Born and raised in Northern Vermont, Mariella Bisson earned a BFA in Drawing from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY in 1978. Her work has won many awards including three years of support from the Pollock Krasner Foundation (1990 and 2014/15) and a 2012 NYFA (New York Foundation for the Arts) Fellowship in Painting. She has been awarded grants from the Gottlieb Foundation, Robert Rauschenberg’s CHANGE Foundation, the Artists Fellowship, The Dutka Foundation and others.
She draws and paints on site as a means of gathering visual information and cherishing the actual experience of place. Mixed media works on a large scale are made in the studio. Her travels have included more than 25 residencies. Among them are Byrdcliife, The Hambidge Center, The Banff Centre, The Vermont Studio Center, and The Santa Fe Art Institute.
Her paintings can be found in corporate collections including that of the Richemont Corporation, Philip Morris, Pfizer, White & Case LLP, Perkins & Cooie LLP, Wedge Capital Management, EKS&H - a financial services provider, Albemarle Corporation, Talisman, People’s Natural Gas, Dun and Bradstreet, Standard & Poors, and many others. Her paintings are in several hospital collections including Memorial Sloan Kettering in NYC and New Jersey; The Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN; The North Georgia Health Service Hospital at Braselton GA; Fletcher Allen Hospital in Burlington, Vermont; The Jack Byrne Center for Palliative and Hospice Care at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Hospital in Lebenon, NH; Orange County Regional Medical Center in Middltown, NY and the Portland Oregon Fertility Clinic. Her works are in the collections of The Gelsenkirchen City Museum, Germany and in the Zimmerli Museum in New Jersey. Her artist books are int he collections of Museum of Modern Art, NYC • Franklin Furnace, NYC • Cleveland Art Institute • Scripps College, Denison Library, Special Collections • University of Southern California Doheny Library, Special Collections • University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections • Women Studio Workshop National Archive of Artists Books Made by Women
Mariella works full-time in her studio now, but in the early years, while building up her own artistic practice, she was active as a curator and arts advocate/educator in Brooklyn, NY. She worked for ten years creating and directing the Visual Art s Program in Prospect Park (1983-1993) where she had the great pleasure of offering significant opportunities to artists to create site-specific sculpture within the interior spaces of Memorial Arch. The program is no longer offered. Over the years, artists including Fred Wilson, Boaz Vaadia, Florence Neal, Alison Saar, Robin Hill, Nancy Azara, and Mel Edwards were shown in the Arch. Mariella handed Fred Wilson his first ever paycheck for making art! In 1985, Mariella began the exhibitions program in the Boathouse Visitor Center ( now the Audubon Center) in Prospect Park. She was curator for eight years there and showed painters, printmakers, and sculptors there. Artists including Ed Rath, Whitfield Lovell, Carol Sun, and Harvey Dinnerstien showed their works in the Guastavino- tiled gallery. Outdoor sculpture walks were offered each year and gave artists a chance to make their work for the landmark park. Outdoor sculptures were sited by artists including Tom Bills, Deenps Bazille, Doug Hopkins, Florence Neal and Tim Watkins.
Additionally, Mariella founded an artspace in ONE MAIN, a prominent building in DUMBO, Brooklyn. For ten years, she organized site-specific artworks in the interior corner space of 2500 square feet. Artists who showed there include Harry Gordon, Larry Steele, Jens Venneman and many others.
Mariella worked as arts administrator/assistant for Bill and Mary Buchen's Sonic Architecture, for Mark DiSuvero's studio SpaceTime Constructs and was the first Coordinator for Education at the Socrates Sculpture Park.
Mariella's works are represented by galleries and art consultants nationwide.