I consider myself a Symbolic Abstractionist, incorporating meaningful symbols into fields of abstraction. The paintings shown here began with the idea of flotillas-naval ships moving in formations. I wanted to take this concept, one historically used for war like maneuvers, and switch it into a realm of beauty. Thus the big floating floral and foliage images are flotillas in a world where war is not an option. This is overlaid with the belief in the abstract expressionist concept of over-all composition as I create mini flotilla formations in the hundreds of tiny collaged decorative papers and painted configurations hovering around, near and with the large flotillas. Each area becomes a symbolic microcosm many times hovering at the edge leaving the center open. The openness is symbolic of air, breath, breathing itself. The touch of an artist, the weight of the hand, is considered. I want my work to feel light to the touch, yet lingering. My overarching desire is to make art that beautifies life’s experiences.
Gold leaf is an important tool of mine because it portrays a timeless and universal elegance. I use Gampi paper because of its limpness and color, Chiyogami papers for their decorativeness. Previous work, over a period of 12 years, has been done on papyrus, Abaca, linen, flax, Cave papers, Mexican Bark papers and Indian Lokta. I choose papers that bring with them an ethnic collaboration. Aesthetically my work is a weave of Japan, India and Tibet, cultures wealthy in meaning, symbol, color and purposeful design and whose need for beauty in everyday life is uncompromised.
Since 1969 Pieri has had 24 solo exhibitions, 170 national and international group exhibitions. She has been the recipient of two Pollock-Krasner Grants (1999/1992), Independence Foundation Fellowship in the Arts (2001), a Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Grant (1992). She was included in the 2005 Philadelphia Invitational Portfolio, Philagrafika. She has been a fellow at Yaddo (1991),The MacDowell Colony (1990). In 1990 Pieri was an Artist-in-Residence at Mark diSuvero’s Socrates Sculpture Park where she created a 15 ft. sculpture. In 2006 Pieri’s public art project, Manayunk Stoops: Heart and Home, a series of 9 seating elements fabricated in Italian tesserae, was installed along the Manayunk towpath through the Fairmount Park Art Association’s New Land Marks Program. Working with Philadelphia’s Mural Arts Program, Pieri has completed 9 murals since 2001. In 2008 she completed a mural in College Station, Texas. In 2005 Pieri founded the Cooke Museum of Art, modeled after the Philadelphia Museum of Art, at the Jay Cooke Elementary School in North Philadelphia. This museum is the only museum established within a Philadelphia public school.