Hope Gallery Archive


Summer Perspectives

  • Brett S. Poza
  • Bonnie J. Twomey
  • Petronila Rivera

Life Uninterrupted

  • Nancy Carbonaro
  • Abdellah RamRam

Inner Landscapes

  • Bruce Greene

Summer Perspectives

(June 19 – August 31, 2009)

Brett S. Poza

Brett S. Poza seeks to illuminate more than the form and function of the objects of our everyday lives. Growing up in a household with handmade crafts, original art, and antiques, it became evident early on that the objects in our lives come with a story- who created them, why, and for what purpose? In her obsessively patterned, stark pen and ink drawings, wrenches gaze back from the page with a contemplative stare, while plain white boxers orbit over a bleak landscape, and an old vacuum cleaner realizes an empty future. The story continues, as we see not only where the objects that surround us have been, but where it is they dream of going.

Brett graduated from Rhode Island School of Design in 1981 with a degree in textiles. After spending the next 5 years working in window display, graphic design, textile color separation, as a gallery clerk and as a waitress, and experiencing both professional and personal crises, she found herself in a major depression. Coming out of that experience she determined that her employment would be in some form of service and she eventually was hired to work in a clubhouse for psychiatrically disabled adults. Her own experience of voicelessness and depression combined with the stories she heard from the club members inspired her both personally and professionally. In 1993 she graduated from Lesley University with a concentration in Expressive Therapies. She currently works in a State Hospital promoting creativity and recovery.

Brett was raised in Massachusetts and lived for 23 years in Rhode Island. She considers herself a die-hard New Englander who should be living in a tropical climate. She has two brilliant, creative children, one questionable and one sweet cat, and a wonderful husband who is a composer. They live in a little house west of Boston.

Artist Statement

My engagement in art school was as a perpetual outsider. I studied textiles because it was familiar and comfortable. I still have a love for textiles and materials connected to fiber arts; however, my mind always felt constrained by a medium that is very grounded in technique and largely non-narrative. As a result, I have tried over the years to develop my drawing to speak more to the outsider perspective that I am familiar with. My drawings are meant to tell stories, often stories that I imagine from the viewpoint of things or situations that are voiceless. I look for contradictions and try to add a humorous edge to the pictures through the way I draw. So although I think the drawings look “serious” because of the pen and ink technique I use, they are supposed to be kind of funny, sometimes even surreal. I enjoy playing with ideas, especially silly, contradictory ideas. Ultimately, the commonality between my artwork and my work as an art therapist is an interest in stories.


Bonnie J. Twomey

I began my artistic journey at the age of 14, finding oil painting my preferred medium.  To learn other techniques I participated in oil classes at the Museum School of Fine Arts in the mid to late 1980’s, then enrolled at the Boston Architectural Center at about the same time. I later received commissions to sketch home portraits. I studied at the DeCordova Museum School and at Bill Velmure Studios in Wakefield, MA.  I majored in graphic design at Northeastern University for two years, receiving my bachelors of arts in psychology.

Being involved in the mental health field I found a group called, “artists without borders,” at Lesley College.   As a member I engaged in discussions with other mental health professionals who like myself, share an interest in art and find it an essential part of recovery and self-identity and discovery.  This group conveyed a sense of unity with professionals and clients without any boundaries or unrealistic expectations.

I have been a member of the Winchester Art Association, the Concord Art Association the Lexington Arts and Crafts Society and the West Medford Open Studios.

I enjoyed the position of Co-Chairperson of the painter’s guild at the Lexington Arts and Crafts Society. Senator Edward Kennedy was presented a piece of my art work for his dedication to the Massachusetts Association for Mental Health. I have also won several ribbons for my work at juried competitions.

Presently, I continue to show my art at exhibits in the Boston area, and attend classes at the Lorraine DeGroot Studios in Arlington, MA.

Artist Statement

When I pick up my paint brush the whole world disappears.  It is just me and my creative muses.   Upon completion of a successful painting I am inspired to do more and to share it with others.  For me, painting is part talent and part technique.   I enjoy the challenge of creating a piece of art in its purest form.

The subject matter in my art is mainly seascapes or peaceful nature scenes. Spending most of my life on cape cod at our family vacation home, I grew up on the water.  I feel connected to the ocean and find it completely awe inspiring.  I have an earthy personality and love creating the fall season full of its changing colors and foliage.

Petronila Rivera

Born 1962 in Lawrence, Massachusetts.

I grew up and reside in Lawrence. I attended Lawrence Public Schools and my favorite subject was and still is art.

