Painting by day, dancing by night

We could tell you a lot about this artist, but we can't reveal all the details... So, read carefully what we are about to tell you and you are invited to investigate further!

Ana Pais Oliveira is a Portuguese artist with a degree in Plastic Arts (Painting) and a PhD in Art & Design (Painting) from the School of Fine Arts, University of Porto (Portugal). During her PhD she presented the project “Colour between pictorial and architectural space: relational processes in contemporary artistic practices”. Her art is very special, with very particular details, interconnecting colour and space, painting and architecture.

She is a resident artist at FACE – Fórum de Arte e Cultura de Espinho, where she also has her atelier. She collaborates in several initiatives, such as the Art and Design Nucleus at the Research Institute in Art, Design and Society (i2ADS); the AIC Study Group on Environmental Colour Design; and APcor – Associação Portuguesa da Cor (Portuguese Association of Colour).

Ana has a long curriculum, with a vast experience and participations in exhibitions in several galleries. Since 2003, she has exhibited individually and collectively, in countries such as: Portugal, Spain, United Kingdom, Italy, Switzerland, France, Germany, Brazil, Holland, etc.

Furthermore, she has received several distinctions and awards, both national and international. She has participated as member of the jury in different projects and as the curator of two collective art exhibitions. She has also participated in conferences and seminars, having recently presented her work in Genoa, Newcastle, Valencia, Lisbon, Monção and Porto.

Her daily work is quite special: she is a painter by day and a dance teacher by night! Ana works with art galleries and develops assigned projects, reserving her mornings and early afternoons for her atelier work. In the afternoon and early evening, she dedicates herself to her other passion, teaching Ballroom Dancing classes to groups of all ages. This way she manages to conciliate these two artistic areas which, in various aspects, complement and enrich each other.

The complexities of being an artist

Despite already earning great recognition for her work, Ana also feels several difficulties in her job. She says she always works without knowing what results she will get, both in terms of visibility and recognition and in financial terms. On the other hand, it is a very solitary job that implies a large investment, namely in what comes to the production of the pieces, materials, working time, transportation, publicity, etc.

“It is something that can only be done with a lot of passion and commitment, because in fact the uncertainties are constant.” – Ana

Ana also explains that, if a work is sold, the galleries usually keep 50% of the sale price. There are also various situations in which the artist participates in initiatives and projects without any financial support, leaving her to bear the costs of production, transport and travel, always in the expectation of greater visibility and exposure.

She ends by referring to the great lack of support for Art and Culture professionals, a difficulty felt by many artists.

The difficulties of the pandemic

The emergence of the covid-19 pandemic brought numerous consequences and new problems, intensifying existing difficulties, particularly the ones affecting those in less stable situations.

Ana explains the main challenge she had to deal with was to maintain motivation and optimism. If, on a normal day-to-day basis, it’s often difficult for us to keep our spirits up, it is even more difficult at a time of crisis…

However, not all was negative. Ana told us she was lucky to have been commissioned to create a painting for the Vinha Boutique Hotel, in Porto, before the pandemic broke out. Luckily, the order was kept and Ana dedicated herself to this project, in 2020 and 2021, which gave her motivation and helped her overcome a period of great difficulty.

Currently, she has been preparing a solo exhibition that will inaugurate on the 18th of March, at Galeria S. Mamede, in Porto (Portugal). It is a project she is very excited about and invited us to!

Who will embark with us on this adventure, to find out a little more about the work of this artist, with still so much to uncover?!


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