My art is the best language of union between me and my Brazilian native culture. Ceramics, colors, symbolism, mysticism, nature, Brazilian culture, African art, religion and rituals are sources of inspiration in my art world.
As an artist born and raised in Brazil, my sense of identity has been formed fundamentally by my relationship to my native culture. Living in this country for 21 years has embodied my creative process to come to terms with my origins and to create an artistic archive of my cultural heritage. I am from a city in Brazil, Salvador, full of mysticism and syncretism of religions due to the interrelations between Africa, Europe and the local native culture.
My time spent in these two disparate cultures has led me to constantly create art as a union of language between me and my native culture. I have been inspired by my deep connection with nature, mostly throughout my memories of spending long summers at my family’s beach house and by my fascination for the African art and religion that shaped my home city.
As a kid, I witnessed one African ritual in Salvador that really impressed me. Since then my admiration for the African rituals with their beautifully colored costumes, ritual objects, magic, mystery, sounds and dance have become a strong reference used in my art.
My ceramic pieces are mostly symbolic objects in various scales: vessels, totems, tiles, flowers, and figurative small sculptures. The small sculptures are my reinterpretations of African entities present in certain African rituals. While creating my pieces, I look for aesthetic relationships between my sources of inspiration. Clay has been the best medium for me to express this dynamic union. I employ labor-intensive surface treatments by using textures, organic shapes, distorted masses and blended colors. I am constantly experimenting with layers of glazes fired many times to create unique palettes.
I find symbols and color blends fascinating. Symbols connect directly to deep personal references and they contain historic information. Colors speak of traditions, cultures, values, beauty and personal experiences. When I combine symbols and colors in my art I achieve highly individual accomplishments.
Cristiana is an educator and ceramic artist, born in the city of Salvador in Bahia, Brazil, a historic region of mysticism and diversity. The syncretism of cultures and religions from European, African and indigenous peoples have shaped her perspectives. Her work evolved from fascination with African art and the influences of growing up in a sixteenth century port city. Being away for many years has flamed her desire to create an artistic archive reflecting her cultural heritage for others to appreciate.
In Brazil, following her dad’s path who is an architect, she graduated with a degree in architecture in 1991, which she feels gave her a good foundation as an artist. She then moved to the United States in 1999. At the University of Tulsa, she attained a BFA in 2006, and a MA in 2009, both in printmaking. In 2013, she obtained a MFA in ceramic arts. This time she followed her mom’s path who is a university professor of art and an artist.
Since fall 2013 she has been teaching Art Appreciation at Tulsa Community College. In 2015, she taught Humanities and recently besides Art Appreciation she has been teaching Foundations- 2D Design at TCC.
Cristiana taught Design 2 and Ceramics at the University of Tulsa in the spring of 2015, 2016 and 2018. Also, still at TU she taught ceramics for the Continuing Education Division. She worked as a teaching artist for the Gilcrease Museum from 2014 to 2018 and recently she has been teaching summer camps for the museum.
She has taught various ceramic workshops in different local art organizations such as: Waterworks Art Studio, AHHA, Philbrook Museum and Kravis Camp at TU. In 2019, she was one of the Tulsa Studio Tour artists.
For almost a year between 2018 and 2019, she was an assistant to a couple of Fellowship artists in Tulsa. In the fall of 2019, Cristiana started working for one of the Tulsa Public Schools. She is the current fine arts instructor at DLA, Dual Language Academy.
Besides being an educator, she has spent a great amount of time being a devoted ceramic artist. She has been the recipient of a few awards and has been accepted in many juried exhibitions across the country in the states of Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Virginia, Nevada and in Brazil. 2016 Vision Makers is one of them. Moreover, she has had a solo show annually for the past few years. She is very active in the Tulsa art community, has displayed her pieces in most of the Brady Art District galleries, and has donated pieces to lots of Fund Raising events and institutions. Cristiana continues creating ceramic pieces to have her art as the best language of union between her and her culture.