Michele Tragakiss is an award winning abstract artist working in oil, and acrylic. Her layered, entangled works originate from uninhibited subconscious exploration, and reveal the inner dialogue between her lived experience, her insatiable curiosity, and her need to communicate through art. Michele was born in Los Angeles, California and has lived across the United States, and Canada. She received her BFA from Indiana University of Pennsylvania before completing a year of post-graduate studies, in affiliation with IUP, at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh.
Michele is a third generation artist who was heavily influenced by her mother’s technical illustrations and paintings. She is drawn by both the structured geometric and linear elements of tech design, as well as the organic flow and intuitive movements that happen in abstract painting. In her words, “Running seven miles every morning keeps me connected to nature and the universe at large, and I believe that the mind and universe exist as a pair. This awareness is woven throughout my imagery and mark-making. The fractal branching of a tree, or the crack filler on a road are not represented as they are, but rather as subconscious interpretations that often intersect and engage with social and political issues that occupy my mental landscape.”
Michele’s most recent series of paintings attempt to bridge the gap between the dream world and reality. Pulling from this otherworldly place, and using multiple layers of paint and glaze, a personal story emerges —a visual stream of her subconscious. “At the start of my work I spread paint in an exhilarating period of complete freedom, energy and expression. Moving paint around the canvas, I am guided only by my gut and instincts – one color guides another, one shape dictates the next. After this initial development the real work begins—the work of tearing down and rebuilding, and of unifying multiple visions so that there will be one coherent story. There is always struggle before the resolution but it is in the act of painting that a narrative emerges and perhaps even some meaning from this mysterious place.”
Internationally renowned artist and photographer, Florin Firimita on Tragakiss’s works —“In a visual world filled with elevator music, Michele Traggakiss’s paintings make sensual, fresh, and mysterious sounds. Intelligent non-representational art is hard to come by these days, but Michele’s paintings, born at the intersection of skills, emotions and ideas, invite both the intellect and the senses. They are marvelous labyrinths recalling the poetic structure of Bach and the swift energy of Miles Davis. Open your eyes and start listening.”
Ms. Tragakiss’s works have been published and exhibited internationally, and are held in private collections across the United States.
She is currently living and working in Connecticut.
BFA – Indiana University of Pennsylvania
Art Institute of Pittsburgh – Graphic Design
Pennsylvania State University
CWA National Juried Exhibition 2021
CT Academy of Fine Art - Members+ exhibit - Honorable Mention 2021-Mystic, CT.
Mattatuck Museum's Mix-Master Exhibition 2021 Waterbury, CT. 1st Place Award
Connecticut Women Artists – Juried Members Group 2020
Brooklyn Waterfront Artists Coalition - Juried National 2020
The Breathing Room – 4 person exhibit – New Haven, CT. 2020
George St. Gallery – 5 person exhibit – New Haven, CT. 2020
Voice of Art Juried 6 person exhibit - Cheshire, Ct. 2019
Connecticut Woman Artists Annual Juried Members Exhibit at Art League of New Britain - New Britain, Ct. 2019
Brooklyn Waterfront Artists Coalition - Wide Open 10 National Exhibition 2019 Brooklyn, NY.
Connecticut Academy of Fine Art's Annual Juried Exhibition at Mystic Museum - Mystic, Connecticut 2019
The Voice of Art Gallery - Juried group exhibition "Sound of Colors" - Cheshire, Ct. 2019
Mattatuck Museum - Juried group exhibition 2019
Journey's Exhibition - New York Open Center - New York, NY. 2019
West Hartford Art League Juried Members Exhibition - West Hartford, CT. 2018
Blanche Ames Museum's National Juried Art Exhibition Blanche Ames Museum - North Easton, MA. 2018
BWAC Wide Open 9 National Juried Art Show - Brooklyn, NY. 2018
Connecticut Academy of Fine Arts 107th Regional Juried Exhibition hosted by Mystic Museum of Art - Mystic, CT. 2018
Mattatuck Museum - Mix Mater Regional Juried Exhibition Waterbury, CT. 2018
Light Space and Time's "Top Ten Abstract Artists to Watch in 2018"
Firehouse Art Gallery - Visual Music Juried Abstract Exhibit - Milford, CT. 2018 First Place and Honorable Mention
West Hartford Art League Members Juried Exhibit - West Hartford, CT 2017
Mending Art Exhibit - Hartford ArtSpace - Hartford, CT. 2017
Real.W3iRd. - Southington Community Cultural Arts - Southington, CT. 2017
BWAC - Wide Open 8 National Juried Art Show - Brooklyn, NY 2017
Saatchi Art - featured in the "Inspired by Cy Twombly" collection - 2017
Hartford ArtSpace Gallery - 20th Anniversary Juried group exhibition - Hartford, CT 2017
SoCCA - Juried Art competition. Southington, CT. 2017
Oxford Arts and Cultural Commission - Juried Exhibit 2016 - Oxford, CT
Paris in Plantsville "FIN-End of an Era" group exhibit - Plantsville, Connecticut 2016
Paris in Plantsville - 6th Annual Juried Exhibit - Plantsville, CT. - 2016
ABEX Hartford ArtSpace Juried exhibit - Hartford, CT. - 2015
Artist of the Day - Saatchi Art 8/2/2015
8th Annual Berkshire Salon - North Adams, MA . 2015
OCAC Juried exhibition - Gallery Art Showcase - Oxford, CT. 2015
Paris in Plantsville 5th Annual Juried Exhibition - Plantsville, CT. Juror's Award - 2015
MAC650 Gallery - 2D Winter Juried Exhibit - Middletown, CT. - 2014
Paris in Plantsville, “Life and Death” Visual Interpretation of the Human Experience, Plantsville, CT. 2014
Saatchi Art - “New this Week" Nov. 2014
Short list - Moxy Milan Blank Canvas competition sponsored by Talent House - Milan, Italy - 2014
Castle Fitzjohns 12×12 – New York, New York - 2014
MAC650 Gallery, Juried exhibit - Middletown, CT. - 2014
Oxford Arts and Cultural Center Juried exhibit – Oxford, CT. Best in Show 2014
Paris In Plantsville Juried exhibit – Plantsville, CT. – Honorable Mention - 2014
David Hunt Gallery - Falls Village, CT. - 2013
Light Space and Time's online International Juried, "8 Artist Showcase" 2017
Light Space and Time's online International Juried, "Abstracts Competition" - Special Merit Award and Special Recognition Award (two pieces) 2017
Light Space and Time's online International Juried, "City Scape" Competition - Special Merit Award and Special Recognition Award (two pieces) 2017
Niji Magazine.com Featured artist of the week - 2016
Light Space & Time's online International Juried, "All Collections" - Special Merit Award 2016
Light Space & Time online International Juried, "Abstracts" Collection - Special Merit Award 2016
Studio Visit Magazine Summer Edition #33 2016
Circle Spotlight Contemporary Magazine October 2017
Fashion button designs – Ralph Lauren Sports Apparel - 1985
Mattatuck Museum (upcomimg) Waterbury, CT.. 2021
Oxford Art's and Cultural Center, Oxford, CT. 2017
Gallery at ShutterSpeed, Middlebury, CT.
Cachion Gallery/Southbury Public Library - Southbury, CT. - 2016
Gallery 13 - Danbury, CT. - 1994
Connecticut Women Artists - Elected member
New Britain Museum of American Art
Circle Foundation for the Arts, Lyon, France.
West Hartford Art League, Hartford, CT.
Mattatuck Museum, Waterbury, CT.