Tara Poncavage was born in Reading, PA and grew up in the small town of Tamaqua, PA. From a young age, she has relied on art as a means of expression and creative outlet. In 1991, she attended Pennsylvania Governor’s School for the Arts, concentrating on drawing and printmaking. She then studied at Tyler School of Art in Elkins Park, PA, receiving a BFA in Painting in 1996.
At the time, the artist created abstract landscapes in acrylic paint which were strongly influenced by Impressionism. She was particularly drawn to nightscapes which emphasized depth, contrast, and artificial light. These paintings characteristically had no figures present, but instead invited the viewer to experience the landscape firsthand.
More recently, the artist has transitioned to create a body of very different oil paintings. Theseworks reference photographs and black and white film stills, and unlike earlier work, often portray female figures within starkly contrasted urban backdrops. Similar to earlier works, these paintings are impressionistic of a moment in time. However, the viewer is forced to take on the role of an observer, left to determine what is actually taking place.
Tara Poncavage is currently based in Lehigh Valley, PA. She has participated in several group shows, and hopes to continue showing work in the area.
Some of the most powerful and meaningful images we see exist in film and photos, in contrast to the world we experience first hand. Shadows and light are captured to record a single moment in time. A memory, much like a reproduction of an image, may be distorted or enhanced each time it is revisited. One’s own experiences can be reduced into a series of vignettes that are colored by memory and duplicated for others.
The subject, particularly the image of a female, is typically observed by the viewer through a one way mirror. When the subject is self-aware, able to contemplate their own visage and also gaze back at the viewer, the exchange becomes even more complex. The question of who is the observer and/or subject remains unanswered. The simultaneous shared experience becomes intertwined, creating a multi-layered reality.