Christine Romanell : MVA Open Studios


Christine showing one of her prints in front of a wall in her studio. The drawing in this print was used for the laser cutting of the wall sculpture

Manufacturers Village Artist Studios, located in an 1880’s historic industrial complex at 356 Glenwood Avenue in East Orange, NJ, will feature the work of over 60 different artists at its annual open studios weekend, Friday 10/15 (VIP Preview) and Saturday thru Sunday from 11-5, 10/16 and 10/17.

Christine Romanell lives and works in New Jersey. Her work has been discussed in Hyperallergic, MIT Technology Review, Art and Cake, ArtFuse, ArtSpiel and WoArt. She is a recipient of an NEA grant for her work through Chashama in NYC. She has lectured at Pratt and taught at the College of St Elizabeth. Romanell’s BFA is from the School of Visual Arts (NYC) and her MFA is from Montclair State University (Montclair NJ.) Romanell’s work explores non-repeating patterns informed by cosmology and physics, while rooting itself in applied design similar to Islamic patterning.  

Tell me about yourself and your art.

The source material for the permutations in my work come from the properties of self-similarity, meaning the same form at different scales. Fractals are the most common example of self-similarity. Less common are quasicrystal patterns which use rotational symmetry with a complicated set of rules to achieve self-similarity. These generate dimensional forms that create an event horizon, a space where the infinite tessellations of universal physics can intersect with patterns, collapsing the divide between the theoretical and the real.

The repetition of difference is a means of transformation. These patterns channel a deeper meaning that transcends the merely decorative. Carl Sagan once said, “We are all made of star-stuff.” That longing for connection to the origins of creation is the driving force behind all my work.


Wide Ring Interlocken, 2021, 45 x 43 x 10,32 layers of wood, 150lbs., acrylic on laser cut wood

What will we see in your studio?

The pandemic was not nearly as bad as I thought it would be from an artistic viewpoint. I’ve been more productive than ever over the last 18 months. My laser cutting fabricator had to shut down because of the pandemic, so I had to find another way to work. I had the time and space to explore new material. I investigated the capabilities of a desktop digital paper cutting machine. Using layers of paper and acrylic gouache, I was able to produce small works on paper. It’s a nice way to work and experiment with designs before I move onto the more expensive wood or plexiglass fabrications. In addition to the paper piece, I have completed quite a few new wood pieces that were directly informed by the paper works. This body of work was for my solo show at the Monmouth Museum which has been rescheduled for February 2022. Also on display will be limited edition pigment prints, signed and numbered, through Gitana Rosa Gallery.

Double Pink Pentuple, 2021, 32” x 27” x 4”, acrylic on laser cut wood

Lagoon, 2021, 22” x 30” x 4” in acrylic on wood