Colleen Toledano is a skilled artist with a focus on ceramics and various other mediums. Hailing from Buffalo, NY, she holds a BS in environmental science with a minor in studio art from Allegheny College in Meadville, Penn. (2001), as well as an MFA in ceramics from Ohio University in Athens, Ohio (2005). Currently serving as an associate professor of design in ceramics at SUNY Buffalo State.
Her current body of work delves into autobiographical explorations of family, motherhood, and domestic relationships. When observing the beautiful interplay between chance and organization within her own household, Toledano draws inspiration from foliage and florals, using them as visual cues to portray the ever-evolving growth within her own transformational role in her family. In her artistic process, she finds influence in the intricate aesthetics of historic Wedgewood pottery and Sevre porcelain. By examining the concept of the home and objects like vessels that symbolize protection, nourishment, and transportation, Toledano metaphorically identifies with these elements. Delicate porcelain leaves suspended in a visual tension of fragility represent the beauty and chaos that coexist within her identity and relationships both inside and outside of the home. The influence of her husband and child on her personal growth, both externally and internally, serves as a continuous source of inspiration.
Toledano’s approach involves contemporizing these historical vessels through color and pattern, exemplifying that traditions can both be upheld and broken. Reflecting upon the family traditions she has inherited, she recognizes the importance of passing them down to her own family. By perpetuating these traditions, she allows the past to live on, but also embraces the opportunity to create new ones. In breaking or building upon these traditions, Toledano carves out space for the emergence of fresh beginnings, growth, and an optimistic outlook on the future.