The Pietà: Restoration and Artwork


Robin Masi is an artist and a writer. She graduated from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts and Tufts University with a BFA and received her MFA from the Academy of Art College, San Francisco. She received her Ed.M. in Arts Education from Harvard Graduate School of Education's Arts in Education Program. She is currently an Ed.D. Fellow at Boston University's Graduate School of Education. She has exhibited her conceptual costumes, abstract figurative paintings and charcoals in exhibitions in New England, California, Washington D.C. and New York. Her play, Vanishing Point: Scenes from the Life of Baroque Artist Artemisia Gentileschi, has been performed in Rome and New York. From 2003 - 2011 Masi exhibited a site-specific installation entitled The Witness Project at the Fitchburg Museum of Art the Carney Gallery, Regis College, Northeastern University and Harvard University's Lutheran Church Gallery.

She has taught at colleges, universities and art schools on both coasts (SMFA, Northeastern, Sonoma State University, and Regis College). She is a full professor with the Art Institute of Pittsburgh/Online Division. Masi advocates for children/youth with DCF and is working on her doctorate at the Boston University School of Education researching her dissertation entitled The Restoration of the 18th Century Moral Ideal of the Beautiful Soul in the Lives and Works of Six Twentieth Century Artists. The artists in this study are Wassily Kandinsky, Kathé Kollwitz, Jacob Lawrence, Mark Rothko, Vincent Van Gogh, and Remedios Varo.

The Witness Project includes large-scale panoramic black-and-white charcoal drawings recreating the buildings at the perimeter of the World Trade Center site in a 360 degree view, conceptual costumes, and sound. The conceptual costumes include previously worn wedding gowns, a priest’s vestment and men's vests. These have been collaged with photographs, text from interviews, and line drawings of the buildings. Graphic material includes newspaper headlines, photographs, and interview transcripts. The sound component of the installation includes original music composed by Ken Field avant-garde composer and musician, interspersed with interviews with New Yorkers, including a family who lives in the neighborhood, a Jesuit priest who ministered to the rescue workers and a St. Paul’s Chapel volunteer and representative. One of the goals of the project was to convey the physicality of the site for those who would never get to see it at the time it depicts (January – June, 2002). In addition, is the exploration of the duality that exists when such catastrophe occurs: namely, the outpouring of positive experiences emerging from such a horrific and tragic event. It is this duality that is at the core of the project.

Masi has produced, written and designed costumes for Vanishing Point: Scenes from the Life of Baroque painter Artemisia Gentileschi. Vanishing Point was performed in Rome at the Palazzio Venezia with the Gentileschi paintings as a backdrop in December, 2001. The piece was also performed in April, 2002 in New York at the Italian Cultural Institute. The performances have been held as costumed staged readings in both the Italian and American languages. The play was directed by Vincent Ronci Gaeta and produced by Phil Micali and Lisa Tucci.

In 1993 Masi co-founded The Varo Registry of Women Artists, a virtual gallery for contemporary international women artists. The Varo Registry is the recipient of the BBC Web Education Guide and the American Library Association's 1997 Best of the Web awards.

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