–Tiera Tanner, WDW Radio Team
Epcot becomes a park-wide gallery of Disney art during the International Festival of the Arts. Exploring the imaginative interpretations, skill sets, and stylizations from each artist remains my favorite part of this festival.
WonderGround artist Fenway Fan returns to the festival this year with not only new cut paper artworks – such as those distinguished at last year’s festival – but a whole new style to excite and inspire guests.
Fan presented two new shadow box creations, crafted with paper and pristine detail. My Home My Temple featured characters and elements from Disney/Pixar’s Turning Red. Fan said that the film expressed a similar background and upbringing as her own.
“Each brick, candle, and hanging bell in [My Home My Temple] is whispering a tale that retrieves my faraway memories with a hint of sandalwood incense – peaceful and heartwarming,” Fan relayed. “I hope my piece can recall other’s lovely memories from childhood.”
The second paper piece, My Pretty Pretty Hat – WandaVision, is an enchanting dive into the mind of the Marvel character, Wanda Maximoff. Inspired by the Disney+ series WandaVision, Wanda is poised with her hands sparking magic. Her profile expresses a cheerful, thoughtful demeanor. A stylized static fills the corners of the shadow box and elements of the home Wanda created fill the background around her. The focal point, Wanda’s hat, is central in the piece. The hat holds Wanda’s most loved and precious things in her life – her home and her family. The flat, colored paper is layered skillfully to capture emotion and detail in each character.
Fan explained that WandaVision was one of her favorite shows to watch during the pandemic.
“The show allowed me to reflect on things that I overlooked or have subliminal influences that make me me today,” she said. “Love is the best healing power, it nourishes our courage to live on and create our own reality.”
Fan hoped that her work would “bring love, courage, healing, and magical vibes to everyone.”
In addition to her inspiring shadow boxes, Fan also introduced several abstract paintings, which she referred to as “simply freedom in an expressive way.”
Fan further explained:
“I let go of the control of the brain and let it flow with my heart. It’s like meditation – I’m experiencing oneness through my art. For these two particular pieces, Improvisation – Castle and Fireworks and Improvisation – Tree of Life, it’s like a collaboration between the subconscious and conscious. Before starting, I meditate and mind traveling back to the parks, visualizing myself watching fireworks in front of the castle, looking up at the gigantic tree, and counting the animals on it. Feel the movement it brought to my heart and let my hands flow nonstop until it’s finished. I hope everyone enjoys finding lots of different things in the art, either animals or creatures, buildings, or even abstract emotions! Feel free to revisit them on different occasions, you will find new stuff, that’s the magic of abstract art!”
In Improvisation – Tree of Life, viewers witnessed a dazzle of swirling, interconnecting lines of vibrant orange, green and blue on a white background to create the image of the Tree of Life at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. A curvy, black contour line solidifies the concept of this park icon. Just as Fan explained, closer examination of the work leads to exciting discoveries of colorful linework, like the actual Tree of Life reveals animal figures.
Fan hoped her abstract endeavors would speak to audiences.
“Abstract art may seem difficult to decipher at first, please don’t forget they are more than a static picture you see, it’s your emotions and memories that connect the dots and make the art complete,” she said. “I hope my artwork can be a harbor that makes the audience feel recharged, healed, and loved once connected to it.”
Fan also encouraged young artists to keep creating art.
“Do not overwhelm yourself with ideas like how many likes or followers you have, it’s just a number, pay attention to what you create and families/ friends who support you,” said Fan.
“Art never lies: Artist is the art itself, artworks are windows that we invite all audiences to our art life. Embrace yourself and never fail to look at everything from the bright side.”
To experience Fan’s creations at this year’s festival and meet the artist, visit the artist tent in the Odyssey Building in Epcot.
Tiera Tanner lives her life spreading pixie dust. Whether creating art in her studio, or raising her three young children, Tiera is inspired by the magic of Disney, and is always encouraging her husband to plan their next trip to the parks.