When Patricia Edith was in elementary school, the Art Institute of Chicago challenged local students to create a monochromatic piece of art. Instead, her painting was colorful and bold. “And when
I was done, I was like, oh, man, yet another example of how I didn’t get the assignment,” says Edith of Alameda.
She must have done something right, because it earned her a scholarship to the prestigious art school.
“It kind of saved my life,” she says. “That scholarship changed my whole life, and what I went after, because I grew up in a lower-working class neighborhood, and there were no books in my house. And it opened up this world to me. … All through the rest of elementary school and high school, I spent just hours and hours at the Art Institute.”
Edith was trained as a photographer and often enhances her photos by hand-coloring them with pastels. Her portfolio also includes mandalas, traditionally seen in sacred art. In Edith’s hands they take on a political bent, as does her mixed-media collage, which is her current focus. She half-jokes that her artist statement boils down to, “I hate capitalism.”
Edith recently had a solo show of her collages at the Pacific Pinball Museum, and she has also exhibited several times with Alameda Women Artists at the Alameda Museum and the Alameda Free Library. Because of her own background, she believes strongly in AWA’s student scholarship awards. “I wish there was a way to build it so it could be a little more meaningful,” she says. “But at least we’ve begun it.”
What’s next for this multitalented artist? “I could see myself having a really simple year, and just doing little things,” she says, claiming no illusions of becoming famous. Hopefully this article doesn’t complicate that too much.
To schedule a studio visit, contact the artist at firstname.lastname@example.org.