Maria Vasconcelos, born in Lisbon, Portugal, now lives and works in Connecticut. She received a BFA from The School of the Museum of Fine Arts/Tufts and an MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute. While Maria was at the San Francisco Art Institute, she received the Graduate Merit Fellowship Award in 2001, the Schmidt Fellowship Award in 2002 and the Honorable Mention MFA Painting Award in 2003. She was also the recipient of The Headlands Center for the Arts MFA Residency Award in 2003. Her work has been exhibited at Modulo-Centro Difusor de Arte Gallery in Lisbon, Portugal, and was included in the Traveling Scholars Group Show at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Vasconcelos’ work has been reviewed in the Boston Globe, Expresso newspaper (Portugal), Artweek and Portuguese based magazines: Attitude and Lux. Vasconcelos is currently a board member of the Davidson Arts and Creative Engagement Advisory Board at Davidson College.

“!” ( zut,oxala, saudade, alias, maramar, all y’all) by Maria Vasconcelos


My work explores cultural identity through the use of language, memory and what it means to identify with multiple nationalities. I use text, acronyms and colloquial expressions that are representative of cultures that I am familiar with. I am especially interested in examining the chaos that occurs when acquiring a new language. Through the meticulous process of reproducing words, I personalize them by either sculpting the text using acrylic wire or cutting them out of paper.
Text is used repetitively in my work, causing the words to become illegible. My process involves creating, destroying, tearing, cutting and scratching my way through each piece. The continuous pattern I employ is often insistent and abstract, similar to the amorphous process of learning a new language. A mantra like experience begins to materialize as the words blend into one another, creating a new rhythm and meaning.


"All Y’all" by Maria Vasconcelos
"Azulejo" by Maria Vasconcelos
"Esperança" by Maria Vasconcelos
"Lee Krasner’s Rock" by Maria Vasconcelos
"Torn" by Maria Vasconcelos
"Tile A Mar Mapping" by Maria Vasconcelos