Local artist prepares for new exhibit
By Jason Gabak
Art can inspire conversation, it can challenge viewers to think in new ways or consider a different perspective and it can bring joy and even a sense of healing.
When ’s exhibit titled “What Makes a Heart Bleed” opens at the Schweinfurth Memorial Art Center in Auburn on March 24, she wants visitors to have all of those experiences and more.
Drawing inspiration from her personal reaction to the November presidential election and her views on the political climate in America at this time, Daddona-Traub is creating pieces that reflect her mindset and she hopes will connect with others as well.
“After the election I felt I needed to focus on women’s rights,” Daddona-Traub said. “I went to the march in Seneca Falls and women’s rights were a focus before the election but after the election I felt that I wanted to say something, create something that expressed who I felt about everything that is going on right now.”
Creating pieces derived in part from reclaimed and repurposed materials such as steel, leather and copper and nails, Daddona-Traub is working on pieces that reflect on the strength of women.
She said she chose this theme for several reasons, including encouraging other women, especially young women, to feel they have a voice that deserves to be heard.
Daddona-Traub said she wants to create pieces that will inspire conversations among her viewers.
“We are dealing with a lot of complicated issues,” Daddona-Traub said. “These are things that deserve more than a Facebook post or a meme or however many characters you type on Twitter. Maybe people will see what I do and it will get them talking more about these issues.”
The Skaneateles artist has been working on her sculptures at her shop, Unite Two Design, based in Elbridge.
Daddona-Traub and her husband, Keith, purchased the buildings to house their business which focuses on creating unique furnishings and other items created from reclaimed materials.
While working on her pieces, Daddona-Traub said she has been listening to a lot of music to find inspiration.
Most recently the lyrics and Bob Dylan and John Lennon have been resonating with her as she works.
“I’m still working on pieces,” Daddona-Traub said. “I’ve been listening to a lot of music. Bob Dylan wrote some amazing lyrics. I’ve been listening a lot to the words and making a connection to them while I’m working.”
One song in particular has stood out to Daddona-Traub, “Give Me Some Truth,” written by John Lennon in reference to the Nixon administration in the 1970s, has struck a chord and while the song its self is more than 40 years old, in some ways Daddona-Traub has found it to be prescient.
“That’s a song I have been listening to a lot,” she said. “It seems to still have a lot of meaning now. I think truth is something a lot of people are looking for right now.”
Originally hailing from Pennsylvania, Daddona-Traub said she and her family moved west, settling in Colorado before moving back east.
But wherever she went art was a constant in her life.
“I was always interested in art,” Daddona-Traub said. “It was always a part of my life.”
She found her niche working with reclaimed materials.
“I got really interested in what you could do with found objects,” she said.
In 2010 Daddona-Traub and her family moved to Skaneateles and fir the past seven years she, along with her husband and two children have found a place they are proud to call home.
“We came here to start over,” she said. “The communities are great. Central New York has been great for us. We started our business because we wanted to build something for ourselves and do it together. Everyone here has been supportive and we are happy to live and work here.”
Recently the artist donated several 10 inch by 10 inch pieces to the Schweinfurth for the gallery’s 10X10=ART event where the pieces were auctioned off.
Daddona-Traub is the first of three local artists to be announced to have work on display at the art center in 2017.
In the weeks leading up tot eh show, Daddona-Traub will continue to work on pieces and prepare for the March 24 opening and in each of those pieces she will be striving to instill her message.
“What makes my heart bleed is a love for humanity,” she said.” This love for people has given me the strength to speak my truth and in speaking my truth my greatest hope is that I am speaking for a generation. The materials I use to create my work have become essential to the story I am attempting to tell. Steel is hard and strong and yet my message is human and tender.”