I come from a large family.  I have two brothers and five sisters.  My parents came from Puerto Rico in 1959 and settled down in Lawrence.  My youngest brother was a good artist. He did a lot of drawings and passed away when he was thirty-three years old. The reason I speak of him, is because I will always remember that he told me never to give up on my artwork no matter what.  After he passed away, I held true to my promise.  I enrolled in art school and began to really focus on my artwork.

From 2006-2007,  I studied Liberal Arts at Northern Essex Community College in Haverhill, MA. College was a forum for me to display my artwork.  As a result of one of the art shows, I was chosen to attend the Montserrat College of Art in Beverly, MA and the New Hampshire Institute of Art.

From 2005-2007, I studied acrylic painting using still life and live models at Essex Art Center on 56 Island Street in Lawrence, Massachusetts.

On April 24th 2009, I went to MASSPRA and displayed some of my artwork.  There I met Artist RamRam Abdellah and have been invited to attend the Hope Gallery at Boston University.

As a child, art came easy to me.  I would use crayons and pencils to draw and color cartoon characters, flowers, birds and sceneries.  I remember feeling at peace when I did my artwork. Through my creations, I get these feelings of peace. It’s a wonderful thing to overcome the stress and worries of life.  I tend to change my emotions and focus on the beauty of things around me.  So I paint another peaceful world around me and I become one with the painting.

I love to paint more than draw I find it easier to express myself.  I always have an open mind towards art.  I like to learn new things and ways to create nature’s beauty.

Artist Statement

Hello everyone, I would love to welcome you to the world of art.  Art to me is like a mother and her newborn child as she shares her love and compassion holding her child dear to her heart.  Nourishing and caring for her child and watching her/him blossom into this world.

Art is my life, my escape when things go wrong and my celebration when they go right.  I love to paint sceneries, especially nature’s beauty such as: oceans, lakes, rivers, meadows, animals and people.  I also paint things that come to me in my mind.  I use real subjects sometimes to help me paint and make my paintings more realistic, this helps me when I need to know where and how the light and shadows are cast upon my works.

I use acrylic paint, watercolors, charcoal, chalk, ink, graphite pencils, drawing pencils and molding paste.

I want people to see my art and feel the peace, warmth, serenity and beauty of nature.  My grandchildren call me sunshine.  I wish I could transform my paintings into a little or a lot of that sunshine to everyone.


Life Uninterrupted

  • Nancy Carbonaro
  • Abdellah RamRam

(January 30 – April 30, 2009)

Nancy Carbonaro

The first thing that comes to mind about Nancy Carbonaro is that she was literally “born on wheels”. Born in the ambulance, this seemed to set the tone for the rest of her life.

Nancy was born in Iowa, then moved to Minnesota, down to Indiana, up to Wisconsin (for college),  back to Minneapolis, then Massachusetts in 1989. After receiving a degree in Home Economics in Business from the University of Wisconsin – Stout in 1984, she moved back Minneapolis.  Starting off as a Financial Typesetter, she was able to learn graphic design skills that she loved.  Her next position was in the food industry, working as a Sales Rep. for a local Food Broker. After 5 years, she decided it was time to experience a new part of the country. She accepted a Sales Representative position with Land O’Lakes in the Boston area. For the next 7 years, she progressed up the corporate ladder achieving the position of Boston District Sales Manager.

It was during her first few months in Boston that she bought a camera to document this new part of the United States that she had never seen. The history, the architecture and the landscape were very different and she wanted to capture this before she was moved to another part of the country with her job.

Falling in love with the images that she was creating, it was only a matter of time when the passion for photography would overcome her desire to sell dairy products. After taking courses in photography at Mass. College of Art, New England School of Photography and RISD, Nancy started her journey of becoming a full-time professional photographer. She left Land O’Lakes in 1997 and started freelancing as a photographer.

In 2002, she opened a photography studio in Wellesley, MA where she specializes in creating fine art portraits of children, families and corporate executives. Her passion is connecting with people in many different types of settings. She also photographs special events and corporate clients. Some of her clients include: Tufts, KPMG, Wellesley College and the National YWCA.

One of the many things that Nancy loves about photography is that it gives her the opportunity to connect with people of the world. In a pursuit of furthering her photography skills, Nancy has traveled to Cuba and Mexico to study with the former Magnum photographer, Ernesto Bazan. These workshops have not only changed her perspective of her work, but her view of the world. Seeing and documenting the lives of people living in third-world countries has had a profound impact on Nancy. Her mission is to bring to light the condition in which these people live in on a daily basis.

In 2007, she traveled to Cambodia with Drs. Anne & John Watt who were doing research for a Non-profit organization. Again, she experienced a world where people have suffered, and, where they are continuously subjected to the harsh treatment of their government. Between the slums of Phnomh Pehn and the poverty of the countryside villages, Nancy has captured the lives of the Cambodian people up close and personal. Being the quiet observer, she brings the viewer as close as possible to her subjects.

Currently, Nancy is the elected President of the Commercial Industrial Photographers of NE and has won numerous awards for her portraits and documentary work.

Outside of photography, Nancy is married to Ted Carbonaro and lives in Newton, MA.  She has a step-daughter, Nicole, and two cats, Sophie and Cleo. She enjoys travel, hiking, skiing, figure skating, go-kart racing and many other outdoor activities. Her greatest joy is spending time with Ted.

Artist Statement

When I purchased my first camera, I bought it for the sole purpose of using it for a Visual Diary of my short time that I would spend living in the Boston area. Little did I realize, how this little camera would transform my world and how I saw it. I quickly fell in love with capturing moments in time that were literally, moments. Creating photographs that would keep these memories forever. The more I photographed, the more I came to realize that there was so much more than just using this piece of equipment as a memory keeper.

This was the first time in my life that I had started to realize that I could express myself through the work that I was creating. That how I was seeing the world, could be captured in a photograph. I also started to realize, that there was power in the images – that they could help other people experience new people, places and distant lands that they had never traveled to. I could transform the lives of those that I photographed and those who viewed the images.

I believe that I was given this “gift of creativity” to be able to help those around me who have been less fortunate. “I Shine for the World to See” is my guiding statement. This is not about me, this is about creating a light for the peoples of the world that live in darkness. Their darkness may be in their living conditions, their government, or in their minds. They may not know how to access their voice. They may not know how to take a stand, but I am taking a stand for them, so that they may be seen and heard.

This body of work brings Cuba and Cambodia to our world. My hope is that the viewer will leave with a sense of what life is like on a daily basis in these countries. How would you be if you were living under the overhang of an old warehouse separated from the elements (and your neighbors) with only a thin sheet of cloth? Sleeping on wood slats with no mattress? Or, if you were paid $20 a TON for dried tobacco leaves and a bottle of cooking oil costs $2.50? What would you want the world to know about your life? How would you want people to help you?

Nancy Carbonaro


Abdellah RamRam

(Born 1966) A native of Morocco, Abdellah RamRam has been drawing his entire life and moved to the United States in 2000. RamRam uses a ballpoint pen, colored markers, and pencil to create his art. Using these simple tools, RamRam intricately forms designs of human figures, animals and elements from nature. Tiny circles the size of a sesame seed creates the lines making up the images of RamRam’s forms. Images of men, women, eyes, faces, trees, birds and geometric shapes are intricately detailed with bright colors, unusual texture and patterns.

Artist Statement

My real inspiration comes in the evening when I can see the world in front of me without interruption. My own art celebrates life, humanity, nature, and spirituality. In my recent work I have focused on such passionate matters as creation, Adam and Eve, and a portrait of Christ as I see him. As I become immersed in my work these heavy subject matters almost become muted by the intricate and obsessive patterns of color and texture. I allow myself to be seduced by this meditative process. I only hope my audience will also be seduced by, at least, the visual beauty of this work; no matter what spiritual or cultural background.


Inner Landscapes

(September 26- November 7, 2008)

Bruce Greene

Bruce Greene grew up in the town of Dover, Massachusetts, where he attended public schools.  It became clear at an early age that he was very creative.  He became more interested in pursuing art at around the age of 19.  He studied art in college at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and the New England School of Art and Design.  He became ill around 1980 and was treated at a psychiatric facility.  He was able to work art into his schedule every day for almost two decades and continues to do so today.  He worked at The Cambridge Art Association Stebbins Gallery and critiqued at The Copley Society.  He also took classes at The Cambridge Adult Education Center.  He is largely self-taught.  He also teaches art workshops through DBSA  (Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance of Boston) and here at the Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation.  He continues to learn from observing nature and the world around him.

Artist Statement

I have always aspired to be a good artist.  Besides being a painter, I am also a pianist and a singer.  I began drawing seriously at around the age of 19.  I changed my major in college from business to art and suddenly found direction and purpose.  When I paint, I am happy and contented, in a magical world of my own.  Eventually I got pretty good at it.

I started going out into the community.  I entered competitions, and had shows with other artists. I think art has had an influence on my mental health and recovery.  It is very much a channel for communication and healing.  If you notice a call to practice art in your own life, I encourage you to follow it.  I hope you enjoy this collection of my own artwork.  May other artists paint on!

Bruce Greene