Based out of Tallahassee, Florida, artist & painter Serena Corson has found several ways to connect with her community, whether it be through activism, friendship, or gardening. Those themes are consistently present in her work, which can be described as honest, loose, and expressionist.
Manifestations of Luv recalls spending a Valentine’s night in with close female friends: “I formed a feminist women’s support group called Mystic Moon Mamas… every Valentine’s Day, we would have a sort of anti-Valentine’s party where we celebrated platonic love and non-material centric love. We’d get together and share a big meal, wear lingerie, and have a great time.” The painting is a representation of a night full of self-care alongside women she admires. “In our society we don’t get enough time for luxury and pleasure - especially working class people. The moments where we can be in a room with a bunch of friends is always a good one.”
Serena’s most recent painting, The Garden of Revolutionary Pleasures (named after and inspired by Bosch’s 16th century Garden of Earthly Delights), shows another influence in full force: gardening and the outdoors. This is a common theme throughout her work. “As I joined organizations in college and ran in activist circles, I became really inspired by different projects I saw going on where people are growing food in the community for free. As city dwellers, we’re disconnected with nature and it’s really sad - it does affect our mental health. The whole trend/phenomenon of people being comforted by plants in their homes is really telling, I think. There’s studies that show that when you get your hands in the soil it’s healthy for your brain. I’m really attracted to the revolutionary side of gardening.”
"It makes me sad that so many people don’t feel the confidence to make their own art, for fear of being bad or not being classically trained."
Even though Tallahassee is a small town, Serena considers herself lucky to have found a place where she can be inspired every day and continue making art.
“It’s all about finding the niches, the good spots.” For her, art is about community and solidarity, and the silver lining of 2020’s global pandemic is that it’s given her more time to slow down and paint. “My grandmother wrote an essay titled ‘There’s No Bad Art’ - and I agree completely. It makes me sad that so many people don’t feel the confidence to make their own art, for fear of being bad or not being classically trained. Art is therapeutic and it’s always political and important because it’s a nonverbal way to communicate. As humans, we’re so verbal, but sometimes we just need some visual messaging.”
View Serena’s portfolio and shop her full product line at SerenaViolaCorson.com.