Artist and environmental activist
Manda's practice intersects art, science, and community engagement through material investigation, research, and environmental/biological content. Central themes to the work include: Conservation, Extinct/Extant Mammals, Paleontology, Taphonomy (the study of the processes by which an organism is buried, decays and becomes fossilized), Decomposition, Recycled and Repurposed found objects.
The studio has become laboratory to research and experiment with materials. Manda makes her own encaustic, concrete, and some of her own oil paints, while also using local small business oil paints and citrus oil thinner. Honey, fair trade coffees, curbside found objects, litter from hikes and beach cleanups, cleaned bone from deceased animals or found bone, and charcoal/graphite make up the list of materials in use. The evolution of the studio practice is ongoing, seeking to make the creation of the piece a little more earth-friendly, while trying not to compromise the integrity of the art. Not a perfect practice, but a journey to research and share studio experimentation and affects on the art and environment.
Manda received a Master of Science in Arts Administration from Drexel University. Her thesis research explored the role of art in the global climate change movement through artist and scientist interviews. Research included the need, barriers, artist/scientist relationship, funding, and impact of art that addresses climate change.
She holds a BFA in Painting, with a minor in Art History, from Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University and a BS in Ecology & Evolution, with a minor in Evolutionary Anthropology, from the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences, Rutgers University.
Manda is a co-founder and also the Operations & Development Director at Frontline Arts, a NJ-based non-profit arts organization. Our mission is to ignite awareness of critical issues and encourage public involvement by supporting socially engaged artists and projects, with a focus on participatory art, to connect and build communities and amplify marginalized voices.
She is an active freelance grant writer and non-profit consultant for the arts sector.