www.whitesideartstudios.com Ph. 757-407-2653 Alexandra Whiteside is an adjunct professor in the Interior Design BFA program at the Art Institute of Virginia Beach. She also teaches art workshops through the Downing Gross Cultural Arts Center in Newport News, Creative Music & Entertainment in Chesapeake, and Art Central Phoebus in Hampton. Her formal education combines photography, theatrical arts, graphic arts and interior design.
With the philosophy that exceptional artists should constantly nurture and enhance their skills, Alexandra has attended as well as taught hundreds of hours of workshops, programs and mentoring sessions spanning three decades of her art and design career.
Alexandra Whiteside’s abstract artwork explores story-telling through the manipulation of color and texture, usually without incorporating familiar imagery. Alexandra typically works on large-scale canvas with acrylics, oils and modeling compound to construct artwork that elicits a unique emotional response from each viewer. Alexandra is also an avid photographer, creating fine art pieces using her original photography and digital post-processing techniques.
Since the mid-1980’s, Alexandra’s large scale abstracts have been commissioned by interior design clients across the United States. Alexandra also exhibits in galleries and public venues, including Art Central Phoebus, Cobalt, the Hampton Convention Center Halls of Art XII juried show and the Williamsburg Contemporary Art Center First Regional Juried Show. In 2016, Alexandra's painting "Shore" was awarded Honorable Mention in the Artists Who Teach exhibit at the Charles H. Taylor Arts Center in Hampton, VA.
In 2017, Alexandra was one of the artists invited to participate in the “Ella 100” exhibit at the Downing Gross Cultural Arts Center in Newport News, celebrating Ella Fitzgerald's 100th birthday. Alexandra’s painting for that show is also part of the exhibit sent to Newport News' sister city in China in the fall of 2017. Looking to the future, Alexandra and her husband Jimi are delighted to have been invited to exhibit as a husband and wife joint show at Downing-Gross in August 2018.
Artist inspiration: Mary Abbott My piece of art is inspired by Mary Abbott, a 20th century abstract expressionist painter. In the late 1950's, Ms. Abbott created a series of paintings based on her response to a single word or a poem read to her by a friend.
Like Mary Abbott, my artistic style is typically abstract expressionist and nonrepresentational. Also like Ms. Abbott, I base my paintings on various sources of inspiration, including words, phrases and songs. I am planning a series of paintings based on Shakespeare's sonnets, but when the opportunity to participate in this show was presented to me, I decided to do this special piece using a contemporary source. For this piece, my plan became “join forces with a local poet, close my eyes, feel the words, and let my intuition guide me.” The end result is truly an amalgam of two sources of inspiration – one a painter and one a poet.
While my art piece is based on Mary Abbott’s use of saturated color and explosive line work, I am not attempting to mimic her style. My intention is to create an abstract piece of art that is dynamic, stirs the soul, is different from the painting style I typically produce, but is also reflective of my unique self as an artist. I always love a challenge, and this one is exciting!