Artistic Excellence 2013 | 2nd Place: Mia Bergeron

Tennessee

Mia Bergeron, Disperse, oil, 30 x 20.

Mia Bergeron, Disperse, oil, 30 x 20.

What inspired your winning entry? The model in DISPERSE is a friend and fellow artist named Maria. She has this beautiful, chaotic hair, and when she sat down near my north-facing window, I just had that moment of “I have to paint her.”

Where did you study art? I studied at the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence and the Charles H. Cecil Studios in Florence, Italy.

How would you describe your style? A mix of realism and expressionism with a love of mood.

What is one thing most people don’t know about you? I speak fluent French.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? Even if you don’t feel like it, keep going. As a professional painter, there’s this idea that you have to be inspired every day to paint. But that’s simply not possible. Showing up and continuing to paint will pull you through any creative block.

What is your pet peeve? People who are rude to the wait staff in restaurants for no reason.

If you weren’t an artist, what would you be? I’ve always loved biology. I was the weird kid who loved dissection class. And I can’t seem to get enough of the ocean. So, I would probably be some sort of marine biologist.

What is one thing you will never paint? I’m not sure there is anything off-limits to paint. I think it depends on how an artist communicates. There are, however, artists who really love to be vulgar. I don’t think I’m like that at all. But as far as subject matter goes or styles, I think the more experimenting you can do with your own voice, the better. I’m a huge advocate of trying to find different ways of questioning, and therefore representing, something.

What’s the most meaningful recognition you’ve received for your artwork? Someone had to make $20 payments every month on a tiny painting of mine they absolutely had to have but could not afford. The idea that someone wants my work that bad is a simple and beautifully touching recognition of what I do.

When you are not painting, what do you enjoy doing? I like to garden. It gets me out of my own head and helps me to re-root myself to my surroundings.

What are your goals for the future? I guess my main goal is to continue to foster my gallery and client relationships and to try to be an honest, decent person while doing so.

What galleries represent your work? Robert Lange Studios, Charleston, SC; Principle Gallery, Alexandria, VA; Gallery 1261, Denver, CO.

This story was featured in the December 2013 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art December 2013 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story!

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