions at George Washington University, the University of Maryland (European Division), the University of La Verne and is currently teaching at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia.