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Cara DiStefano, hailing from central Ohio, USA, spent a significant portion of her childhood exploring the forests surrounding her parents' home and her grandfather's cabin. Her fascination with wooded landscapes, imbibed since a young age, has been a constant motif echoing globally throughout her art career.

In 2016, she earned her Bachelors degree in Metalwork and Art History from the Memphis College of Art in Memphis, Tennessee, USA. Fueled by her passion for fire and metal, she found herself drawn to the Festiwal Wysokich Temperatur (Festival of High Temperatures) hosted by the Eugeniusz Geppert Academy of Fine Arts in Wrocław, Poland, in 2018.

Subsequently, she was selected for their funded Interdisciplinary MFA in English program, completing her studies in winter 2020 but is still active in the Academy's foundry focusing on cast iron.

Currently residing in Wrocław, Poland Cara finds inspiration in the natural world, religious and occult objects, anthropology and actively collects fragments to infuse into her artistic endeavors.

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Artist Statement

While my past work focused on my place attachment to wooded areas and the expression of the ground beneath my feet, my current work is inspired by my religious upbringing and the anthropological idea of object as sacred:

In my sculpture, I embark on a transformative journey influenced by my Catholic upbringing and the resonance of sacred objects and icons. Having spent years harboring resentment towards Catholicism and organized religions due to the abrasiveness experienced in Catholic schools, I've come to appreciate spirituality with time while still claiming no organized religion as my own. I now connect my sculptural works with the universal concept of object used in various daily, religious or occult practices, guided by an evolving understanding and respect for the intricate interplay between materiality and personal or congregational meaning.

Inspired by the anthropological study of such objects, these artworks explore the symbolic and tangible power of iron, capturing its ubiquity within our bodies and the earth. Through casting, I shape delicate elements like leaves and fabric into enduring forms, symbolizing protection and permanence. This artistic odyssey delves into the primal connection between iron and safeguarding, inviting viewers to explore the interplay of vulnerability and resilience. In selecting things, shapes and textures of personal importance, I aim to construct what could be considered as reliquaries—objects of memory and feelings, weaving a narrative that transcends the boundaries of time and spirituality.

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Selected Exhibitions

  • Festiwal Wysokich Temperatur/ Eugeniusz Geppert Academy of Fine Art, Wrocław, Poland, 2018-23

  • FE - Współczesna Rzeźba z Żeliwa-Contemporary Cast Iron/ Neon Gallery ASP, Wrocław, Poland, 2023

  • Młody Rzeźba 2022, plac Nowy Targ, Wrocław, Poland 2022

  • NCCCIAP Steering Committee- Mold Masters Subcommittee member, Sloss Virtual Conference 2021 

  • The Third Room/ Galleria Aula, Wrocław, Poland 2020​

  • #homework with Dom Publiczny/ Zoom Online Exhibition 2020​

  • Art Quake/ Gallery of Solidarity Kotor, Montenegro 2019​

  • Plein Air/ Kazimierski Ośrodek Kultury Promocji i Turystyki, Kazimierz Dolny, Poland, 2019​

  • Alumni Exhibition/ Memphis College of Art, Memphis, TN, 2018 

  • F.I.R.E Artists Pop-up/ Metal Museum grounds, Memphis, TN, 2015-18​

  • Foundry Invitational and River Exhibition Participant, Memphis, TN, 2015-18

  • One Beer Home By Midnight/ Crosstown Arts 430 Gallery, Memphis, TN, 2017 

  • If A Tree Falls/ Crosstown Arts 430 Gallery, Memphis, TN 2016​

  • BFA Winter Exhibition/ Rust Hall Memphis College of Art Main Gallery, Memphis, TN, 2015​

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