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Archival News Release
This News Release is outdated and posted here for archival purposes only.​​​​

Release No. COC-03.25.14
March 25, 2014

Gallery Presents ‘Garden of the Poet’ Through May 1

The College of the Canyons Art Gallery will present a series of paintings, collages and other art works created by artist Francine Matarazzo, who will present her own unique visual poetry of work during the upcoming exhibition ‘Garden of the Poet; Iran and Beyond.’

Francine Matarazzo has been exhibiting locally, nationally and internationally since 1980. She works abstractly using highly charged, lyrical compositions imbued with saturated color, collage and mark intensity to convey a complex emotional content.  

Touching upon the artists’ extensive travels through India, Tunisia and Morocco, as well as a three-year residency in Iran, this exhibition draws on visuals that hold a personal history to Matarazzo, while paying homage to some of the artist’s most endearing memories from that period of her life.

“Ms. Matarazzo has created magic with this exhibition,” said Larry Hurst, director of the COC Art Gallery. “Viewers will truly get a sense of the exotic locales that have inspired this work, even without knowing the fascinating richness of her past.” 

Including interpretations of desert skies, sun-scorched sands, gardens, courtyards, souks, alleys, villages and scenes of day-to-day life from throughout those regions of the world, Matarazzo has attempted to introduce a personalized interpretation of color and texture in order to share these powerful scenes with viewers.

“This exhibition chronicles my life as a traveler,” Matarazzo said. “These are visuals that hold a history for me. They are my memory makers — some real, some invented — with each piece speaking to the buried treasure of my interior life.”

In order to recover the feelings and intensity of those years Matarazzo revisited her archive of travel journals and letters, before turning to Persian poetry and images of Persian gardens for inspiration.

The result was a new artistic language used in conjunction with her paintings and works on paper, whose vocabulary consists of a diverse combination of paper, fabric, yarn and threads — stitched and glued in a quilt-like combination — which Matarazzo calls her “desert drawings.”

“They are neither drawings nor paintings, but a blur of both,” Matarazzo said. “Making these pieces lifted my experiences from the past and let them breathe in my present. These works are my visual poetry all rooted in the garden of memory.”

The exhibition ‘Garden of the Poet; Iran and Beyond’ will open Saturday, March 29 and run through Thursday, May 1.

An artist reception will take place from 1 to 4 p.m. March 29. 

A conversation with the artist will be held from 2 to 3 p.m. Thursday, April 3. 

The College of the Canyons Art Gallery is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday. Those unable to visit the gallery during normal hours are welcome to contact the gallery to schedule a viewing appointment. 

All gallery exhibitions and related events are free and open to the public.  

Note to editors: Photos available upon request.