Doris Nogueira (Brazil)

October 26, 2012 § Leave a comment

Split. Mixed Media on Paper: 30 in x 44 in, 76.2 cm x 111.76 cm, 2012.

Seize the day. For me every day and every moment has meaning, regardless. It is all part of the continuous cycle of life, where art has been a constant journey. The moment is to celebrate 40 years of my artistic career – or “art making” – and all that art has been in my life. My art is the voice I use to express all things in me and around me: family, community, the world. Today, the feeling of divide I have comes from living in one place, my children afar and my blood family even farther away. The work Split depicts just that.

AR-L: Would you please tell us about the residencies you’ve been involved in during the past months? I know you were doing something with the children of military families and would like to learn more about this work.

DN: I was invited by the Rosenbach Museum and Library in Philadelphia to be a guest artist at Fort Dix Elementary School to work with children of military and deployed parents. As the daughter of an Admiral in the Brazilian Navy and sister of a high commander officer as well I had a lot in common with these children to say the least. The main idea of the project was for the students to write and illustrate letters to deployed parents or dear friends inspired by wartime letters and documents from the museum’s collection. After examining several documents, letters and photos during a field trip to Philadelphia, a letter was chosen with the input of their teachers as a point of departure. The letter from Alexander Biddle to his children dated November 11, 1862 was our inspiration.

Our project is moving right along and the young artists created mixed media prints that highlight their narratives. These two components will be used in an edited children’s book. The goal of this project, funded by the Pew Center, is to bridge the gap between past and present, support the military community as well as to help the wider public understand the experience of soldiers and their families, both past and present. It has been an incredible experience .

AR-L: Your piece for the Diálogo 365: CARPE DIEM exhibition is titled “Split” and I know that like so many, you divide your time between your residence and other places around the world in order to be with your loved ones. What can you tell our readers about the relationship, if you perceive any, between your career of an artist and your experience as an immigrant?

DN: This is something that I will never know. Where would I be, as an artist, had I not left my native country. I know that art is a part of who I am. That the art I create has a profound innate connection to my roots. It feels, still to this date, strange that I carry a “label” as an artist in this country where I have lived for the past 34 years. In comparison, looking back at the history of art in Brazil, where so many artists immigrated to, I have never heard a “label” related to their provenance. They all were embraced and were and are Brazilian artists. This is an interesting thing. I think I am blessed in a way for being able to live and experience both cultures. Although it is very, very hard on me. The Portuguese language has the word SAUDADE that is impossible to translate. Perhaps “longing + missing” put together? This feeling becomes a constant part of my life. I think this is exactly what prompted me to create “Split”. Division of equally feelings or divided reality??? Who knows… Life goes on…

AR-L: Would you like to tell us something about your current projects as an art educator?

DN: The first pilot children’s program I worked at was in 1972. I still love to work with children. In a way I feel that the work of a “teaching artist” is part of your creative life. It gives you the platform to come up with new ideas, new experiments and new projects. The Philadelphia Museum of Art, Appel Farm Arts & Music Center and Woodbury Art in the Street Summer Program give me this great opportunity: to share with children what I know.

AR-L: Are there any current and/or upcoming projects you want to tell us about?

DN: Yes, there is a very exciting project coming up. I just finished the art making part of it. It is a site specific piece for the Museu da Praia in Brazil. “LIFE: 40 years of art making” celebrates my professional artistic career. My concept for this exhibition was to create a scroll of continuous drawing in black Indian ink on rice paper symbolizing a time line. Intersecting the flow of the drawing I will place digital color prints representing different stages of my art. The scroll will be mounted directly on the wall in a prolonged line flowing through the rooms. I am also showing a set of (10) 11”x 17” photographs of interventions with printed 3D block letters LIFE done at the Eastern Shore, MD. For more Information on Museu da Praia check out

I also participated in an amazing Arts Festival this past month. The first Annual Woodbury Fall Arts Festival, where I was one of the featured artists. Check out their blog @ 

AR-L: Since another of the “carpe diem” themes is the idea of the harvest: is there a favorite Fall recipe you’d like to share with us?

DN: Oh! Boy! You got me here. In case you didn’t know I LOVE to cook and create my own dishes. I am also known as a great recycler of leftovers, just ask my kids… What is hard for me some times is to give precise measurements but I will try my best. This is a new Doris’ recipe for chili. Actually I made it today. It sounded like a good hurricane comfort food. Here it goes:

Doris’ White Chili

  • 2 deboned chicken breasts
  • 1 large onion
  • 4 tablespoons of olive oil
  • ½ cup chopped up parsley
  • 2 small cans of white beans
  • 4 cups of chicken broth
  • ½ large cauliflower
  • Chile verde or jalapeño peppers (to taste)
  • Salt to taste

Prep: Cut the chicken in very small pieces almost like ground meet. Onions also cut in small pieces. Boil the cauliflower until soft and make a puree, using a blender, set aside. Chop up the peppers. (remember the “hotness” of the chili is up to you) I like medium. I like to blend the peppers when preparing the cauliflower. It gets really mixed together and fine.

Cooking: In a deep pan put the oil, “sautee” the onion. Add the chicken and let it cook a bit until it is all white. Add the broth and remaining ingredients. Cook it to a boil then turn heat to very low and let all simmer for about 30 minutes or so. We ate it with good corn chips on the side. It serves 4, if you are not greedy.


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You are currently reading Doris Nogueira (Brazil) at Diálogo 365: CARPE DIEM @ Art in City Hall.


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