Christine Palamidessi grew up along the Allegheny River in Western Pennsylvania among a family of Tuscan immigrants who enjoyed singing, dancing, hunting, winemaking and making all sorts of things with their hands. Having absorbed the aesthetics of her ancestors, she took to the road, leaving her hometown in the 80s to live in New York City and later moving to Boston. She has studied mask-making and
Her breastplates and monotypes have been on exhibit in Boston’s State House and galleries in Boston, Washington DC, Woodstock, Vermont, Pittsburgh, and in exhibitions in Tel Aviv, Lecce, Otranto
Before returning to her early training in the visual arts, Palamidessi worked as a writer and is a published novelist. THE VIRGIN KNOWS and THE FIDDLE CASE are available online and in libraries, and as ebooks. In 2020, she completed a ten year 'love-of-family-art-and-writing' project, BRIDGE OF LOVE. It's a book about her grandparents who fell in love in in a small village in Tuscany in1919 and emigrated to the New World. She, along with Carol Albright, are editors of the book AMERICAN WOMEN, ITALIAN STYLE. For 12 years she taught writing and Ethnic Literature at Boston University.
“Grandmothers,” her memoir, is engraved on a granite monolith and installed as public
art at Boston's MBTA station, Jackson Square, on the Orange Line.
A pause in my working day at Vernon Street Studios, Somerville, MA, to show you"Nile River" and "Shedding" masks.
In March 2020, at the start of the Covid crisis, Palamidessi began her Nike Goddess Series: a collection of cartapesta masks that are avatars of victory that embody words we have heard repeated during the pandemic. In the mythological sphere, Nike is air born; she flies from battlefield to battlefield, encouraging humans to be their best selves, to take on challenge and strive for Victory. Palamidessi's powerful full-face masks bring the past forward, reweaving myth, words, and present time, to expose the persistence of human's connection to divine and cosmic order. (Exhibition of the Goddess Nike Series is scheduled for October 2021 at Galatea Fine Art in Bostons' SOWA district.)
Palamidessi's awards include the Barbara Demming Award for Women Artists, an UrbanArt award for public art, a Dante Alighieri Fellowship, BAU Institute residency, and Mass MoCA residency. She was a Visiting Artist at the American Academy in Rome. In 2017. With her husband Matthew, Palamidessi established an endowment for Italian Studies at the University of Pittsburgh.
Palamidessi is a long-time Iyengar yoga practitioner and yoga teacher.