54: Mandi Antonucci: high school art teacher by day, artist at night

It was great to talk to Mandi Antonucci, another New Yorker, artist/mother, and collegiate soccer player! Mandi is a mom of two who balances being a high school art teacher by day with being an artist at night. Mandi works primarily in colored pencil, watercolor, and ballpoint pen, though she’s never been one to sit still or limit herself to a given medium. Her work is loaded with personal symbolism and open-ended narratives that construct layers of meaning viewers can engage with on their own terms.

Mandi talks about being immersed in art and art history from a young age, and how this led to her studying art history and printmaking at Nazareth College. Shortly thereafter, she became an art teacher and hasn’t looked back. She draws on her students to explore new media and find inspiration, while, as a working artist herself, she hopes to lead her students by example in demonstrating the power of art.

We discuss building a life full of love, art, and music, even while working through familial hardship. Mandi walks us through turning towards an art practice that “feeds her soul” and illuminates (if not revels in) the hidden contradictions of everyday life, and her ongoing projects of building self confidence and continuing to fight imposter syndrome even once you’ve become established in your own community.

Lastly, we return to the idea of legacy, the question of who came before and who will come after, to hear more about Mandi’s grandmother and the role of storied objects in tracing the passions and experiences of others.

You can see more of Mandi’s work on her website.
The Artist/Mother podcast is created and hosted by Kaylan Buteyn. You can see more of Kaylan’s work on her website or connect with her on Instagram @kaylanbuteyn

Mandi in her home studio
“Quicksand” Colored Pencil and Gold Leaf, 2019
Work in progress in Mandi’s studio (her son drawing on left)
Works in progress in Mandi’s studio
“Greta Thunberg, (from Heroes for Her series)”, Ballpoint Pen and Watercolor, 2019  
Mandi’s “Heroes For Her” series above her daughter’s bed
“Falling Into Place” Colored Pencil and Gold Leaf, 2018

Mandi’s son working along side her studio space

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