Three years ago, Artist Theresa Weil was ready to create a large body of artwork showing a technique she had created. For some time she had also been looking for a way to give back to the community by inspiring young women to become leaders. This all came together when she decided to create uniquely crafted portraits to honor a group of women who lead nonprofits across our state.  She says, ”Just painting them would have been the obvious way to approach this project.  But I thought the effort I put into these should be a greater reflection of the deep dedication of each of these women…so I have spent many months, meticulously creating each one using only cut paper.  As the project came together, I thought of the interviews I had done with them, their openness, and how hard they work doing what they love.  I didn’t want to take the easy way out in delivering that message.

Hopefully, these portraits will make them proud.

These women work every day, with just one purpose:
to make life a little easier for those who need their help!”

Without exception they are passionate about what they do.  And don’t doubt for a second that their work changes lives, neighborhoods, and their entire communities. They’re there for the homeless, the poor, the elderly, children with learning challenges or critical illnesses, teenagers living on the streets, the hungry, those suffering from abuse, women trying to re-enter the workforce, and many of the arts organizations that bring joy and balance to all of our lives.  What they do comes from their heart.

Meet the Artist

Theresa Weil is a mixed media artist living in Portland, Oregon

“People often asked me when I knew that I was going to be an artist.  What I know to be true is that it really isn’t something that you suddenly become. It’s just part of you…actually probably part of all of us…when we allow…or are encouraged to let our creativity to emerge. For some, it comes through in cooking. Others become architects. Some smear oil on canvas…or on walls.  Or make costumes.  Or hats.  Or shove plants into the ground that become incredible gardens.  Everyone has it in them to become “that” artist.

For me, that “art” comes in the form of mixed media…recycled and new materials. Although I was schooled in graphic design, it all began when I was greatly influenced by my great Italian aunts who created beautiful recycled art out of discarded scraps and notions from their workplace in New York City’s garment factories.

Today, my work includes printmaking, reverse glass, acrylic and oil painting, paper collage assemblages,collage portraits and three-dimensional collage portraits. I also spend much of my time as an art teacher, conducting creative workshops where I pass my techniques along to students of all ages.”

My greatest thrill is when I see the “artist” beginning to emerge in my students’ work.  Seeing them leave, open to the flow of new ideas and willing to work hard,I can’t wait to see where their creativity leads them.