Mishell Hoffman

Mixed Media / St. Bernard, La.

Artist Statement

The flow from experience to expression is a river. The motion of life, it's Constance affects us and is affected by us. That expression is shared by what this river carries to us, what it washes away, what we grip closely, and what we reach for. The scars of our hearts turn steadiness into eddies that spin, twist, and dance. Within peaceful depths of our souls it curves, slows, and rests. Our expressions are the stones we create. A place to pause and give back what the pressing current has brought. Whether spoken, sung, or held in our hands they are made of the vibrant and the opaque. Stillness and dance, rhythms of butterfly wings and the cacophonies of machines, the rough edges of memories and the softness of our dreams, the simpleness of what's real and the complexity of understanding. The mixture of experience that occurs within the pathway of our hearts flows freely in unique form. The river now folds around what it helped create, questions in color, subtleties that speak to us when we listen, and secrets to drift into another's heart.


For some, it is impossible to separate the heart of a place from the heart of those who call it home. The distinctive and unique soul of New Orleans, it's color and it's sound pulse within and radiate from Michelle Renee Liberto.
Her hero and father Roy Liberto, an accomplished lifetime jazz trumpet player and band leader, led Michelle to the stages of the Big Easy at the early age of eight. To this day she can still be found there as a singer and band leader herself, passionately making her father proud. Fearlessness and constant rediscovery are her hallmarks, but like the city she loves, Michelle would say it's all for nought if not done in splendid style! Her expression has carried her throughout her life as a seamstress and clothing designer, make-up artist, hairdresser and stylist, interior decorator, singer/ songwriter and band leader, as well as a mixed media artist.
In 2005 the heart of New Orleans was forever cast in new directions and so was Michelle's. After losing nearly all, she embraced what no storm could alter and a course of rediscovery. The wake brought many changes and blessings as well, the greatest being a baby girl, her daughter, Harmony Rose. With reclaimed inspiration she began her journey into mixed media, creating handmade wearable art.
In 2006 Michelle held her first private showing. Received well, she has built steadily on that success. Her artist's heart, her vision in color, and her fire to create are the elements that forge her work.