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Artist of the Month, May 2013: Debra Belsky

Text and Photographs by Melanie Bernier

Marker and pencil on paper, 2013. 

May’s Artist of the Month is Debra Belsky, who has worked at Gateway since 2007. Called “Deb” or “Debbie” by many, her colorful, introspective artworks reflect her interests – which include animals, babies, and moods – and day-to-day ruminations. 

Deb’s aesthetic is particularly well suited for a month associated with bright colors, newborns, and nature. However, while colorful, her work is sometimes infused with unsettling details: for instance, a baby’s blue eye covered with squiggly red veins, or a checkerboard-tooth grin under large black nostrils. Her personal brand of dark humor is especially pronounced when she explores themes such as sour moods, crying, conflict, and physical pain. 

Pen and marker on paper, 2013.

Deb’s special attention to order, color placement, and pattern make her work immediately recognizable. Sometimes rainbow stripes line the outer edge of her paper to form a decorative border; other times, they lay in diagonals behind a figure for a psychedelic, flashy effect

Crayon and pen on paper, 2012-2013.

Marker and pen on paper, 2012-2013.

She employs her whimsical aesthetic across a variety of media, from pre-fabricated objects to ceramics, fiber art, and jewelry. Her jewelry and wooden sculptures often focus on color and pattern, while her ceramic pieces might explore the human form, and work as an extension of her drawn imagery. 

Marker on wood with glue, 2013. 

Ceramic clock with glaze, 2012. 

Ceramic sculpture with acrylic paint, 2012. 

To see more of her work, visit Deb’s page on our website or our Artist of the Month Facebook album.

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