CMA Stories

Meet Media Lab Teaching Artist Marianna Peragallo

Marianna Peragallo is a Brazilian-American artist and educator based in New York, NY. Her recent works playfully visualize longing, tension, imbalance, and tenderness in relationships. They take the form of body parts that are surrogates for ways of interacting to create situations for connection and empathy. The works can feel endearing and inviting, resembling cartoons or emojis, but verge on the grotesque with their exaggerated gestures.

Marianna has exhibited at Fleisher Ollman Gallery, Philadelphia, PA; Conartist Gallery, New York, NY; The Museum of Human Achievement, Austin, TX; Bakehouse Art Complex, Miami, FL; University of the Arts, Philadelphia, PA; Art Helix Gallery, Brooklyn, NY; The School of Visual Arts Chelsea Gallery, NY; Hales Gallery, NY; and Local Projects, NY. She has a BFA from University of the Arts, Philadelphia and an MFA from the School of Visual Arts, New York.

Tell us about your artistic practice and how working with children inspires you.

My artistic practice involves drawing, collage, sculpture, and animation. I taught myself how to do most of these things (with some guidance of course), so it’s my mission to teach kids that they can make whatever they want to make with whatever tools they have available to them. It’s so inspiring when you see kids realize that they have the power to make their ideas come to life and that it doesn’t require special tools and skills they don’t already have.

Do you have a favorite memory of making art as a child?

I discovered Sculpey when I was in 2nd grade. After that, I spent all of my free time making tiny sculptures and clay food for my favorite stuffed animals. I still love making tiny sculptures!

What do you enjoy most about working at CMA?

I love watching kids get excited about their talents. They are much less inhibited than most adults about making art. It’s so easy and direct for some kids because they haven’t learned to get in their own way or doubt their abilities. They just light up when they get engrossed in making. It’s such a wonderful testament to the power of art. That’s why I love working at CMA.



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