Pam Cartmel


View Max Grumbacher Gallery Profile


Artist Profile

About the Artist:
I received a B.F.A. from Arizona State University in Painting and Drawing. Throughout school I worked as a scenic artist in the opera theatre. One of our most notable productions, "Mozart's Magic Flute," designed by a native American Indian, was sold to an opera house in Vienna, Austria–six 30'x60' backdrops and several set pieces we had drawn and painted. The production was sold out throughout its entire run.
After finishing my degree, I taught sculpture at the Parks and Recreation Department, worked in an artist's studio in Phoenix, and then moved to New York City where I worked at the Sculptor's guild in Soho selling paintings and sculpture. The Guggenheim Museum followed, and several years later the Museum of Folk Art.
At the Guggenheim, I worked in the Preparations Department for three years as the Coordinator, helped organize and mount exhibitions, worked with their five other departments, and on their Children's Art Program.
I returned to painting for the theatre, and after working for scenic and commercial studios in New York, I painted backdrops for Off-Broadway on 42nd Street and several of the small theatres in Manhatttan–the Cherry Lane Theatre in the West Village was one where we did "Nunsense." At Lincoln Center I worked on a play by David Rabe, "Goose and Tom Tom," that was Madonna's acting debut when she was making the transition from a music star to the screen. Some television work followed.
I returned to school and finished the graduate program in Art Therapy at New York University while working for two years at Mount Sinai Hospital and Metropolitan Hospital in Harlem with psychiatric patients. Art Therapists are artists trained as therapists, and use the arts as a tool for healing. My last year in New York was spent working as the Assistant Gallery Director at the Folk Art Museum supervising 45 docents and working on exhibitions in the gallery, as well as with the psychiatry department at Columbia University to set up an artist-in-residence program for at-risk youth.
I left New York to work as an Art Therapist in Los Angeles. After five years of working with patients, psychiatrists, and psychologists from Harlem to Santa Monica, I opened an Art Gallery at Bergamot Station in Santa Monica that I had for nearly two years.
I returned to television work and film. The most notable productions I've worked on are Tom Hank's/Spielberg's "The Pacific," Clint Eastwood's "Bloodwork," "Million Dollar Baby," "Flags of Our Father's," "Letters from Iwo Jima," "Changling" (nominated for best Art Direction), and Allison Eastwood's "Rails and Ties." Next was Garry Marshal's "Valentine's Day."

Artist Statement:
I make art because I feel compelled to. It reflects many different moods and phases in my life. My work at times has been a direct expression of some raw emotion, other times just silly and playful. What I hope to express are feelings that are universal, common to everyone as they make their way through life, a shared humanity with common ground. My photographs are only what I see as beauty–no statements, nothing beyond pure composition, color, form–the beauty of man made objects and nature.

Creativity is the child of the spirit.

"Each human being has the eternal duty of transforming what is hard and brutal into a subtle and tender offering, what is crude into refinement, what is ugly into beauty, ignorance into knowledge, confrontation into collaboration, thereby rediscovering the child's dream of a creative reality incessantly renewed by death, the servant of life, and by life, the servant of love."
–Yehudi Menuhin

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