Gallery 263 is pleased to announce The Playground Project. This exhibition is the first-ever solo show by artist Christina Tedesco. The Playground Project is a special two-week exhibition that presents an ongoing body of work depicting human forms in playground settings and is influenced by the artist’s experience of living with the physical disability cerebral palsy.
Utilizing gouache in colors inspired by playgrounds—primary reds, yellows, and blues—and Sharpie pens, Christina Tedesco creates intimate paintings on paper that feature figures interacting with equipment such as seesaws, swings, and monkey bars. Although considered places of freedom for some people, playgrounds often serve as reminders of the limitations of the body for those with physical disabilities. The artist developed the two human forms in the paintings over many years to portray how she views her body. One figure reflects her cerebral palsy; the other represents her personality. These forms are sometimes combined as one, and other times portrayed individually.
As a young child, playgrounds made the artist aware of what her body could not do: make it across the monkey bars; play hopscotch without falling; and swing fast and high. The playgrounds in the paintings are both real and imagined. Some are created from memories of places Tedesco visited as a child. Others are inspired by stories or imagery provided by friends. After serendipitously discovering art in college, the artist went on to prove that her slower pace and need for close observation could work to her advantage. From Tedesco’s brushstrokes to the actions performed by the figures in her paintings, the artist invites viewers to contemplate both the possibilities and complexities of moving through space and time.
About the Artist
Christina Tedesco was born and raised in New Jersey. The artist lives with cerebral palsy and dyslexia. Tedesco received an Associate of Arts degree from Landmark College, a college for neuro-divergent students. While at Landmark College, she discovered her passion for the arts. Tedesco went on to receive her Master of Fine Arts and a Museum Studies Certificate from The School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts University. The artist has shown work at the Brooklyn Art Library, the Washington Street Art Center, the Chandler Gallery at Maud Morgan Arts, the Massachusetts State House, and the Joseph D. Carrier Gallery in Toronto, Canada. In 2017, Tedesco received Governor Charlie Baker’s and Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito’s award citation. She also has been awarded both a Local Cultural Council of Somerville Grant and a Local Cultural Council of Somerville Fellowship. Tedesco is the art editor for Divergents Magazine. She also works as a museum attendant at Harvard Art Museums in Cambridge.