I collect coins, type, compasses, maps, rocks, fossils, old beads, words and random knowledge. I am drawn to surfaces altered by time. Rusted metal, geological formations, treasures left behind by changing tides and old structures demand my attention. I am a graphic designer and an avid photographer, but started out in computer science and was at times editor of my schools’ newspapers. I could easily have chosen to be an archaeologist, a stone mason, a journalist, a cartographer, a geologist, a sailor, an astronaut, a historian, or a preservationist. These things inform my work.
My reading habits are eclectic, and I travel as much as I can for the joy of experiencing something uniquely its own. Language and etymology enthrall me. Great letterforms make me happy; bad ones distract me. I study lines and follow paths. I love the jolt of finding beauty in unexpected places. I aim to put some of that element of surprise into my work. I gravitate towards using concrete, raw stones, rusted metal, and old materials that have been discarded and beat up around the edges, and combine them with precious metals and perfect lines. I design jewelry for the challenge of putting a sense of wonder into a small object; one that will be used, handled, and loved; one that though mostly new, feels like it’s been around for a long while. It has been said that my mosaics sometimes resemble large-scale jewelry, and there are often mosaic elements in my jewelry work. The lines between them are blurry and defined mostly by scale and wearability.
I prefer old tools that bear the marks not only of their makers, but of those who used them before me; I love the sense of continuity they hold. When I put hand to metal or stone, I aim to bring the viewer into a narrative, to provide questions to consider. I am intrigued by frozen moments in time; I like to imagine what came before and what follows. Being the first to see the inside of a stone is thrilling. There are almost always details in my work no one will ever see or notice, but I know they are there. Sometimes in plain view, but most often hidden in the work, are coordinates — to mark a place, to honor a moment in time, to acknowledge where the raw materials came from. I like to think they ground the work; give it a sense of place. Place and time, their changing and their passing, and trying to capture their impermanence is my main artistic directive.
Anabella Wewer is a graphic designer, passionate metalsmith and an internationally-exhibited, award-winning mosaic artist. A native of Caracas, Venezuela, and fluent in four languages, Anabella has studied mosaic all over the world with contemporary mosaic masters. In addition to her studio practice, she teaches both live and on-line courses and curates educational experiences with visiting instructors worldwide.
After discovering mosaics as fine art during a trip to the Vatican in 2004, she sought out and studied the art form from many masters with formal education in their fields — from micro-mosaic in filato and stone, to the best of contemporary techniques. Armed with those skills and utilizing her training as a graphic designer, Anabella has developed into a visual artist whose work is rooted in a sense of place and time, with a distinctive graphic feel that often explores the impermanence of time and space.
Anabella’s mosaic training is self-directed and the result of focused work over weeks and months, and ongoing mentorships, with well-renown mosaic masters. She has studied classical and modern mosaic techniques with Arianna Gallo and Luca Barberini (stone micro-mosaic and opus vermiculatum, Ravenna); filati micro-mosaics with Maestro Carlo Meloni (Rome); abstract and modern design with Dugald MacInnes (Scotland), Dino Maccini (Piacenza), Giulio Menossi (Udine), and Marco Santi (Ravenna). She has also taken short courses with Luciana Notturni (Ravenna), Verdiano Marzi (Corsica/France), Matteo Randi (Ravenna), Valeria Manzo, Dagmar Friedrich and Laura Carraro (Scuola Mosaicisti dei Friuli, Spillimbergo), Beatrice Serre (France), Rosanna Fattorini (Ravenna); and honed her skills using native materials with Rachel Sager; and color in figurative mosaics with Carol Shelkin, and beginner mosaic with Gina Hubler in Pennsylvania. Her native languages are Spanish and Portuguese, and she also speaks English and Italian. She lives in Macungie, Pennsylvania.
(For a complete list of residencies, mentorships, publications, presentations and exhibits, please contact Anabella)