Which of these images was the impetus for this series? How did it inform how you completed the series?
When I joined Atelier 32, my idea was to continue working on my family project. When we started the classes and the pandemic hit us and we were asked to stay home, everything changed for me. The stay at home advisory and the cancellation of my art shows and my work for the remaining of this year really hit me. I felt very depressed and was considering dropping off from the Atelier. I know Meg was very nervous moving the Atelier online and I didn’t want to disappoint her, so I decided to stay. I couldn’t produce any new work for the first couple of weeks but gradually as I was working on a “image + text’ homework, it all started to make sense. Using my body to mirror my state of mind, I followed my instincts and produced three mini bodies of work, one in each room in my house. At the end I decided to create a slideshow to show my images and poetry together set to music.
What do you hope we as viewers take away from viewing your work?
How has the Atelier helped you hone your vision as an artist?
The Atelier has been a life changing event for me, since my first one I took back in 2014 to the one I recently took. I found a mentor in Meg and Paula and a community of like minded people, many of them who have become my best friends.
Tell us what is next for you creatively.
I am waiting for the airport in Peru to open to visit my family and to continue working on a video that will be an extension of my family project.
Claudia Ruiz Gustafson is a Peruvian-born, Massachusetts-based visual artist, educator and curator. Her work is mainly autobiographical and self-reflective; often portraying themes of femininity, memory, dreams and personal mythology. She regards image making as a powerful medium for exploring her inner world.
Claudia has exhibited in museums and galleries across the US and abroad at venues including the Danforth Art Museum, Agora Gallery, Millepiani Gallery, Galleria Valid Foto, Fountain Street Gallery, Griffin Museum of Photography, Cambridge Art Association, Concord Center for the Arts and the RI Center for Photographic Arts. She had her first solo show in 2020 at the Multicultural Arts Center in Cambridge, MA titled Historias de Tierra y Mar (Stories of Land and Sea).
She has received grants and awards from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, the Cambridge Art Association, L.A. Photo Curator: Global Photography Awards, PX3 de la Photographie Paris, The Gala Awards, among others. Her work has been published in Fraction Media, Black & White Magazine, Shades Collective, F-Stop Magazine and has been reviewed by Artscope Magazine, Metrowest Daily News and What Will You Remember.
Claudia has self published several books that incorporate her photography and poetry. She is the owner of a portrait photography business and also teaches creative photo workshops in the Boston area. Currently she is curator and participating artist of the traveling exhibition Crossing Cultures: Family, Memory and Displacement, a multi-media project made up of artwork created by multi-cultural artists reflecting on identity and diaspora.
She holds a BA in Communications from Universidad de Lima, and a Professional Photography Certificate from Kodak Interamericana de Perú.
5% of the net income from her fine art and portrait business goes to benefit two organizations: 1. Humane Society of the US, an organization that provides direct care to more than 100,000 animals each year through their sanctuaries, veterinary programs and emergency shelters and rescues and 2. Farm Sanctuary, an organization that advocates for farmed animals, promotes laws and policies that support animal welfare, animal protection, and veganism through rescue, education, and advocacy.