Meet the Artist
by: Allison Ryder
Michelle Vasquez – Lifelong Artist with an expertise in adolescence.
Michelle began her career in art by working in the Jersey City Public Schools Creative Art Therapy Program for 8 years, before becoming an Art teacher for another 4 years. Art was always more than just a passion for this family driven artist, it’s a way of life. Michelle explains where it all began; “I started painting at the age of 4 when my mother took me for an art lesson at a Weehawken art studio and then enrolled me at the MET Museum for their weekend art classes.” While self-portraits and Disney characters inhabited her adolescent drawings, as Michelle got older, her inspirations derived from more cultural sources; “My paintings and artwork are inspired by my trips to Ecuador each year growing up, Pre-Columbian, African, Asian, and Tibetan art.”
Some of this artist’s pastimes are spending time with her family, visiting art museums, traveling, and wine tasting. Now, as an Art Instructor at Pinot’s Palette North Shore, Michelle gets to incorporate her interests and her passion with her work. She is ecstatic that she gets to share her creative gifts and compassion with the people in her hometown; “Art is a vehicle for self-expression. My paintings have symbols of empowerment, perseverance, strength, and a determined spirit.” She uses her passion and undeniable talent to teach, help, and inspire Staten Islanders; “I love working for Pinot’s Palette. I enjoy teaching and entertaining others, and it’s wonderful to see families come together to create art. I love what I do and I love being able to share it, and watch them find the same enjoyment in it as I do.”
Michelle correlates art with identity, strength, and a positive form of expression. Her background and experience reflect her sincere love for what she does and her genuine efforts to change the lives of both children and adults through artistic expression.