As a long-time lover of the genre of memoir and autobiography, the process of creating a coherent narrative—complete with beginnings and endings, dramatic climaxes and resolutions—from raw life experience is endlessly fascinating to me. Intrigued by the idea of art as visual storytelling, I set out to create a collection of works that might function as memoir art.
In creating the charcoal portraits that appear as focal points in my art, I am drawn in by the challenge of capturing subtle, multilayered emotions in women’s faces. Watchful eyes sometimes meet the viewers’ own and sometimes not, but always the faces communicate something definite and yet open to interpretation, inviting the viewer to determine the meaning of these ambiguous expressions.
Once I have a charcoal portrait in hand, I begin sifting through my vast store of ephemera collected over decades—journal writings, letters and photographs, bits of fabric and cloth, books, and fragments of old poems long-ago boxed and forgotten. Sensing what the charcoal portrait evokes in my own memory, I ask what story I could tell about my life by layering particular pieces of my history onto the charcoal portrait, now a stand-in for myself, a snapshot of me at a precise moment in time.
The process of layering collage in this way mirrors my fascination with the evolution of how we understand our lives and how we tell our stories. With each additional layer of life experience, our perspectives widen, and in response, our narratives shift and adjust, so that the stories we tell at 50 may bear little resemblance to the ones we told at 25. We’ve become archeological sites worth excavating, with layer upon layer of artifacts telling the story of who we are and who we once were.
Angela Amias is a mixed-media artist and psychotherapist, an ardent lover of people, and an honored witness to the beautiful complexities of the human experience. Angela is best known for her emotionally-evocative and sometimes lyrical portraits of women. Her work reflects her profound faith in the power of honoring the messy nature of being human, as well as her belief that welcoming all aspects of ourselves— the light and the shadow— offers a path to creating a life of beauty and meaning.
A creative hummingbird by nature, since childhood Angela has flitted between writing, jewelry-making, sewing and embroidery, drawing, collage, poetry, art journaling, painting, and photography. Eventually, and perhaps inevitably, she settled on mixed-media as her primary mode of visual expression as it allows her to integrate many of these art forms into her work. Reflecting her daily practice of meditative journaling, her art often integrates the written word. Phrases that float through her mind as she's working, bits of poetry and parts of journal pages all make their way into her pieces.
Angela’s work has been featured in in several publications, including Memoir Magazine, Somerset Digital Studio, Up the Staircase Quarterly and Still Point Arts Quarterly. Her work has been exhibited in galleries around the United States. Angela is also the co-creator of the Faces of the Divine Feminine Oracle, published in November 2017.
Born and raised in Kansas City, Missouri, Angela now makes her happy home in Iowa City, Iowa.
2019 El Corazón, Bath House Cultural Center, Dallas, Texas
2018 A Generous Kingdom III, Verum Ultimum Art Gallery, Portland, Oregon
2018 Green, Webster Arts, St. Louis, Missouri
2018 Present Moment, Vanessa Lacy Gallery, Kansas City, Missouri
2018 Wordplay, Woman Made Gallery, Chicago, Illinois
2018 Still Point X, Still Point Art Gallery, Brunswick, Maine
2018 Women Artists Quarterly Exhibition, Fusion Art, Palm Springs, California
2018 Memoir Magazine, December 2018
2018 Up the Staircase Quarterly, Summer 2018
2018 Still Points Arts Quarterly, Summer 2018
2018 Memoir Magazine, April 2018
2018 Somerset Digital Studio, Spring 2018
2017 Memoir Magazine, December 2017
2018 Award for Uniqueness of Concept and Originality, Still Point X exhibition
2018 Honorable Mention, Women Artists Quarterly Exhibition
Private collections in Australia, Germany, Ireland, United Kingdom, United States