Brett S. Poza received her BFA from Rhode Island School of Design, an MA in Expressive Art Therapy from Lesley University and an MFA from Massachusetts College of Art and Design (MassArt). She worked as a rehabilitation supervisor and art therapist for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for many years, using a studio based and recovery oriented approach to art therapy.
Nature, the us of materials such as wood and fibers, and photography as a source for imagery, drive her practice, which is grounded in close observation of detail and drawing. As a registered art therapist, group facilitator and teacher, Brett ran workshops and classes for adults, primarily in locked settings. She found that the structure of long term residential facilities created an opportunity to develop individual strengths in a unique way. The places where she worked were highly supportive of the work she did, providing materials and equipment for sculpture, pyrography, furniture building and restoration, quilt making, felting, weaving, painting, drawing, digital photography, creative writing, art history and the use of technology for basic graphic design and layouts. She found it motivating to help people learn skills that they could continue to develop independently. Secondary to the processing and production of works was the development of venues to show pieces outside of the locked environment, as well as the creation of a revolving online gallery sponsored by MassPRA ( Massachusetts Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association ) and a short film made by students from Berklee College of Music. The goal was to have people rendered invisible by the mental health system become visible through their work.
Brett has recently had a solo show of her work as an Artist in Residence at the Lamar Soutter Library at Umass Medical School in Worcester and at the Winter Works show at the Bromfield Gallery in Boston ( December 2019). She was featured along with two other artists in the New Talent Show at The Alpha Gallery in May of 2019 and in August 2019 in the Summer Selections Show . In July 2019 she was also in a group show at The Boston Sculptor's Gallery. Prior to this she was part of group show at MassMOCA in North Adams, at the Doran Gallery at Massart (May 2019), and at the Lyceum Gallery at The Derryfield School in Manchester, NH in 2018. She was in a collective show about traveling to Cuba in the Student Life Gallery at Massart in October 2019, and in the Away Show at Massart in November of 2019. Prior to this she had shown in galleries in Providence, RI; Mesa, AZ; and at the Center For Psychiatric Rehabilitation at Boston University. Photographs of the disused areas of the (recently destroyed) Westborough State Hospital, including the Power House and what used to be part of the Lyman School for Boys, were on permanent display at the Central Offices of the Department of Mental Health in Boston for many years.
Brett has been a visiting lecturer and graduate student mentor at Massachusetts College of Art and Design. Prior to that she supervised and mentored many graduate and undergraduate art and expressive therapy students in her practice as an art therapist.
Her name is from Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises, after the character Lady Brett Ashley. She is in fact married to a matador, and lives outside Boston with her family, one greyhound, 4 cats, 5 hens and one perpetually hungry Oscar.
Brett S. Poza firstname.lastname@example.org @theboneartist