Bay Area Creatives

Post image for Mixed media artist Marianne Lettieri explores the intersection of art and fatih

After leaving the tech world, Menlo Park resident Marianne Lettieri was determined to focus on her art full time. She began pursuing mixed media and found herself pondering the intersection of art and faith.

“It was difficult to have a conversation about that — both at church and within the art world,” she said. “I knew a few artists of faith, and we started meeting together.”

That group, now known as Bay Area Creatives, has grown to 100 people from all over the Bay Area, with anywhere from 30 to 40 meeting on the fourth Thursday of the month at 7:00 pm in the Fellowship Hall at Menlo Church. The meeting is open to visual, performing and literary artists.

“While we do concentrate on the Christian faith, all faiths are welcome,” she said. “Menlo Church sponsors us but does not get involved in any of our programs or the content of our meetings.

“People are welcome to bring their art with them to share, but we don’t critique. We celebrate and encourage.

“We’re neither an art club nor a Bible study. If we are doing an exhibition of artwork, we do talk about the artworks from a Biblical perspective. We believe art is transformative.”

Marianne started working with objects, typically that show evidence of having been used, around the year 2000. Her mixed media constructions — sculptures, collages and art installations — “investigate shifts in individual and cultural values associated with obsolete and discarded materials.” In 2017, she was the recipient of the SVLaureates award for achievement in the arts and contribution to the cultural life of Silicon Valley.

“I think conceptually I’m able to talk about my art in a way I couldn’t do before,” she answered in reply to a question about how her art has evolved. “I understand how my art fits in art history and contemporary art trends.

“My work hasn’t allowed me a lot of play time. I’ve been too busy building things. In 2018, I’ve promised myself to play more and see what happens if I experiment. I’m giving myself the luxury of not being concerned about the end result.”

Photo by Frances Freyberg (c) 2017

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