Cristiana came to Tulsa 23 years ago from Salvador de Bahia in Brazil. Bringing elements of the rich culture from where she originates, Salvador, the first capital of Brazil from 1549-1763, is the mecca of blended cultures between European, African, and Amerindian. “My culture inspires me,” explains Cristiana, “Salvador, the oldest city in Brazil, is a very mystical city full of these interrelationships between Africans, Europeans, Portuguese, and natives.”
It contains extreme beauty and deep pain in its vast history, for the city was also the first slave market in the New World in 1558. Yet, with this history also comes powerful traditions of art, song, dance, and religion.
Specifically the religion Candomblé, an African diasporic religion that developed in Brazil during the 19th century. It arose through a combination of traditional religions of West Africa, especially that of the Yoruba, and the Roman Catholic form of Christianity. Fascinated with African art and culture, Cristiana says, “I respect their religion a lot. Witnessing one of their rituals when I was a kid, I was so impressed, and that never left my mind.”
This is the inspiration behind her art and a tool to help her stay connected to her culture. “When I came to the United States, I was leaning towards knowing more about Brazil here than when I was there, working through my feelings of being homesick” (Cristina).
Along with African religion, nature is also her muse. She explains growing up in an idyllic beach house in Brazil, spending many summers of her youth there. “I collected a lot of seashells. I was always feeling their texture. When you look at my work today, you see a fusion of these inspirations.”
Following her father’s footsteps, she received her degree in Architecture, then worked towards an MA in Printmaking. But it was when she took ceramic classes at the University of Tulsa that she found her calling. “I fell in love with it,” explains Cristiana. “I waited two years to get a position at TU and eventually received my MFA in Ceramics.”
Cristiana is quite an accomplished student of Fine Art, and today she is paying it forward as a teacher herself. Currently, she teaches Ceramics and 3D design at TU, Art Foundations, 2D Design and Art Appreciation at Tulsa Community College, and Arts at Felicitas Mendez International School in Tulsa.
About her Art:
She describes her Art as conceptual, symbolic, and decorative ceramics. Fusing iconic elements, rich textures, and blending multiple colors explain the unique quality of her pieces “‘ I look for specific blends that I cannot duplicate” explains Cristiana.
Growing up, she watched her mother paint with watercolors and feels much of her technique and influence is attributed to her mother’s watercolor paintings.
She hand-builds everything, using a slab roller, coil, and multiple glazes. “In sculpture work, I can build around paper, or I can build around molds. So there are different techniques according to my project,’ explains Cristiana. “You start building with soft clay, then let the pieces dry. Once bone dry, they go for the first firing, which we call the bisque firing. After the first firing, the pieces are ready to receive the glazes.” She fires at low temperatures, combining layers of glazes and stain, giving her the desired textured results and glossy look akin to what we see in nature. “Once I’m happy with the result, I don’t fire them again.”
Download the App
Join our collective journey with Budget Collector.
Ready to Plan A Visit?
Find Christiana’s Art at 108 Contemporary Gallery in the heart of the Arts District in downtown Tulsa.
Local Hotels & Restaurants
While visiting 108 Gallery, you will be surrounded by amazing bars, restaurants, museums and art galleries.
- Woody Guthrie Center A public museum dedicated to the life and legacy of American folk musician and singer-songwriter Woody Guthrie.
- Amelias Wood Fired Cuisine
Popular, upmarket choice featuring wood-fired American plates in an airy setting with arty accents.
- Guthrie Green
Concerts, festivals, green markets, fitness classes, a sleek cafe & more in an urban park.
- Holiday Inn Express
Downtown Tulsa hotel with indoor pool and restaurant
Collections of Cristiana Prado
“If you get a chance to experiment a with clay, you’re gonna love it because it has so many possibilities. It’s a very demanding material and you have to be very patient. Be open to explore more possibilities with clay beyond mugs and plates.” Cristiana
The App Designed for Artists, and Art Institutions
Easily showcase your artwork and gain insights on collectors and art enthusiasts with Budget Collector.