Paula DeStefanis   Artist Statement 2020

I work by doing a series of paintings with the same concept running through each piece. This allows me to explore approaches in the work. I use repetition and layering to symbolize time, duration and change. As the artist making the work, the unpredictability and potential sense of discovery is very exciting and one of the main reasons why I do what I do.

I love the physical process of applying paint to canvas. Color, line and texture are incredibly important in my work.  There is a real sense of freedom in allowing a spontaneous application of color and line to the prepared surface. There is energy in my painting that works towards connecting my spiritual as well as my emotional being.

I have always subscribed to the theory of “paint for paint’s sake” by celebrating the physical qualities of the medium while including the images or textures that move me. My goal is to create stunning pieces of art that will engage the viewer and foster a dialogue that is invigorating, educational and rewarding.


Paula Destefanis works between acrylic and oil painting. Each medium renders a unique response.  In acrylic, she draws from her daily experiences, beginning each canvas as written journal. The acrylic paintings are multi-layered and often very geometrical.  In oils,  she is drawn to the patina and decay of aged surfaces. Painting many layers with unconventional tools and often scratching away to find what lay beneath.

Paula is a Milwaukee-based artist who divides her time between the US and UK.  She holds a BFA from the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design and following course work with the Museum School in Boston. A practicing artist for 30 years.  Her work can be found in many corporate collections world including; Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design, Thorsen School,  Ventique UK.  Select exhibitions include Museum of Wisconsin Art; Milwaukee Art Museum, Tory Folliard Gallery, The Brickton Art Center, Wustum Art Museum, WI Lutheran College.

Paula is active in the arts community through her work with North Shore Academy of the Arts and the Arts Mill where she is the Director. There she is in charge of art programming for the two facilities as well as curates and manages all exhibits at the Arts Mill.  In addition to helping and showcasing artists she herself is represented at galleries in the Midwest and exhibits her art mainly throughout the US and the UK.  She keeps an art studio where she has worked privately with students for over 15 years.

She has taught as the Milwaukee Art Museum, West Bend Art Museum, MIAD, and the Wustum. She has been awarded two Mary Nohl Suitcase Awards in her career.  One which allowed her to exhibit in the UK in August 2017, the second in 2012 where she used those funds to travel to New York and exhibit her work. In 2012 she exhibited in Parrallex in Chelsea London.  2010 she was elected to a 3-year appointment to the Village of Grafton Arts Board.

Learn More:

Artsy Shark Featured Artist 2020

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Reproduction rights do not transfer with sale of items.
Use of photos/designs without permission/licencing is not allowed, please contact me with questions/inquiries.

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