Speaking Powerfully Through Her Art
By ML Ball (Recycled from June/July 2018, Edition 26)
Photos: The Art Effect
Don’t let Chloe Mosbacher’s friendly demeanor fool you. A senior at New Paltz High School with her sights set on art college and a career as a professional artist, she unmistakably possesses a strong voice and an activist’s viewpoint, both of which come through loud and clear in her emotionally and politically charged series of paintings, Wake Up Call.
This portfolio of hyper-colorful and visually arresting works of art was Mosbacher’s senior thesis created during Senior Project, an intensive 12-week program offered to a few select high school seniors every fall by The Art Effect, formerly known as Mill Street Loft and Spark Media Project.
Each student participating in Senior Project is required to produce one work of art per week during the 12-week session and is expected to spend a minimum of 30 hours a week on each piece. Mosbacher, however, estimated that she probably spent upwards of 60 hours a week on hers.
Mosbacher’s paintings are large—2½ feet by 4 feet—and powerfully reflect what she sees going on in the world, both present day and in the past, including injustice, oppression, patriarchy, immigration, the Holocaust, Nazism, the Women’s March, 9/11 and the women’s suffrage movement.
Asked to describe what her paintings are meant to communicate, Mosbacher explained that they illustrate her associations with the present state of the government while reflecting her search for a place in society. “Additionally,” she said, “they borrow imagery from the tarot deck, following the Fool’s journey in which one gains knowledge through encountering numerous social and spiritual archetypes. Then, along with the tarot symbolism, I put in something that had to do with my own personal journey or something political or that had to do with historical events, but relating it to today and the crazy times we’re living in.”
Hence the title of the series, Wake Up Call.
If these paintings are any indication, Mosbacher is well on her way to a professional art career. For guidance, encouragement and a sense of belonging throughout her journey, she credits The Art Effect.
“Literally, I would not be where I am today if it wasn’t for The Art Effect,” she said. “I always craved art friends, and I couldn’t find them at my school—no one with the same obsession with art. I found those people at The Art Effect. It was like a tribal awakening—Senior Project, specifically.”
What’s next for Mosbacher? “Moving forward,” she said, “I want my art to inspire questioning and bring forth political discussion and conversation. My art is my own reaction to what I perceive in the outside world juxtaposed with my inner thoughts about society and my place within it.”
For more information about The Art Effect, visit www.feelthearteffect.org.