Andrea Moni (b. 1962 in Worcester, Mass. Lives and works in Southern California)
Andrea studied black and white photography in 1993 under the tutelage of renown photographer Peggy Ann Jones, and later established her own award winning photography studio. In 1995 she moved with her family to Argentina, where she began working with paint and color. She quickly became acquainted with the creative community in Buenos Aires and was touched by the local color and culture. More importantly, however, she discovered that painting was her personal language and a vehicle to express her innermost feelings. Due to Argentina’s economic collapse in 2001, the family returned to California. After years of deliberately honing her craft, Moni experienced an event that was out of her control and which ultimately led to a monumental change. In 2015 Andrea was seriously burned in a traumatic accident and the impetus of her work shifted towards collaboration and healing. Andrea was juried in as a Gallery Artist: at Orange County Center for Contemporary Art in 2018 and was recently appointed as the Gallery Treasurer.
Andrea has lifted herself out of the ashes more than once, but her more recent accident has inspired a new purpose. Since being burned, Andrea has been working on a series of large-scale canvas paintings using organic earth pigments, the natural flow of water and egg tempera (a very permanent technique utilizing non-toxic materials). She not only addresses issues of sustainability by carefully selecting and minimizing the use of raw materials, but more importantly, Moni collaborates with individuals who have also experienced trauma. Together at the ocean shore, they create movable tapestries that later become the backgrounds for the finished piece. Keeping environmental sustainability in the forefront, Moni consciously chooses not to stretch or frame her pieces, but presents them like one would a tapestry. The purpose is to heighten awareness of society's harmful habits by bringing to light healthier solutions. The process has become a healing ritual resulting in a painting whose purpose is to send a message about collaboration and letting go.