By Susan Nolan
Upon entering the Maryland Cultural & Conference Center (MC3), vibrant colors and cherub-like faces stare back at you from canvases. It’s easy to describe Maria Buszinski’s work as “cheerful” or “whimsical.” After a moment’s contemplation, however, you see her subject matter is grittier, politically and socially relevant.
In her first solo exhibition, the artist known as Momma Rain takes on the topics of bigotry, racism and violence in modern-day America with pieces that pay homage to the Lafayette Square protestors and George Floyd in a show entitled “This Land is Made for You and Me?”
“The bright colors are me, but we are living in some dark times,” she says.
Momma Rain draws from her own experiences as a first generation Filipino-American. She immigrated to the United States as a toddler with her physician mother and grew up in Bowie. She now lives outside Annapolis. “This is where I am from, but in recent years, the political climate has me asking, ‘Do I belong here?’” she says. “That’s why I’ve titled this show ‘This Land Is Made for You and Me?’ with a question-mark.”
Her husband, engineer Bill Buszinski, is her supportive collaborator on two multimedia pieces: a bright orange sculpture containing a three-part diorama, Candy Coup Shadow Boxes, and a paper mobile titled The Chandelier. Both pieces are inspired by the events of January 6, 2021.
Husband Bill says his wife has always been an artist but only recently began pursuing her passion full-time and professionally. Previously, she ran a restaurant and raised son Jaden, now a freshman at Berklee College of Music in Boston.
In 2020, she posted a picture of one of her paintings online. It sold and a new career was born.
Momma Rain’s personal favorite painting is a portrait of a young Filipino girl, simply titled “Girl”, but she is also fond of a three-piece series titled “Under the Olive Tree”, featuring children of various ethnicities. “That’s where the hope is. In the future,” she says.
The exhibition will be at MC3 in Annapolis through Feb. 5. The public is invited to an artist’s reception, Jan. 28, 6-8 pm, RSVP at mc3annapolis.org.