2021 Faculty Art Exhibition - Andrea Bersaglieri

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A clump of weeds and dirt.

Tuft of the Brewery, 2019
Watercolor on Paper
22 x 22 inches

A bundle of weeds.

Weed Bundle, 2019
Oil on Canvas
15 x 15 inches

Upside Down Hummingbird

Dead Hummingbird, 2020
Watercolor on Paper
5 x 7 inches



The formal, conceptual, technical and emotional relationship urbanites have with nature is fraught with contradictions. These contradictions are the source for my work. There is the obvious visual contrast, but the deeper contradictions raise many questions: It is in our nature to find plants beautiful but our evolution is literally squeezing them out of our environment, won’t this evolution eventually make them obsolete? Will nature's tenaciousness prevail and how far will the prevailing species need to evolve to “win?” Which plants will thrive around us as the environment struggles? Will the plants that we now consider weeds become our new cultivars? How does the dirt beneath us feed into and contain these dichotomies? In this Anthropocene era what is the role of “novel ecosystems” and how does that effect our idea of conservation? The watercolor and oil studies of found plants and plant fragments are part of a larger investigation of the above contradictions. We call these snippets “nature” but the plants, shrubs and grasses were nearly all planted by someone in an attempt to simulate the ideal savannah or they are unintended interlopers taking advantage of the disturbed earth. But their presence can still stir our ingrained unshakable appreciation of the natural world. They have become our “substitute nature” (a term coined by Ernst Haeckel an early 20th cent artist/scientist.) I draw and paint these found specimen of our substitute nature with specificity in an effort to investigate, contemplate and understand.

Andrea Bersaglieri was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay area and came to Southern California to attend California State University, Long Beach where she earned an MFA in Drawing and Painting in 1991. She has also lived, worked and studied in Florence and Rome, Italy and in Philadelphia, PA. Bersaglieri teaches Drawing and Painting at Cerritos College and California State University, Long Beach and exhibits her work throughout California and nationally. She was recently awarded the Davyd Whaley Foundation artist Teacher Grant.

Andrea Bersaglieri began teaching at Cerritos College in 2000, including ART110 (Freehand Drawing) and ART130 (Fundamentals of Painting).