Born in New York in 1951, Cindy Bernier is an emerging painter whose work reflects her career as a dancer/choreographer. Ms. Bernier was an early member of Joyce Trisler’s, Danscompany. She performed and served as artistic director of Kinetikos, New England Dance Theater and Bernier Dance where she created over 30 works and was awarded a fellowship grant by the Connecticut Commission on the Arts for her choreography. In New York, Cindy Bernier’s work was produced at The Theater at Riverside Church Dance Festival, Dancers Responding to Aids, Williamsburgh Arts Nexus, The D.U.M.B.O. Festival, The Bridge, Hatch and Dance Space and the Jewish Community Center of Manhattan. In Connecticut, Bernier Dance was presented at the Kweskin Theater, The Quick Center for the Performing Arts at Fairfield University, The Rich Forum, The Levitt Pavilion, Sono Arts Festival, Crystal Theater, the Darien Arts Council and Yale University. Ms. Bernier founded and directed Artists for Peace and CT Meet NY Dance Fest, both showcasing dance companies and musical groups in the Tri-State area. Ms. Bernier also directed The Sister Project, a movement workshop serving women in crisis. She has taught at Steps on Broadway, the Greenwich Arts Center, Ballet Etudes, New England Academy of Dance, Yale University, the Darien Arts Center and Performance Dance, among others.
Cindy began painting in 2017 as a creative response to her aging dancer’s body. Her abstract paintings evoke the energy of dance. She is interested in capturing the movement of nature and spirit with her gestural brush strokes, markings and exploration of color.
Cindy Bernier began to show in 2019 and has participated in the Lockwood Matthews Mansion, Juried Exhibition, New Canaan’s Carriage Barn’s, Art in the Window, Juried Exhibition, the Ridgefield Guild of Artists Annual Juried Show, and the Greenwich Art Society’s Annual Summer Juried Exhibition. She was chosen to exhibit at the Goddard – Riverside Community Center in New York City. Cindy accepts commissions and is currently preparing a body of work for future exhibition.
In my mind, I paint as if I am dancing. For 50 years I lived and breathed dance. I explored new ways of moving and took great pleasure in creating and performing original works, but as my body aged I became weary and frustrated. Dance no longer was the pinnacle of expression for me. My ability to soar went unfilled and so I went searching. When I began painting in 2017, I was jubilant. I had found a second home and I started to explore the application of acrylic paint to canvas.
My process, I found, is similar to creating a dance work. Through play and exploration, I apply paint in a visceral, energetic, physical way. Depending on my state of mind, the strokes and markings take on a kind of kinetic language. I am interested in capturing the dynamism of freedom and movement in nature and spirit– Its’ beauty, clarity, chaos, craziness and sometimes perfect stillness. The process of painting is a spiritual state where I step into the unknown, touching mystery, conjuring courage and faith and finding new ways. I love the focus it demands. I find a painting begins to reveal itself after a marathon of experimentation. Colors talk and behave differently with one another. Brush strokes take on an expression of movement and energy. Spaces of light and dark begin to sculpt out form. For me, creating a painting is a kind of excavation in reverse. Only by applying layer upon layer of strokes, space and color does a painting reveal itself to me.