Abstraction can be defined by an absence of discernible reference to the visible world, placing content in an uncomfortable, yet dynamic, place between representation and abstraction. It is within this space that I place my paintings. I create visual hierarchies are wholly determined by the intentionality of creation, obliteration, and obfuscation. Formal considerations dominate and determine content in both my abstract and more representational work. A commitment to the act of painting where the hand of the artist, the color palette, and gesture is anything but a neutral player, but is the catalyst to content in my paintings. Recently, I have resisted predetermined ranking of visual elements, eschewing a need to maintain preciousness of parts in favor of creating a harmonious painting as whole where the emotional impact of color relationships is integral. I layer colors, textures, manipulate space, and add bits of personal ephemera that creating a nostalgic suspension of time, even while appearing on the verge of motion. My paintings convey an ever-present tension even while the surface may appear calm or quiet.
Rebecca Birtel Madura, a native of New Orleans, studied studio art at Newcomb College and the University of Texas at Austin where she earned a BA in Fine Arts (Studio Art) and a BA in Liberal Arts (French). She also holds a Master’s of Liberal Arts from Tulane University. Along with working as a professional artist, Rebecca has more than 30 years of experience as a visual arts educator in local parochial, private and public schools in New Orleans, where she was also involved in art curriculum development. Rebecca most recently served as Professeur d’art au collège at Lycèe Français de la Nouvelle Orléans, after 17 years as Director of the Visual Arts Program at St. Andrew’s Episcopal School, and the Art Teacher at the New Orleans Museum of Art. She also served on the Educational Advisory Board at NOMA. After retiring from full-time teaching to focus on her own art practice, she continues to work as a TAV Evaluator for the State of Louisiana and a guest artist with YA/YA, Inc., working with YAYA member at the Studio and with YA/YA’s Urban Heroes Program. Rebecca is involved with many community art projects and non-profit organizations. Rebecca is the President of the Board of Directors for Green Light New Orleans, and Executive Committee Secretary for the Board of YAYA, Inc. She has continued to pursue her own art and actively exhibits locally. Her work is included in the collections at Tulane University, A.B. Freeman School of Business; Jung Hotel New Orleans; Ochsner Elmwood Sports Medicine Center; Ochsner Shreveport; Provenance Hotels, Portland, OR; Global Business Center, New Orleans; and various local and national private collections. She is currently affiliated with Where Y’Art Gallery in New Orleans.