This will be a series of artist spotlights, showing the work and giving a little inside look into the artists who create it. The first spotlight is on lifelong Gloucester artist, Theresa Testaverde.
Theresa’s art is often a collage of whatever stirs her as interesting and challenging. Some of her work is inspired by loved ones, family and friends.
Theresa is a native of Gloucester, has been drawing since the age of 5, has a BFA with her principle focus in Printmaking, and has worked in the commercial field of Specialty Printing since college.
She is the daughter, granddaughter and great-granddaughter of Gloucester fishermen. Her maternal grandfather, Joaquin Codinha, was deeply involved in the business side of the Fishing industry. Her paternal grandfather, R. Salve Testaverde wrote, “Memoirs of a Gloucester Fisherman.” And Theresa’s great-grandfather (her mother’s grandfather) was Antonio Santos Cortina, who while on a fishing trip on the Laura Goulart, was lost at sea in 1924. “Passionate followers of the heart; fishers of the sea.”
On Fisherman’s Wharf, her family’s FV, the Linda B, would have schools of fish hauled up in a net and loaded on trucks for market. Her most recent drawings, “Fish Faces, A Series of Drawings’ is dedicated to her young years of growing up – “we had all the fish and more!”
In addition, Theresa’s artwork for her “Daily Fish” Coasters is a salute to the life of a fisherman. “I recognize that a fisherman’s life is a noble and valued life, a dangerous life which requires dedication, heart, strength, intense work during stormy days and an immense respect of the sea from which he earns his daily bread.”
All of this was a way of life for Theresa growing up. In her words, “I embrace all of them, their memory, their stories. The women and men from which I am part. I could not create any of my artwork without these reflections. This life had heart, purpose, was hard working, honest, diligent and had love. To remember us young is to examine the heart of family, in our little town, Gloucester. My family members required the sea to maintain their everyday needs. This “fish” artwork is for them.”
You can see more of Theresa’s work at The Cultural Center at Rocky Neck, 6 Wonson Street, East Gloucester during the Rocky Neck Holiday Art & Fine Crafts Festival Saturdays and Sundays, Noon-4 PM, November 30 – December 29.