Making her home in the Berkshires since 1985, Gabrielle Senza has earned a reputation far beyond the Berkshire hills as a prolific artist, activist, musician and social entrepreneur.
Her artwork has been exhibited in galleries throughout the US and abroad, including in New York, Houston, Boca Raton, La Jolla, and Pittsburg as well as Rome, Italy and Havana, Cuba. Work by Senza is included in the collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Museum of Modern Art in New York, in addition to numerous corporate and private collections.
Senza is recognized as one of the country’s top environmental artists and was featured in a traveling group exhibition organized by the Puffin Foundation and sponsored in part by The Rachel Carson Institute titled “Toxic Landscapes: Artists explore their environment” which toured in several venues including Chatham College in Pittsburgh, PA, The Long Beach Island Foundation of the Arts and Sciences in Loveladies, NJ and the National Library in Havana, Cuba.
As a teacher, Senza has inspired students of all ages, from pre-school to adult, by designing and implementing innovative art programs exploring self-expression, creative experimentation and situational contexts. She has led art classes both privately and for institutions including Bard College at Simon’s Rock, IS183 Art School of the Berkshires, Mass MoCA’s Kid Space, Cooper Union, Valley Head School and the Flying Cloud Institute for Arts & Sciences.
Freelancing as an art consultant, curator and critic, Senza has put together extensive art collections for individuals and corporations; organized over 120 exhibitions in dozens of venues including the Kim Foster Gallery in New York, Politecnico Associazione Culturale in Rome and the contemporary art gallery she co-owned and directed from 1989 -1998 known as SPAZI Contemporary Art in Housatonic, MA. Senza has published several art reviews in Art New England and The Berkshire Eagle.
Through the evolution of her art and a personal connection to the issue, Gabrielle Senza became an advocate for victims of abuse and sexual assault, and founded The Red Collaborative, an arts initiative that “gives voice to the voiceless and raises public awareness” about the devastating effects – as well as the prevention – of abuse through collaborative public art initiatives. The Walk Unafraid Project is one of the most popular of these programs and has been installed in several locations throughout the US in collaboration with students, artists, abuse survivors, homeless teens, law enforcement professionals, therapists, municipal leaders and individuals of all ages. Senza’s Walk Unafraid Project was featured in the 2010 Amnesty International Human Rights Arts Festival in Silver Spring, MD.
Closer to home, Senza recently concluded a two-year art project known as the Berkshire Art Kitchen, that involved turning her home into an experimental art space where artists, musicians, writers and social change activists met to share their work and “cook up creativity, connection and change”. Opening up her home to the public to partake in the experiment, Senza successfully hosted over 65 events – including exhibitions, readings, film screenings, house concerts, workshops, and professional development seminars for creatives. In addition, Senza also created a 4-month residency program by providing lodging, a private art studio, and mentorship for a young artist to complete a body of work for publication. The Berkshire Art Kitchen [BAK] saw over 1,000 visitors and the website has had more than 13,000 views since BAK was established in December 2008. The experimental project was modestly funded by Senza with the occasional help of a few generous donors.
With a background in classical music, Senza turned her passion for music into a rewarding second career in 2010 when she picked up her cello after a 12 year hiatus and joined a group of musicians to form a new indie rock band now known as 8 Foot River.
She lives in Housatonic, MA with her adolescent son and spunky dachsmutt.