As a printmaker, Tarsia is part of a tradition of artists who acknowledge that their plates—the pieces of metal, plastic, wood and linoleum that they print from—are the true objects of their affection. Covered with marks, lines, and subtle traces of color, printing plates are often as interesting as the images pulled from them. Each plate is visually complex, offering a fully active and engaged surface that, once transformed into sculpture, reveals both the artist’s obsessive process and the beauty that motivates her to continue. As an environmentalist, Tarsia sees the irony of using plastic and paper to create images that celebrate the beauty of the natural world. “It reflects our society,” she says of the work. “Plastic is everywhere.” The success of her artistic career in Canada was celebrated in June 2007 when she was inducted into the Royal Academy of Arts.
The success of her passion for garden design was celebrated in the January 2008 issue of Manitoba Gardner. Thus, it is fitting that the Museum galleries will resemble the blaze of color and the plant complexity of a summer garden, just as her own Winnipeg garden in known far and wide for both its brilliant color and the plethora of plants that are only supposed to flourish much further south.