On January 7, 2021, The Bo Bartlett center hosted a virtual Art Talk and Gallery Tour. Bo Bartlett, Betsy Eby, and Alyssa Monks treated viewers to a virtual walkthrough and conversation about Alyssa’s exhibition at the Bartlett Center, Hiraeth.
Born in 1977 in New Jersey, Alyssa began oil painting as a child. She studied at The New School in New York and Montclair State University and earned her B.A. from Boston College in 1999. During this time, she studied painting at Lorenzo dé Medici in Florence. She went on to earn her M.F.A. from the New York Academy of Art in 2001. She completed an artist residency at Fullerton College in 2006 and has lectured and taught at universities worldwide.
The tension in her paintings is sustained by the composition and also by the surface quality itself. Each brushstroke is thickly applied, like a fossil recording every gesture and decision, evoking the energy of the handmade object. The unpredictable, activated surface recalls the human experience, creating empathy in the work. “I strive to create a moment in a painting where the viewer can see or feel themselves, identify with the subject, even be the subject, connect with it as though it is about them, for them.”